Children's Programs


St Joseph Basilica offers several opportunities to help parents in your efforts to raise your children in our Catholic faith:

  1. Faith Formation classes for children Pre-Kindergarten (4 years old by September) through 8th Grade. (8th graders who have already received First Eucharist have the option of registering in the Youth Ministry program for teens if they are spiritually ready and able to make the required time commitment.)   Designed for children not attending Catholic schools.  Registration is required.
  2. Children’s Liturgy of the Word for children 5 through 10, to hear the Gospel message in child terms.  No registration required. 
  3. Sacramental Preparation for older children (7+) who have never been baptized or received Eucharist.  Registration is required
  4. Middle School Ministry for students in 6th, 7th or 8th grade.  A monthly social gathering grounded in our Catholic faith.  Offered if there is sufficient parent help to plan and organize.
  5. Children's Choir for children in grades 1 through 5, to sing at monthly Family Mass and occasional parish events.  Click here.

All our catechists and helpers are volunteers who share their time and faith with our children, and are provided with training, resources and support.  Each family is asked to give at least four hours of service during the year; positions include catechist and co-catechist; classroom aide; childcare; Children’s Liturgy leader or helper; and Learning Center supervisor.   Older children and teens are encouraged to participate in our programs as Program Aides.  (See Code of Conduct for Minors Working with Younger Children.)  Service hours can be awarded. 

All adult volunteers are required attend a ninety-minute “safe environment for children” training, either at a live workshop or online.  (Visit at  St. Joseph Elementary School parents may receive service hours for serving as catechists or CLW presenters.  For more information see the Volunteer page on the Registration Form or contact the Faith Formation Director.

Participation  in Sunday liturgy is an essential part of our Faith, so families are strongly urged to attend Mass together.  St. Joseph’s Mass schedule is Saturday Vigil at 5:00pm and Sunday at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30am and 7:00pm.  Children’s Liturgy of the Word is offered during the 9:30am Mass most Sundays.

Faith Formation Classes

Classes for pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade are on Sunday mornings 10:45 – 11:45 in the St. Joseph Elementary School. Classes meet from mid-September until the end of May (see Class Schedule). Children in their second year of Sacrament Preparation have additional events, explained in the Second Year Sacrament Preparation Information.

Tuition for 2016-2017 is $90 for the first child, $55 for the second, and $45 for each additional child in a family. ($10 discount per child if registration completed by August 1.) In addition, there is a Sacrament Preparation fee of $15 for each child in Grade 2/Second Year Sacrament Preparation (i.e. Grade 2 fee is $105). Grants and payment plans are available. Click here to register.

For our children’s safety, they must be signed into and out of class each week by a parent or other authorized person. Refer to Safety Information and Family Resources. Enrollments are accepted through September, although late registrations may be possible. Families should be registered members of our Parish; click here for  Parish Registration Form.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLW)

At the 9:30 am Mass, interested children are dismissed to go with volunteers to share the Liturgy of the Word. They participate in the Gospel, special homily, songs and activities, and then return to their parents to participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. There is no need to register and no fee. Children must be old enough to sit quietly with others and participate in the activities, generally kindergarten through 5th grade (although younger children may attend if accompanied by their parent).  Children’s Liturgy of the Word takes place most Sundays.  More volunteers are welcome to present the gospel, assist with the children, or let us know when it's time to return to Mass.

Sacrament Preparation

First Reconciliation and First Eucharist preparation is generally a two-year process starting at age 6 (first grade), through participation at either St. Joseph Elementary School or Faith Formation. First grade introduces prayer, church, community, faith and other important aspects of Catholicism, and second grade concentrates on Reconciliation and Eucharist.  Children in third grade or older attend a separate Sacrament Preparation class during their second year of preparation, in addition to their age-appropriate class.  A copy of your child’s Baptismal Certificate must be provided.  

During the second year, parents/guardians attend several parent meetings and also join their children at special preparation events.  The Sacrament Preparation Brochure contains the current year's schedule and other important information; click here.

Baptism for children younger than Grade 2 is usually considered “infant Baptism;” information and registration is available here. Children in second grade or older participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation modified for children, in addition to their age-appropriate classes.  This is generally a two-year process; please call for more information.

Middle School Ministry

A monthly social gathering grounded in our Catholic faith for parish youth in 6th, 7th and 8th grades, offered if there is sufficient parent (or other adult) help to plan and organize. Students in Children's Faith Formation are automatically registered for Middle School Ministry; all others complete the registration form for safety purposes. There is no cost to participate other than for occasional supplies or to contribute to potluck refreshments.  Contact Anne Marie if you are interested in helping with the planning.

For More Information

Contact: Anne Marie Fourré at Email: or Phone: (510) 995-9409

Contact Info.

1109 Chestnut St. Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 522-0181
(510) 522-2864
Parish Office Hours:
           8:30 am to 5pm (closed noon to 1) 
           8:30 am to 12:30pm (volunteer staffing) 
           8:30am to 1:00pm. (volunteer staffing)

Parish Calendar