Children’s Faith Formation

Welcome to Children’s Faith Formation

Serving Pre-K through 8th Grade

Who is Jesus? Does Heaven really exist? What is prayer? Where did the Mass and the Sacraments come from?

Answers to these questions can be the start of a beautiful relationship with God; a relationship that He desires too! Children’s Faith Formation aims to help children, and their families, cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church through catechesis and Sacramental preparation. Sacramental preparation for children is available in English and Spanish.


Sundays, 8am-8:50am(English)


from September through May.

2022-2023 Calendar for English               2022-2023 Calendar for Spanish Sacramental Prep



Classrooms located in the Religious Education Building (Here's the Front Door!)


What You Need To Register:

  1.  Complete a Registration and Release Form
    • If registering two or more children, please complete separate forms for EACH child

Registration Form                   Release Form

2. If baptized, we need a copy of the child(ren)'s Baptism certificate (unless we already have a copy)

3. Submit Forms via...

    • Paper Forms and Certificate copies can be mailed or dropped off (see address and drop off locations in 'Contact Us' below). Whether dropped off or by mail, please place forms and copies in an envelope and write "Attn: Carol & Amy"
    • Electronic Forms (Scanned or take a clear Picture) can be emailed to both Carol and Amy at AND

4. Early Registration Fee (until July 31): $80 for one child / $100 for family of two or more children

Registration Fee (August 1-31): $100 for one child / $120 for family of two or more children

Late Registration Fee (September 1 and later): $120 for one child / $140 for two or more children

    • Fees help cover the cost of textbooks and supplies
    • Payments can be made by cash, check, or card. Card payments can be made over the phone. Make checks out to "Mission San Diego de Alcala" with "Religious Ed" in the memo
    • Payment plans and tuition assistance are available for tight budgets
NOTE: For Sacramental preparation, registrations after September will require make-up work.

Contact Us:

Director of Religious Education, Carol Gamara, at (619) 624-0900, or

Religious Education Administrative Assistant, Amy Faley, at 619-283-1371, or

Mailing Address -- Mission San Diego de Alcala, Attn: Carol & Amy, 10818 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108

Drop Off Locations (Write "Attn: Carol & Amy" on the envelope): Religious Ed Building with prior notice, as our office hours vary; the Parish Office mail slot; or the Parish Gift Shop 7 days a week, 9am to 4pm


Interested in Home School Sacramental Prep?

You can! But our Diocese requires your parish to be involved in the process. We still do this together!

That means if you contact us ready for your child to receive a Sacrament, we will not accept preparation done in private which had no oversight by a pastor or Director of Catechetical Ministry (aka Director of Religious Education)

So, inform your Parish from the beginning! Or ASAP, if you are already underway.

Contact Director of Religious Education, Carol Gamara:

619-624-0900 or


Our Diocese gives us these guidelines for the good of all:

Catechetics Diocesan Policy

Policy Highlights:

"In situations where some families choose to “home school” their children, it must be understood that these efforts cannot be done independently of the parish."

"The primary responsibility of parents for the education and formation of their children in the Faith cannot be interpreted in an isolated way, since the family is an integral part of the larger ecclesial community. All religious education must be carried out in a way that builds unity within the Church. No home schooling can be tolerated which does not promote the understanding that being a Christian is not a private matter of individual choice but rather of a personal vocation within the context of the Church lived out in the experience of the parish community."

"Home schooling parents are responsible for the participation of their children/young person in the immediate sacramental preparation as required or approved by the parish, through interviews for sacramental readiness, practice for sacramental celebrations, appropriate initiation rites and retreats."

"Home schooling parents must participate in parish parent meetings and parent preparation programs for the sacraments."

"Parents have the responsibility to participate in catechetical formation so that they will be able to prepare their child/young person for the sacraments, in collaboration with the parish community. This is supported by Canon Law (780)."

"With regard to the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation parents must ensure that their children/young people are correctly prepared and connected to the local parish."

"As parishioners, families are expected to participate in the parish Sunday liturgy."

"The pastor and *DCM will require a periodic progress report to be made by home school parents."

*That is, Director of Catechetical Ministry, aka, Director of Religious Education

"The parish DCM should serve as a resource to parents. Recommended textbooks and other appropriate materials must be used in all sessions. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory for Catechesis are excellent resources for parents and catechists."



What is the age range for children to participate in Children’s Faith Formation?

  • We cater faith formation to children as young as 3.5 years old, through the 8th Grade.

How long does Sacramental preparation take?

  • Two Catechetical Years. For example, if your child begins Sacramental Prep for First Holy Communion in September 2022, they should receive their First Communion in May 2024.

What Sacraments can CFF prepare children to receive?

  • Majority of our candidates prepare for First Holy Communion being that they are baptized before age 7.
  • According to our Diocese, if a child is age 7 or older and not yet baptized, the child will be prepared to receive all three Sacraments of Initiation, which includes Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.

How old does my child need to be to start Sacramental preparation?

  • A child can begin Sacramental prep as young 1st Grade.

—What if my child is older than 1st Grade?

  • No worries! Sacramental prep is still available in the following cases:
    • If your child is a 2nd Grader, we can start them in their First Year of Prep in the 1st Grade Class—this happens often, so they are usually not the only one.
    • For children in 3rd Grade up through *8th Grade, we have a specific class for them called OCSP which is, Older Child Sacramental Prep, Year 1 and Year 2.
      • *8th Graders who are baptized and begin their first year of Sacramental prep for First Communion will transfer to our high school program in their second year of prep. In that second year, they will begin preparation for Confirmation simultaneously. First Communion will be received at the end of the second year of prep. Confirmation will be received in the third year of prep.
      • *8th Graders who are not baptized will complete their first and second year of prep with CFF. After they receive their Sacraments of Initiation, we strongly encourage them to join our high school program to continue faith formation with their peers.

My child has already received their First Holy Communion; can they still participate in CFF?

  • Yes! We recommend children participate in faith formation, before and/or after they prepare for Sacraments. That way they can continue building their relationship with God on a firm foundation.

What is required for families with a child in Sacramental prep?

  • Regular Attendance to Sunday classes, preferably no more than three absences; if your family needs to be away for a weekend, let us know. We can work with your child’s catechist to give you the lessons/materials your child misses.
  • Two Day Retreats per year, which involve participation of the child and the parent/guardian(s). These retreats are scheduled on a Saturday morning lasting 3 to 4 hours. Do not worry, we take breaks and have fun faith activities!