Faith Formation Program

Dear Faithful Friends in Christ,

Faith Formation (or CCD as it was called while I was growing up) has a very special place in my heart. And it is this passion that I believe directed me to my new role as the Director of Faith Formation for the Catholic Collaborative in Walpole.  I personally prefer the term Faith Formation because it better substantiates our overall mission. As Christians, we follow Christ, but our Catholic faith is formed in the Church and through our participation in the Sacraments. It is with this faith and practice that we develop our most important relationship, the one we have with our saving Lord, Jesus Christ.

For the past six years, my husband Thomas and I along with our three children ages 10, 5, and 15 months have lived in this wonderful Walpole community.  Prior to that I was born and raised in West Roxbury, living with my parents and sister. Growing up, my parents worked very hard to send us to Catholic schools, starting early in preschool and continuing until I graduated high school from Mount Alvernia in Newton. It wasn’t until I entered my freshman year at UMass-Dartmouth that I understood just how much faith formation had unknowingly been part of my daily life. And so, for the first time, I found myself in a setting where religion was no longer part of my academia, and at this crossroad I realized my relationship with God was now entirely on my own terms.  Looking back, I am so grateful I had such a strong foundation of faith. At 18, a legal adult, I believed I had it all figured out as most 18 year old do, but without that strong foundation, my life could have gone in an entirely different direction.  

Throughout my time in Catholic school, the nuns who taught me certainly instilled the fear of God, and my parents made sure I understood the love of God through their own love for me. But it wasn’t until many years later, when my own daughter was born, that I began to understand just a fraction of the love God has for me as I stared into my newborn daughter’s eyes God is good all the time.

My husband and I made the decision to live in Walpole for many reasons.  At the very top of this list was the great school system and sense of community.  So here I am, committed to raising Catholic children in a public school system and trying to incorporate faith formation into their lives.  This is the driving force behind my passion for this program. Since my husband and I decided to send our children to public school, we must work hard to build that foundation of faith and give them the resources they need to continuously grow in that faith.  In parenting, it truly takes a village to raise good kids. But more than that, I want to raise my children as Catholics, I want to raise them to know Jesus, to know the love He has for them and most importantly to share that love with others even when it’s difficult and especially when it’s challenging, because it is in those moments we find our greatest growth. My hope is to bridge the gap between the Church and community and bring the basics back to God.  

The delayed start of Faith Formation classes is a great opportunity to start bringing your families back to Mass.   Our children learn from our examples, so let’s raise the bar and make God a higher priority in our lives and reap the benefits that begin to follow.  We all live busy lives, but try to find the time to bring your family to church, regardless of the chaos you might think your family brings, because God is good and He wants you there.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  (Matthew 19:14)

I am so excited to start this new journey as the Director of Faith Formation for St. Mary’s and Blessed Sacrament parishes, as well as the entire Catholic Community.  I ask you all to pray for the success of the Faith Formation program and encourage you to be part of our village. It’s important to remember that if we don’t teach our children how to follow Christ, the world will teach them how not to.  I look forward to working with you and your children and am extremely excited for the future of Faith Formation and being a Catholic in Walpole.

If you would like additional information about the Faith Formation program or if you would like to register your child, please contact me at [email protected].

Faithfully,

Caitlin Benoit