Who can enroll in the Journey Program?
-Children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
-People desiring to participate more fully in the faith and life of their parish community.
-Catholics or those who are in the process of becoming Catholic.
-People who are not Catholic are welcome but should understand that the program is Catholic based.
Age Groups and Meeting Schedule
There are several different age groups that meet 12-14 times a year, September–April at St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Parish former school building, 406 Jefferson St., West Bend, WI 53090. For 2023-24 these are the age groups:
Children 6-10 years old
Meet alternating Monday evenings 5:30-6:30 pm
Adolescents 11-15 years of age
Meet alternating Wednesday evenings 5:30-7:15 pm
Great Adventure Bible Study for those 15 and older
Meet alternating Thursday evenings 5:30-7:15 pm
Adults 18 and older
Group 1: Meet alternating Wednesday evenings 6-7:45 pm
Group 2: Meet alternating Thursday evenings 5:30-7:15 pm
Group 3: Meet alternating Monday evenings 5:30-7:15 pm
Sacramental Prep - Baptism, First Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, RCIA available upon request
One-on-one program—is designed for those who are unable to attend the group sessions due to physical, mental or safety situations. Can fully participate in the Masses, volunteering and other events.
A minimum of 3 Journey Masses are held during the year. Journey students play an integral part in the Mass as Cantors, Greeters, Gift Bearers, Ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, Mass Servers and Lectors. All are invited.
The Journey program offers all of our friends the opportunity to make their sacraments when they are ready for them – that includes baptism, First Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation or RCIA (if they are baptized but have not received First Reconciliation, First Communion or Confirmation).
The sacraments for our friends are made when they are ready – not necessarily when the “normal” age to make the sacraments. For example, children in 2nd grade or age 7 are usually preparing for First Reconciliation and First Communion. They will make those sacraments during that academic year. In Journey, if our friend is not ready at age 7 the statement from the bishop’s states that those with developmental disabilities can make their sacraments when they are ready.
In the Journey program, this decision is made mutually by the parents, their parish priest, the Director of Journey with input from the mentor working with the friend.
Confirmation and the First Reconciliation/First Communion preparation is done on alternating years. All sacramental prep has their own set of requirements however they all include a retreat day. The sacrament can be celebrated at the home parish of our special need friend or in a combined Mass with their other Journey friends at a designated parish. Priests from their home parishes are involved with the celebrations.