Middle School Faith Formation
The Middle School Faith Formation program at Our Lady of the Lake addresses the developmental needs of early adolescents: physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. As young adolescents move into the changes that occur at this age, their needs are more complex.
Crossover is the program taught in Grades 6 and 7. Each of the two years begins with three weeks of Getting Acquainted, Belonging and Group Building, after which participants are placed in small groups. Crossover is a combination of large group learning, small group interaction, activities, and prayer. The ratio of adults per young adolescents is 1:5. Developmentally appropriate social activities are built into the program. Some of the topics studied are: Grade 6 focuses on relationships, beginning with family (parents, siblings, and family stresses). In December, the theme continues with a session on friends followed by friendship with Jesus. After the first of the year they look at how relationships are damaged and avoided through peer pressure and bullying followed by a 3-part series on the Mass and understanding its parts. The year ends with a study of death and dying and the Death & Resurrection of Jesus. Grade 7 begins with an introduction to Scripture as the Word of God followed by three weeks on the Parables of Jesus. In Advent they study the Creed and Jesus as person and center of our faith life. After the first of the year they focus on the local church beginning with parish, stewardship, and ministry, learning about various ministries at Our Lady of the Lake. They then prepare for, perform, and reflect on a service project. The year ends with an overview of the Sacraments of Initiation, Healing, and Vocation.
Built into the Crossover Program are two social events, Wacky Olympics and Mardi Gras and one spiritual/social event, the Agape Mass and Meal, all which involve numerous parent volunteers.
Grade 8 – Preparation for Confirmation is a two-year program which includes faith formation during 7th & 8th grade. By combining several resources, including The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth by St. Mary’s Press, Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation by Ascension Press, Receiving the Gifts of the Spirit by Pflaum Publishing Group, and Confirmed in the Spirit by Loyola Press, students will be prepared both intellectually and spiritually to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation and to become lifelong disciples of Christ. Through highly effective and engaging materials (videos, student worksheets, large and small group discussion, projects, games, and classroom experience) teens are encouraged and challenged to continue involvement in Faith Formation after Confirmation during high school and beyond. Facilitated by the Director of Youth Ministry, communication with parents and sponsors, service parameters, a retreat event and rehearsal complete the Confirmation preparation.
Grade 6 Class Schedule & Curriculum
Grade 7 Class Schedule & Curriculum
Grade 8 Class Schedule & Curriculum
On August 12, the middle schoolers enjoyed praying a decade of the rosary in our beautiful prayer garden, a spirited game of kickball on the ball field, and hot dogs and s’mores at the fire pit! Thanks to Jim and Erin Pilarski for coordinating the event.
On the beautiful summer evening of July 31, middle schoolers enjoyed an outdoor movie and popcorn, courtesy of Holland 7. Thanks to Katie Dishinger for coordinating the event!
The middle schoolers celebrated Mardi Gras with games, food, fun, and an auction for fabulous prizes! Thanks to all who helped with this great social and to all the parishioners for their prize donations. Click here to see all the fun!
Nursing Home Visit
The 7th grade Crossover students went to American House Senior Living Community. A fantastic time was had by all. Great conversations were shared, Valentine crafts were made, UNO and card games were played and new friendships were formed. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with some of Holland and Zeeland’s finest residents! To see pictures, click here
At the 6th & 7th grade Crossover Agape Mass & Meal, young adolescents had a unique experience celebrating Mass and then being served a delicious dinner by their catechists. Go here to view more pictures of this special event! Photo credit: Sara Cooney and Vince Karst