OCIT – Managing Expectations

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The Order of Catholic Initiation for Teens (OCIT) is a program designed to assist teenagers who would like to be received into the Catholic Church or complete their sacraments of initiation.

Since sacramental preparation is a serious endeavor, there are expectations for each student in order that there are no surprises. The following are those expectations:


1. Attendance

Each student is expected to:

  • Attend all classes with a parent or a sponsor every week there is class.
  • Accumulate no more than three unexcused absences. After the third unexcused absence, the participant will be told to stop attending and reconsider next year. Excused absences do not include: sport practices or games, extracurricular activities, birthday parties, etc.
  • Understand that excused absences include sickness, graded school events, or those discussed with the instructor prior to class. Excused absences should be sent in writing (preferably email) to the instructor Deacon Marques Silva and Miss Katherine Aguilar.
  • Winter Retreat is a weekend retreat held in February. Attendance for each student is required. For more information about the retreat check out the Winter Retreat page 
  • Attend the Holy Week services. This does take place during the Fairfax County schools scheduled spring break which means unfortunately, they will not be able to travel.

2. Participation

Each participant is expected to:

  • Come prepared with:
    • Bible (provided by instructor), 
    • Credo prayer book (provided by the instructor),
    • Outlines of the Catholic Faith, and
    • Spiral to take notes in (provide by student).
  • Participate in all discussions and group projects.
  • Complete the homework prior to class (Each week will begin with a quiz).
  • Not sleep or lay one’s head upon the table – we are here to learn.
  • Attend with a Parent and/or Sponsor each week we have class. Since this is a journey of faith, the parent and/or sponsor attends to support, learn and assist in answering questions.

3. Evaluation

St. Leo’s is required by the Bishop to ensure and testify that each participant is adequately prepared to receive the sacraments. In order to do so, there must be an objective way of evaluating each student. This will be done through four means: class participation, assignments, weekly quizzes, and meeting with the instructor and the clergy of St. Leo the Great.

To complete this course, a student needs to collect at least 424 points (80 percent). The following is how all activities are weighed:

  • Class participation: 10 points per class; 23 classes (possible 230 points)
  • Assignments: 10 points per assignment, possible 200 points
  • Weekly quizzes: 5 points per quiz (20), possible 100 points