Faith Formation Learning about and nurturing our Catholic faith

Develop, nurture, and live out your faith

At The Basilica of Saint Mary we prefer Faith Formation because it encompasses a broader approach. We offer a vibrant selection of programs for children, youth and adults, encouraging our parishioners and friends to continually develop, nurture, and live out our faith.

We strongly believe forming faith and nurturing spiritual growth are lifelong processes. We strive to provide meaningful programs rich in quality and substance, and filled with God's grace. Our educational programs explore our rich Catholic traditions and encourage people of all ages to strengthen and deepen their faith.

  • Children - age 3 through Grade 5:  preparing to celebrate the Catholic Sacraments
  • Youth - Grade 6 through 12: growing in faith with one another and the Church
  • Young Adults: building friendships and relationships with others in Christ
  • Adults: deepening and responding to God’s gift of faith

Faith Formation Registration for Children and Youth

Welcome to The Basilica of Saint Mary Children’s and Youth Ministries!
We are glad you are here and look forward to working with your family. We have a new curriculum and plan for our programs this fall. 

  • Classes for the 2023-2024 program year start on Sunday, September 24 and run through the week of April 28.
  • Early registration is appreciated and very helpful in planning for our program year.
  • Please opt-in to emails on your MyBasilica profile. We will communicate with you using this tool. If you have opted out of emails from The Basilica, you will not receive important Faith Formation communications.
  • You will receive a confirmation email upon registration. In late August, we will distribute additional information and a Program Calendar.
  • We welcome all children and youth into our programs! If a section happens to fill up, we will try to find a spot amenable for your child and your family. We do need to maintain a ratio of 2:16 or 3:24 adults per children/youth. If a class size does not have enough adults to meet the ratio we close the class until more volunteers are found.
If you have any questions about any of the following, please contact the Learning Department
  • Children and Youth Ministry programs
  • First Reconciliation/First Eucharist preparations
  • Confirmation preparations

Payment Information

  • Cost is $150.00 per child, includes curriculum, classroom supplies, and materials. Maximum of $450/family. If you meet the family maximum cost, please register and pay for  three of your children online and then contact the Learning Department to register your additional children.
  • Sacramental preparation payments for First Communion/First Reconciliation are in addition to class registration fees. If your child(ren) will be completing First Reconciliation/First Eucharist, please make sure to sign them up for the appropriate grade(s) in Faith Formation if they are not enrolled in Catholic School. (Additional parish policies for sacramental preparation can be found on our website under Sacraments.)
  • Payment is made at the time of registration.
  • Scholarships and payment plans are available; no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. Please contact the Learning Department before registering to inquire about these options.
  • Volunteer catechists and classroom helpers are allowed full scholarships for the weekly programs for their children. Please contact the Learning Department if you are interested in this opportunity.

Please select all classes for which you will be registering your child(ren) in addition to sacramental preparation.

  • First Reconciliation / First Eucharist
    Children preparing for both sacraments must be in at least Grade 2 and should also be registered in our Faith Formation program OR attending a Catholic School. Please review the complete registration policies
  • Confirmation
    The Archdiocese requires all Confirmation preparation to take place in the home parish where the teen will be celebrating the sacrament. Parents/Sponsors are required to come to a meeting in the Fall and again in the Spring. Please read our sacrament policy for other attendance and service requirements.

Intergenerational Faith Formation (for families with children in Kindergarten-7th Grade):

This program will meet monthly on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm virtually (on Zoom).
Parents are required to participate with their children in this opportunity for the family to grow in faith together.
Our themes and topics will follow the liturgical year; we will also learn about the Bible, Saint’s lives, how to pray, and more.
All families will receive materials to work on at home during the weeks we are not meeting in a large group.
Children who do not participate in in-person Sunday school will receive a grade-level curriculum to learn with their parents at home.


Registration- please select from these classes:

Faith Formation for Children Age 3 to Grade 5

Preschool Faith Formation (Children who are age 3 by September 1, will not be in Kindergarten, and are able to take care of their own toileting needs): Stories of God's Love

Preschool classes run from 9:15-10:45 am on Sundays. Our program incorporates free play, music instruction, and RCL/Benziger’s curriculum, Stories of God’s Love. We will follow a two year rotation with their Ages 3-4 and 4-5 series. 

Children’s Faith Formation (Grades K-5) : Finding God

Our curriculum, Finding God, seeks to form discipleship in children through Ignatian spirituality, weekly studies of sacred art work, scripture, Catholic social teaching, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Students will each receive their own workbook which will be kept in the classroom. Parents will have access to online resources that support the curriculum by offering prayers, videos, and other helpful tools.

Keeping with our past tradition, music will be an important part of our program. The students will receive weekly music lessons and will participate together in a special Christmas Musical. The musical is considered part of our program and all children in Faith Formation are expected to participate.

Sunday morning Children’s Faith Formation will run from 9:15-10:45am in the school. 

Parents are asked to sign up and observe one session during the year.

If you join The Basilica after our program year starts, we still warmly welcome you to enroll your children for the balance of the program year, provided there is enough space in class and our ratio of certified catechists/children is met. 

Note: Children in Second Grade or older may sign up for First Reconciliation and First Communion preparation.  These classes are an additional fee.  Students must also be enrolled in Faith Formation or a Catholic School and be registered members of the parish.

An Invitation to something very special:

Search Institute identifies one of the 40 Developmental Assets for children and youth ages 3-18 as participation in programs within a religious institution. However, what they have learned through decades of research is that the single most important asset to any child or teen is a positive relationship. Please consider being in a classroom relationship with our children and youth as a catechist, a room assistant, or a hall monitor. Your presence is powerful and it really does matter! You don’t need to be an expert in theology. You only need to be a positive adult willing to walk the journey of Faith Formation with our children and youth. We need you. Training is always available to those who seek it. Our team of parents and catechists have chosen curriculums that offer great leader guides, easy to understand lesson plans, and meaningful activities for children and teens. Our weekly volunteers get reduced/free tuition for their children’s Faith Formation. If you are interested in learning more about being a volunteer in our programs, please contact the Learning Office at 612-317-3414.

Commitment to Inclusive Learning

The Basilica of Saint Mary strives to meet the needs of each student in our Faith Formation program. Please let us know if your child has special needs or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). 

Commitment to Inclusive Learning Statement

Middle School (6th and 7th Grade)

Sunday morning, from 9:15-10:45 am in the school.

Students will meet every Sunday following the preschool and elementary program calendar.

Our curriculum, Finding God reaches young people at this unique time of growth in their lives. The Finding God Junior High program reaches the whole person through multiple points of engagement, accompanying young people as their place in the story of the Catholic faith is revealed through art, music, authentic witness, media, prayer, substantial content, and service to others.

Youth Ministry / Basilica YES (Youth Engaged in Service)

For high school students in grades 9th through 12th, this group will meet regularly on Sunday evenings from 3:30-5:00pm.

We want to provide a comprehensive program for our youth community through spiritual, service, and social activities.

SPIRITUAL activities will include ways in which students can grow and learn in their own Catholic Faith. It will provide opportunities for spiritual growth to deepen their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and grow in discipleship through prayer and study. We will include retreats, videos, Bible studies, guest speakers, and more, as opportunities to strengthen their Faith.

SERVICE (BASILICA YES) activities will allow students to give back to others in the parish, our community, and the greater church. Faith will be expressed and put into action in many ways to help the less fortunate in our communities.

SOCIAL activities will provide time to gather, enjoy each other’s company and have fun. Also, it will provide opportunities to strengthen their interpersonal communication skills and social behaviors to enhance their understanding of what it means to be a member of the Catholic community.

Prayer will always be included either at the beginning or the end of these activities!

There is no fee for this program, but families are invited to make a donation to cover the cost of refreshments.

Basilica YES 2024 Summer Program

Deepening your faith

Faith is a constant gift from God. It is offered to us at our baptism and over and over again throughout our lives. It grows and deepens as we experience life.

Join The Basilica community as we learn and journey with one another in our Catholic faith.

Adult Bible Study

Bible studies are offered periodically throughout the year. 

Theology Day

Join us for these sessions presented by scholars from Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary. Also presented at Saint John’s University and other locations in the Twin Cities and out-of-state. Click here for the full schedule, and see below for information about the upcoming session at The Basilica.

Minneapolis Multi-Faith Network
(formerly known as the Minneapolis Interfaith Forum)

Through a new organization called The Minneapolis Multi-Faith Network (MMN), we are working alongside downtown Minneapolis religious communities on some of the most pressing social justice matters this city is facing. This multi-faith network builds friendships and opportunities to learn about others' faith while participants pursue the common good together.   Click here to view a short video about MMN.

Please visit the Minneapolis Multi-Faith Network website to learn more about this orgranization and upcoming events. 

Participating Congregations:

  • The Basilica of Saint Mary
  • Temple Israel
  • Masjid An-Nur Mosque
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Plymouth Congregational Church
  • Islamic Community Center of Minnesota/Masjid-Al-Iman
  • First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
  • First Covenant Church
  • First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
  • Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
  • Church of the Ascension

Small Faith Communities

Small faith communities are relational groups that gather regularly to pray, learn, reflect and share faith.

Questions? Please Contact:

Doris Ortiz

Coordinator of Learning for Children and Youth

Doris joined The Basilica team in August 2021. She studied Theology at the University of St. Thomas…

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Get Involved — we need you.

What gifts can you share with our parish? It takes many volunteers in a variety of roles to make The Basilica’s Faith Formation programs so successful. We welcome volunteers for one time, or all the time. Opportunities include preparing materials, teaching and assisting in the classrooms, planning Young Adult activities, being an RCIA sponsor, and many other roles.