Education and Formation


Faith Formation

RCIA Process


Christian Initiation

Baptism of Infants

Initiation of Children

First Eucharist

First Penance


Marriage Preparation




Faith Formation for Children and Youth

Family Faith Formation

Family faith formation sessions at St James are bi-weekly on Sunday mornings (11:30-1:30PM) or Wednesday evenings (6:00-8:00PM). During this time together, families share faith through a variety of methods such as: Games, crafts, role playing, and faith sharing. Families stay together the entire time and participate in the activities while sharing with other families. Each session is led by a volunteer catechist who facilitates each session. A “take home kit” is given to each family at the end of the session to provide materials and activities for families to participate in at home to enhance and live what was shared during the session. Prayer, Scripture and faith sharing are key components of this process.
“Parents are the primary educators in the faith. Together with them, especially in certain cultures, all members of the family play an active part in the education of the younger members. The family is defined as the “domestic” Church, that is, in every Christian family the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected: mission; catechesis; witness; prayer etc. Indeed in the same way as the Church, the family “is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends.” A Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods. GDC #235

To review the 2014-2015 Faith Formation Handbook, click here.
To register your child/ren online, click here.

To review the 2014-2015 Wednesday Calendar, click here.
To review the 2014-2015 Sunday Calendar, click here.
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Sacramental Preparation


The journey toward infant Baptism is an exciting and well defined process. To begin the process, the parents must be registered, practicing members of the parish for a minimum of three months , all paperwork must be completed and certificates of eligibility from the Godparents parish must be on file. When this is completed the parents will be given an appointment with the Pastor. At Father’s recommendation, the parents will be scheduled for a Baptismal Preparation Class and the reception of the sacrament will be scheduled. It is through this process that your child will be welcomed and begin their journey as a new member of our faith community.

  1. 0-6 years, contact the Parish Office for more information regarding Baptism.

  2. 7-17 years, contact the Director of Faith Formation for more information regarding RCIA Adapted for Children.

  3. 18+ years, contact the Director of Faith Formation for more information regarding RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).

The process of Sacrament Preparation at St. James is consistent with the guidelines established by the Diocese of St. Petersburg. For all those 7 years of age or older, the process consists of no less than one year of Faith Formation sessions, followed by a second year of immediate preparation for reception of the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.  Placement in all Sacrament Preparation processes is based on the following criteria in accordance with diocesan guidelines.

Guidelines for First Reconciliation/First Communion/Confirmation:

  1. Families with children 7 yrs of age or older who have not received First Reconciliation/First Eucharist are eligible to enroll for Sacrament Preparation.

  2. Families of students in the eighth grade or older who have not received Confirmation are eligible to enroll for Confirmation preparation.

  3. Families of candidates must be registered in St. James the Apostle Parish.

  4. Proof of Baptism must be provided at the time of enrollment in the Sacrament Preparation Process.

  5. Student must have completed one year of faithful participation in Faith Formation sessions or Catholic Parochial School immediately prior to enrollment. Concurrent enrollment in a Catholic Parochial School or Parish Faith Formation session is required.

  6. The Confirmation preparation process includes a parent orientation, monthly workshops, an overnight retreat, and at-home activities. Sponsors are encouraged to participate, if possible.

  7. Parents are required to attend monthly workshops with their child/youth and participate in the process.





RCIA Process
Catechumenate is a process of adult faith and conversion.


Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
St. James the Apostle Catholic Church
RCIA is a catalyst to assist you in discovering the presence of God in your life. This is not an introduction to a new relationship with a stranger. God has been and always will be there calling you into relationship. RCIA is a process of discovery and conversion. Conversion implies change. The conversion we seek is not to Church but to Jesus Christ. Our goal is to assist you in becoming disciples for Christ. As you journey through the RCIA it is our hope that you will come to see that faith is not taught; it is caught. Our purpose is to enlighten and produce a firm commitment to live the Catholic Christian faith. The RCIA is a journey of faith to full communion with the Catholic Church. We seek the source and summit of our faith: the Holy Eucharist.
Who should attend RCIA?

Individuals who have never been baptized, and are interested in learning about the Catholic Christian faith and feel called to be baptized, confirmed and receive Eucharist and become members of the Body of Christ.

Individuals baptized in another Christian denomination who feel called to full communion with the Catholic Christian faith.

Those baptized as Catholic Christians who never completed the Sacraments of Initiation- Confirmation and Eucharist.
The Faith Journey:
The Rite is divided into four distinct periods. The periods are separated by public rites which serve as thresholds, or decision points, on your journey of faith.

Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate – a period of exploring the candidates’ questions. This is a time of getting to know each other. It is a time where we use the Word of God, God’s stories, the stories of the People of God and the stories of the candidates to facilitate their recognition of God’s presence in their lives. It is a time of evangelization. As an analogy, it is the period in a developing relationship from the first date through getting to know and respect each other and experiencing that first kiss.

The Rite of Acceptance/Welcome - Threshold #1 – The candidate has reached a decision point. Have they experienced first faith and initial conversion and intention to change their lives and enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ? An answer in the affirmative gives the candidate the confidence to cross this first threshold and continue their journey. To continue our analogy, I like this person I am dating and I want to learn even more about them or, this relationship is not for me and I need to look elsewhere.

Catechumenate – That portion of the journey where catechesis, teaching, is firmly rooted in the proclamation of the Word. Catechesis leads the Catechumens and candidates not only to an appropriate acquaintance with the dogmas and precepts of our Catholic Christian faith but also to a profound sense of the mystery of salvation in which they desire to participate. During this time we come
to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, more intimately. Once again to
continue our analogy, our relationship has grown and we are deeply in love;
engagement is on the horizon.

Rite of Sending/ Election – Threshold #2 - We are sent forth by St. James the
Apostle Faith community to meet the Bishop at the Cathedral of St. Jude in St.
Petersburg. God has called us to relationship: we are the Elect of God. God has
chosen you! We are engaged!

Purification and Enlightenment – This is a time of self examination where we
focus on what we are about and how we are to live our lives. It is a period of
interior reflection and purification. This part of the faith journey coincides with
the Lenten Season. The elect are working to remove impediments in the
relationship with God and others.

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation - Threshold #3 – Baptism,
Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, the Rites of Initiation, our ultimate goal, are
conferred at the Easter Vigil Mass. You are a member of the People of God. You
are a newlywed, a Neophyte.

Mystygogy or Post baptismal Catechesis – The period from Initiation to
Pentecost, the Easter season. It is a time for the Neophyte to deepen the Christian
experience and for spiritual growth. The Neophyte is introduced more fully into
the life and unity of the faith community. Although RCIA ends after Pentecost,
the journey of faith continues as we are called as Catholic Christians to live out
our baptismal promise to be Disciples of Christ.

You are a:
Inquirer until the Rite of Acceptance
Catechumen after the Rite of Acceptance if you have not been baptized.

Candidate after the Rite of Acceptance if you were baptized in another Christian
faith tradition or were baptized Catholic and not fully initiated and are seeking
full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Elect if unbaptized after the Rite of Election. Note: all others continue as

Neophyte after the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation.
Prior to the Rite of Acceptance, a sponsor will be selected for you by the RCIA Team,
who will accompany you on this journey. The sponsor will serve you as your guide and
role model in living the Christian faith. The person selected will be a baptized, fully
initiated practicing Catholic Christian and member of St. James faith community.
Sponsors attend our catechetical sessions and all Rites discussed above.

Schedule Summary:
On Tuesday evenings we gather at 6:30 pm for catechesis and faith sharing. Our gatherings are held in the William Room. We begin our journey on Tuesday, Sept 9, 2014 at 6:30pm. We gather on Sunday mornings after the Liturgy of the Word at the 10:00 Mass at the Rite of Dismissal to feast further on God’s Word for Breaking Open the Word which commences on Sunday, November 23, 2014. The Rite of Acceptance/Welcome is celebrated on Saturday, November 15, 2014 and the Rite of Sending/Election on Sunday, February 22, 2015. A Retreat is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2015. The Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated at the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, April 4, 2015. The Mystygogy period ends on the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 24, 2015.

Barbara Ferreris, Director of Faith Formation 727-869-3130 X304.