Dear Homeschool Parents and Children,
Grace and God’s peace be with you. The Catholic Church has always upheld your “primary and inalienable right and duty to educate your children” (Gravissimum Educationis, 6). Please be assured of your parish’s prayers for your success as you undertake the difficult task of homeschooling.
Pastor and Parent Collaboration
In the Vatican II Document Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) by Pope Paul the VI, the “duty to educate belongs [also] to the Church… The Church is bound as a mother to give to these children of hers an education by which their whole life can be imbued with the spirit of Christ” (GE, 5). As such, there is a collaboration between the parents and the pastor in the spiritual formation of their children, especially as it pertains to sacramental preparation.
Code of Canon Law highlights this collaboration in paragraph 843:
843.1 Sacred ministers cannot deny the sacraments to those who seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.
843.2 Pastors of souls and other members of the Christian faithful, according to their respective ecclesiastical function, have the duty to take care that those who seek the sacraments are prepared to receive them by proper evangelization and catechetical instruction, attentive to the norms issued by competent authority.
First Confession / First Communion
Prior to receiving these Sacraments, your child will also meet with a priest to insure his/her knowledge of the meaning and purpose of them. The priest will provide you with the context and content of this final review prior to the meeting.
To receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, your child is required to participate in the Confirmation Preparation program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online options for formation will be provided for families concerned for the safety of their child(ren) for all three sacraments.
Application for Catholic School
Some families, out of concern for the safety and stability of their families, have elected to homeschool their child(ren) for the time being. Families who withdraw their child(ren) from SFA Catholic School are asked to be aware of the pressure that places on our school. St. Francis has chosen to maintain three grades per class. This is a trusting sacrifice on behalf of the parish to provide a Catholic education to the maximum number of children seeking it. This trusting sacrifice is annually reviewed.
For this reason, families who, due to COVID-19, choose to homeschool their child(ren) are asked to complete a 2021-2022 registration form to return to SFA school. This will be considered in future strategic planning for our school.
Bishop Carroll Requirements for Homeschool Students
Families wanting their child(ren) to attend Bishop Carroll Catholic High School after homeschooling must also enroll them in the SFA Parish School of Religion (PSR) program. Students not enrolled or not regularly attending PSR jeopardize their admission to BCCHS.
The following are the requirements for admission to Bishop Carroll Catholic High School for homeschool students:
- Submit a letter of application to the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi.
- Submit an application for admission and pay registration fee (non-refundable) to Bishop Carroll.
- Submit a Parish Family Agreement to St. Francis of Assisi (by late January) who will verify your commitment to the stewardship way of life.
- Contact Bishop Carroll for the date and time of placement exams.
- Demonstrate satisfactory participation in a PSR program and satisfactory grade school performance.
For more information regarding Bishop Carroll's enrollment requirements, click here.