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BreakAway is the launch program for Discipleship Groups!

Just for 8th Graders, “Breakaway” helps 8th grade groups grow in friendships, provides experiences to encounter Jesus Christ, offers ongoing training for new D-Group adult mentors, and offers resources and tools for parents.

The group, called Discipleship Groups (or "D-Groups") will become your good friends, and even a second family as you journey through middle school and high school!  Get ready for an awesome adventure!


Q: What does “Breakaway” mean?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be renewed by the transformation of your mind.”
— Romans 12:2

In a sense, St. Paul is encouraging us to “break-away” from the standards of this broken world.  Our prayer for each of our young people in Breakaway is that they know that they are never alone in their journey to not conform to the world and live as an authentic Christian.


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Parents, have questions?

Your Frequently Asked Questions are at the bottom of the page!


2019-2020 Important Dates!

Friday, May 17th: Registration Opens!

Wednesday, September 18th, 7pm-9pm: Mandatory parent meeting @ St. Albert parish center

Friday, September 20th:

  • D-Group Registrations Due for 8-12th grade.

  • Weekend Retreat Registration Forms due online!

Wednesday, October 9th: First Wednesday Breakaway Night!

Come get to know all your fellow 8th graders, learn a bit about what the year is going to be like and get pumped up for the retreat!  Parents are invited for the first ten minutes to meet your child's d-group leader(s)!

October 11-13th, 2018: Kick-Off Retreat!

This retreat is a great opportunity to kick off our discipleship small groups, reunite with your EFC friends, meet new friends, have tons of fun, and experience the power of Christ's love in a life-changing way!  This retreat is the foundation for the entire year, so please prioritize these dates on your family calendar. Accommodations can be made for medical needs, including allergies, anxiety or other situations.

Wednesday night dates for 2018-2019 School year: See PDF Schedule or Calendar for details!

Ladies will always meet at St. Albert Parish Center and Guys will always meet at St. Michael Church 6:30-8:30pm unless otherwise stated.

**8th grade groups meet 2-3 times per month October-May before transitioning into “Host Homes” mid-May. D-Groups meet in these host homes, often hosted by the parents of one of the teens, monthly in the summer and twice a month during the school year.


Parents' Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Breakaway the confirmation program?

A: No.  Breakaway is a ministry that helps 8th graders explore their Catholic faith and build relationships in a Discipleship Group.

At St. Michael and St. Albert parishes, there isn't a formal "confirmation program."  Confirmation is open to any teen in grades 8-12. 

In order to be confirmed with St. Albert or with St. Michael, teens must be actively practicing the Catholic faith, be attending Family Formation with their family, be developing a personal relationship with God, and be actively participating in a Discipleship Group. Once all of these are in place, they may request to pursue the sacrament of confirmation when they choose.  

Breakaway is specifically designed for 8th graders to grow in their faith and develop a relationship with God centered around the Discipleship Group model, allowing participants to request the sacrament of confirmation in 8th grade if they choose. For more information about the Sacrament of Confirmation, please contact Bob Swift (St. Michael) or Jean Wold (St. Albert).

Q: Are D-Groups some sort of “group counselling?” What goes on in these groups?

A: These groups in no way could be considered “counselling” or “therapy,” but rather a group of teens led by an adult mentor to explore the topics of the Faith and discover ways to apply the truths about God and his Church to their individual lives. (Note: Our adult group leaders are mandatory reporters and, as such, are required and trained to report concerning information to parents, parish staff and/or the proper authorities as needed.) The purpose of the group is not to invite teens to overshare about painful life situations, but simply to provide a safe environment for teens to build a small community of faith and fellowship as they grow in their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Q: How are group leaders chosen?

A: Group leaders/mentors are parishioners who are interviewed, trained and evaluated by the parish staff. In addition to the background checks and safety training which are a mandatory component of working with youth at our parishes, each of our leaders is a faithful, practicing Catholic who loves Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church and is excited about supporting parents in helping bring their teens closer to Christ!

Q: How long do Discipleship Groups last?

A: D-Groups are designed to provide faith support, life support and mentor-ship for teens throughout high school until graduation (5 years, total).  Joining a d-group is a long-term commitment where amazing friendships grow.  Many young adults now in college still keep in touch with their d-group friends and continue to support one another, even from across the country.

Q: What if my child is not in 8th grade and wants to be a part of a Discipleship Group? 

A: High school students who would like to join a Discipleship group can click here for more information!

Q: Once my child is confirmed, what happens then?

A: Teens who have been confirmed (anytime in 8-12th grade), continue in their group as normal. D-Groups are a five-year commitment for teens and leaders regardless of when a teen chooses to seek the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Feel free to contact Ruth Gladitsch, Director of Youth Discipleship, with any additional questions! rgladitsch@stmacatholicyouth.org