Rooted is the new Middle School Faith Formation program at St. John Neumann parish.  Rooted is taking a new approach to Faith Formation and consists of a series of ten sessions which will follow a retreat model (two six hour sessions and eight two and half hour sessions).  Through these sessions, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will participate in learning, fellowship, service, prayer, and fun; with a focus on becoming more rooted in their Catholic faith.





Session #4

  • Participants learned about Taize prayer and then participated in a Taize Prayer service where we engaged in songs, silence, and lighting candles for our prayer intentions.
  • Participants spent time both working on journal pages and sharing their faith with their small groups.
  • Participants evaluated where they are in their own faith journey and discussed within their small groups.
  • We discussed covenants and various examples from Scripture.
  • We discussed faith in regard to three components:  believing, trusting, and doing.
  • Chapters Covered:
    • Chapter 8:  The Bible:  Covenants
    • Chapter 9:  Faith:  Responding to God

Session #3

  • Participants brought their Thanksgiving Food Drive donations.
  • We began with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • We discussed how sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way we hoped, bad things happen, or we face hardship.  Even though it is sometimes hard to see God’s love, He is always there with us.
  • We talked about the difference and the similarities between our bodies and our souls and discussed ways that our Church protects us both body and soul.
  • Participants spent time both completing journal pages and sharing their faith with their small groups.
  • Participants learned about creation, free will, sin, and how to avoid sin so that we can best act as Christ’s hands and feet in this world.
  • Participants did an activity demonstrating the benefits of avoiding sin.
  • We completed our Formation in Christian Chastity lesson which included a video on the importance of Chastity for 6th Graders and a video outlining some of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality for 7th and 8th Graders (see video page).
  • We covered the Safe Environment lesson and discussed ways to help avoid dangerous or potentially dangerous situations.
  • We used a Baptismal Font and all participants had an opportunity to bless themselves and then spend a few moments in prayer.  Here is the song we used during this prayer time:  (see video page).
  • Chapters Covered:
    • Chapter 6:  Creation
    • Chapter 7:  The Human Person

Session #2

  • Participants wrote ways they have seen evidence of God’s love in their lives and in the world on Post-It notes and everyone attached their example to a cross at our opening.
  • We talked about the Tabernacle present in the Chapel and how we are in sacred space which deserves great respect.
  • We watched a short video by Bishop Robert Barron about the Trinity (see video page).
  • Participants completed some journal pages which were added to their Rooted journals.
  • Participants spent time reading Scripture and sharing with their fellow small group members.
  • We continued using the “burning bush” from Session #1 as we discussed who God is.
  • Participants unrolled “scrolls” to reveal the various parts of the Old Testament.
  • At our closing, participants wrote another Post-It note to attach to the cross.  This time they wrote a way that they will be evidence of God’s love in the world over the next few weeks.
  • We did a silent meditative reflection on how much we are loved by God.  Here is the song we used:  (see video page).
  • Chapters Covered:
    • Chapter 3:  God the Father
    • Chapter 4:  The Holy Trinity
    • Chapter 5:  The Bible:  The Old Testament

Session #1 (The Opening Retreat)

  • Participants received their materials (bag, text, and journal) and were introduced to their small groups and the structure of the Rooted program.
  • We all listened to our “theme song” for the year (see video page).
  • We had a “burning bush”, learned about the layout of the Bible and how to locate passages in the Bible.
  • We learned about the eight stages of salvation history.
  • Participants acted out a humorous skit about the Jeremiah 1:4-10 and then discussed this scripture passage.
  • We watched a clip from the Lion King (see the video page) and explored who we, focusing on the fact that we are created by God.
  • We attended Mass together as a group.
  • We ate dinner and watched some video clips (see video page).
  • We took a prayerful and reflective candlelight walk around the parking lot and ground of the church.
  • Each small group attached a paper leaf, signed by all of it’s members, to a potted tree in the Chapel, symbolizing their commitment to the program, each other, themselves, and to God.
  • Participants were asked to commit to praying for their small group members and to be on the look-out for ways they see evidence of God’s love in their lives and in the world around them.
  • Chapters Covered:
    • Chapter 1:  Revelation, Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition
    • Chapter 2:  The Bible:  God’s Plan for Salvation


If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please contact Angela Davis at

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