Children’s Faith Formation

Welcome to Children’s Faith Formation

Serving Pre-K through Level 8

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, 10:15 - 11:30 am (English)

Sundays, 11:45 am - 1:00 pm (Spanish Sacramental Prep)

from September through May

2024-2025 Calendar for English Formation & Spanish Sacramental Preparation              



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

2024-2025 Registration Form    2024-2025 Release Form - ENGLISH    2024-2025 Release Form - SPANISH  

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

3. Sponsor Form, if applicable (see note below), must be submitted by the January of first year of Sacramental Prep. Please contact us if you need a Sponsor Form and/or more information.

    • If your child is not baptized and aged 7 or older, your child will begin Sacramental Prep for the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, & First Communion). Thus, the child will need to select a Godparent, or two (one man & one woman), for Baptism and one Sponsor for Confirmation. A Godparent can double as a Sponsor for Confirmation.
    • The preparation will be the standard two years.

4. 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 Gamara"
    • Electronic Forms (scanned or take a clear picture) can be sent via email attachment to Carol Gamara at

5. Registration Fees

    • UNTIL JUNE 30, 2024: $120 for one child / $100 for each subsequent child in the same household
    • STARTING JULY 1, 2024: $145 for one child / $120 for each subsequent child in the same household
    • Fees help cover the cost of textbooks and supplies
    • Payments can be made by cash or check only. 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 Catechetical Ministry, Carol Gamara, at (619) 624-0900, or

Administrative Assistant, Catechetical Ministry, Erin Dalton, at (619) 640-0481, or

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

Drop Off Locations (Write "Attn: Carol Gamara" on the envelope) -- Religious Ed Building with prior notice, as our office hours vary; the Parish Office mail slot; or the Visitor Center and Gift Shop 7 days a week, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm


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 2024, they should receive their First Communion in May 2026.

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 needed for families with a child in Sacramental prep?

  • Weekly celebration of a Sunday Mass. The Body of Christ suffers if you are not there. That is why our global Catholic Church obligates us to celebrate every week. Together, we bring God's Kingdom upon Earth!
  • Daily practice of prayer at home
  • 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!