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

Registration is currently closed and will open for fall sessions this summer.


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 2022-2023 program year start on Sunday, September 25 and run through the week of April 30.
  • 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 $125.00 per child, includes curriculum, classroom supplies, and materials. Maximum of $375/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.

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.

We will be introducing EDGE as our new Middle School format.

Middle School EDGE program seeks to nourish the spiritual development of youth through faith learning and liturgical experiences, to foster a commitment to others through service opportunities, and to develop a sense of parish community by providing optional social events for our middle school.

The EDGE resources present Catholic teaching in a way that young people can understand.

Basilica YES (Youth Engaged in Service)
11th and 12th Grade

For high school students in grades 11 and 12, this group will meet regularly on Sunday evenings from 4:30 to 6 pm. The group will engage in youth-planned service projects and social activities.

There is no fee for this program and families are invited to make a donation to cover the cost of snacks.

Register for Basilica YES

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.

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.

Often parents wonder how to help pass on faith to their children at their earliest ages, before they begin faith formation. Parents of our youngest children (0-4) are welcome to join our young family ministry. In the midst of busy family life, we provide opportunities for parents in nourishing their own faith and their children’s. We also know how important it is to know other people in the parish who are in your same life stage is, so we provide opportunities for families to build community at The Basilica.  We have had book studies, speakers, picnics, and more for our families, and will continue to offer periodic opportunities to come together. Contact Ben for more information.  

MOMMs Ministry (Mary our Mother Mom)

The group's mission is to provide a supportive community for mothers to enrich their personal spirituality, be a source of encouragement for the vocation of motherhood, and provide a connection with other mothers who are raising their children in the Catholic faith.

All are welcome! Child care is provided in the room next door. We always appreciate volunteers for the nursery who have been trained in the Essential 3 requirements (VIRTUS session, background check and signing of code of conduct).

Please join us, and together we will journey through the challenges and blessings of motherhood. We meet every other Wednesday of each month at 9:30-11:30am in the Catherine of Siena room on the lower level. Please see the specific dates listed below. Contact Ben for more information. 

DADs Ministry 

Any and all dads in the parish are welcome to join this group, and encourage and support each other in the vocation of fatherhood.  We typically will have a topic for discussion to help guide our conversation, but the group is open to ideas.  Contact Ben for more information. 

Relational groups that gather regularly to pray, learn, reflect and share faith.

Upcoming Small Faith Communities: 


Small Faith Community: The Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Book

Lenten Small Faith Sharing Group

For more information on joining, hosting, or facilitating a Small Faith Community, contact Doris

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.