Learning and growing in our faith, in our relationship with God, is a life-long endeavor. As children, we learn the facts (at least some of them) of our faith, and as adults, we live into the meaning of those facts. We don't "graduate" at Confirmation with our faith set for the rest of our lives. We continue to grow and mature in our faith as we do in other areas of our lives.
Like any good relationship our relationship with God continues to grow and deepen as we work at it and at times struggle with it. It is not automatic but it is very possible to "go deeper" with God and with our Catholic faith. "The definitive aim of [faith formation] is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ." (NDC, #19B)
From our very beginnings, our faith has been communal in nature. Our God comes to us not alone but rather as Trinity, as God in relationship, in community. Jesus gathered disciples around him and spread the faith through men and women. The early Christians gathered in houses to share stories of God, to share food, and to care for each other.
As human beings, we are created in God's image, which means, at least in part, we are created to be in relationship with each other and with God. We learn our faith and build our relationships with God in community.
Our formation in the faith, both as adults and as children, is best done in community – with other believers. While there are times and circumstances which necessitate individual learning or home schooling, whenever possible, we strongly encourage that we learn and celebrate our faith with others. Sacraments, especially, are social and communal by nature.
Direct any questions to the Faith Formation Office
at 607-733-3484 or ElmiraFF@dor.org
~ Traditional Religious Ed: Sunday mornings 9:00am – 10:15am
~ Family Ed (Children and Parents together) – Monday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
~ Family Ed (Children and Parents together) – Wednesday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Includes preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion
Sunday evenings 4:00 – 7:30 pm
Includes attendance at the 5:00 Mass in reserved seating at St. Patrick’s, followed by pizza and our catechism session in the Rectory.
For teens aged 13 – 17, includes social and outreach activities
Includes opportunities for formation, social and outreach activities
Programs vary depending on the need and interest expressed by the group.
Offerings are often correspond to the liturgical season
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
For anyone who wishes to become Catholic. The RCIA is also for anyone who was baptized Catholic but not raised in the faith and did not celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation or Communion, or for a person who was raised in a different faith and is considering becoming a Catholic.
For those Catholics who have received First Communion but have not been confirmed.
Dates for classes and sacraments.
More information and registration forms are available under each of the programs.
Words and instructions for many common Catholic prayers
Office (Summer) Hours
Monday to Friday
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Faith Formation Center and Parish Offices
1010 Davis Street, Elmira, NY 14901
Phone: (607) 733-3484
Fax (607) 846-3371