Open to Wonder!

We invite you to discover God and His Joyful surprises

C. Hightower, S.J




Michele Dexter

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


3 + 7 =


Children’s Liturgy of the Word

When: 10am Mass, every Sunday except Easter
What: Developmentally appropriate (and fun!) proclamation of, reflection on, and activities around the Sunday readings. For children of all ages, dismissed with a blessing before the first reading, meets in the Parish office during Reidy Hall renovation downstairs, and return before communion.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

God and the child have a unique relationship with one another, particularly before the age of six. The growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is rooted in scripture, liturgy, and contemplation. Drawing from the Montessori method, CGS takes place in a specially prepared environment at our parish called the Atrium.  Extensive program information at

Contact: Michele Dexter

Atrium Schedule
Atrium Schedule

When: Sessions meet once per week, begin late September and end at Pentecost, 90-minute sessions

Tuesdays , Level 1 and 2  4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesdays,  Level 1 and 2,  4:30 -6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Level 1 /2 combo class 9:30  to 11:00 a.m.

What: Children meet once weekly in the Atrium community (choose one consistent time). Children work with Montessori inspired lessons and materials based on scripture, liturgy and tradition. Emphasizes contemplation and respects the child’s natural capacity and hidden life in Christ. Contact Michele for registration, a tour, or more information. 

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Calendar           2022 – 2023             TUESDAYS

Oct:   4, 11, 18, 25.

Nov:  1, 8, 15, 29.

Dec:  6, 13.

Jan:  3, 10, 17, 24, 31.

Feb: 7, 14, 21, 28.

March:  7, 14, 21, 28.

April:  4, 5*, 11*, 18, 25.

May: 2, 9, 16, 23*.

*April 5 : Last Supper Meal

*April 11: Liturgy of the Light


*May 23: Pentecost Celebration

 The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Calendar                2022-2023           WEDNESDAYS

Oct: 12, 19, 26.

Nov: 2, 16, 30.

Dec: 14.

Jan: 11, 18, 25.

Feb: 8, 15, 22.

March: 8, 15, 22, 29.

April: 5*, 11*, 12, 19, 26.

May: 10, 17. 24*.

*April 5: Last supper meal

*April 11: Liturgy of the Light 


*May 24: Pentecost Celebration

Frequently Asked Questions

St. Francis Xavier’s Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:

“Help me do it by myself.” – Child in Atrium, age 4

Frequently Asked Questions:


What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? (CGS)

A Montessori based, hands-on approach to the religious formation of children grounded in Sacred Scripture, Catholic Doctrine, Liturgy and Prayer. It takes place in our Atrium, a prepared environment in the parish’s Loyola Center. Call Michele for a personal tour and explore CGS philosophy and practice at

Age Availability:

Level I CGS (3,4,5). Children must be 3, 4 or 5 years old by Sept. 1st and potty trained.

Level II CGS (6,7,8).

Times Available:

Classes are limited to 12 students per session. Register soon! Consistent attendance (no more than three absences) is required. We will have a waiting list. Inconsistent attendance may forfeit your place.

  • Tuesdays: 4:30 – 6:00 pm Level I & II
  • Wednesdays: 4:30 – 6:00 pm Level I & II
  • Thursdays: 9:30 – 11:00 am Combined Level I & II

Session Schedules:

Sessions meet once per week, begin late September and end at Pentecost. Detailed schedule at

Cost: Annual fee is $55/child or family of 3 or more, $75. Cost should never prevent participation, assistance available.

Our Parish Team: Director of Faith Formation: Brian Johnson

Director of the Atrium: Michele Dexter

Catechists: Diane Szeckly, Tanya Johnson, Christina Vierra McGill

Assistant Catechists: Maybe you! Reduced fee available to assistant families.

That Sounds Amazing! How Do We Register?

You may use the enterable form below on this webpage or

Call Michele at 406-541-6040 or send her an email at with this info:

  • Desired Session Day and Time
  • Names & Birthdays of Children
  • Guardians full names
  • Cell phone numbers
  • Emails
  • Postal Mailing Addresses

3 + 15 =


Infant/Child Baptism Preparation

When: Offered once a month, 11:30 am. Attend one “A” session and one “B” session.
“A” Sessions:   For  2023:  April 23rd, aand June 11th
“B” Sessions:  For 2023:  March 19th, May 28th, and July 9th
What: Preparation for parents & guardians of children for the Sacrament of Baptism. Two session programs, attend in either order, with reflections to complete between sessions. Designed for all parents/guardians to attend and participate in together. Baptisms scheduled at regular weekend liturgies.

Pre-Registration Is Required with Michele Dexter


First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion


Registration Form

At SFX, preparation for First Reconciliation and Communion is:
 For children 2nd to 5th grade
 Active, engaging, and prayerful – we emphasize doing and experiencing the faith
 From late September to early May
 Once a month sessions on EITHER Mondays OR Wednesdays (not both. choose one and stick with it.)
 A “with your child” experience, not a “drop your child off”
 Weekly activities at home as a family – fun, simple, and enriching
 A special emphasis on Holy Week (April 2nd – 8th)
To get your child signed up, just fill out this quick form:   I should have complete information in our database for your family, but if I don’t I’ll give you a call. There are two groups. The idea is to pick one day that works for you, either Monday or Wednesday, and stick with it throughout the year. As we go along I will text you reminders about exactly where to meet on the SFX campus. We’re always on the move!

5:30-7:00 unless otherwise indicated

 Jan 2nd From Forgiveness to Feast!
 Feb. 6th Communion Prep #1
 Mar. 6th Communion Prep #2
 Mar. 13th SECOND Reconciliation 7:00pm
 April 2nd 10:00am Mass Palm Sunday
 April 6th 7:00pm Service for Holy Thursday
 April 7th 3:00pm Stations of the Cross
 April 7th 7:00pm Service for Good Friday
 April 8th 9:00pm Easter Vigil
 May 1st Communion Prep #3
 May 7th First Communion!, all families, 12 noon

5:30-7:00 unless otherwise indicated

 Jan 4th From Forgiveness to Feast!
 Feb. 1st Communion Prep #1
 March 1st Communion Prep #2
 Mar. 13th SECOND Reconciliation 7:00pm
 April 2nd 10:00am Mass Palm Sunday
 April 6th 7:00pm Service for Holy Thursday
 April 7th 3:00pm Stations of the Cross
 April 7th 7:00pm Service for Good Friday
 April 8th 9:00pm Easter Vigil
 May 3rd Communion Prep #3
 May 7th First Communion!, all families, 12 noon


Confirmation 2023

Please register with Heidi Gengo

Fr. Kirby Longo 406.697. 5828 and Fr. C. Hightower, SJ will be teaching the  Class

High School Class: 6-7 at Christ the King  Jan 8, 22, 29 & Feb 5, 13, 26
Middle School Class: 5-6 at St. Francis Xavier  March 5, 12, 26 & April 16, 23, 30
April 24: Confirmation Ceremony (Time and Location TBD)

Vacation Bible School 2023

We are ready to BLAST OFF for another Out of This World Vacation Bible School for Summer 2023.  Two weeks of fun means we are looking for volunteers!  There’s something for everyone: small group leaders, station teachers, games leader, decoration and planning committee, etc.  If you would like to help or have any questions, please contact Autumn at  

Registration Open! For children entering Kindergarten through 5th grade June session sign-up link:
July session link: 

High School Youth Ministry

For more information on Missoula Area Youth Ministry

Note from Heidi: Fall Youth NewsletterCalendar (1)

Spring Youth Calendar 2023 (1)

Please contact our  Director of Jr. High & High School Youth Ministry Heidi Gengo  406.300.2353

Youth Group will meet Wednesdays  2022 at Christ the King 1400 Gerald Avenue

Jr. High – 6:00 to 7:00 pm

High School – 7:30 to 9:00 pm



Confirmation 2023

Please register with the Director of Jr. High & High School Youth Ministry Heidi Gengo  406.300.2353

Fr. Kirby Longo and Fr. C. Hightower, SJ will be teaching the class

Fr. Kirby Longo 406.697. 5828

Fr. C. Hightower, SJ 406.542.0321

High School Class: 6-7 at Christ the King   – Jan 8, 22, 29 & Feb 5, 13, 26
Middle School Class: 5-6 at St. Francis Xavier – March 5, 12, 26 & 16, 23, 30
April 24: Confirmation Ceremony (Time and Location TBD)


Legendary Lodge

Legendary Lodge Camps affirm the great Truths of the Catholic Faith for campers during a week-long adventure of fun and friendship. Salmon Lake is the setting for creating memories, building friendships and experiencing God’s profound love. Summer 2023 Registration now open!

See the New Facebook page

Junior High #1 – June 18-23

Junior High #2 – July 9-14

High School – #1 June 25-30

High School – #2 July 16-21


5th & 6th Grade Boys – July 23-28

5th & 6th Grade Girls – July 30- August 4

World Youth Day

World Youth Day – Montana Group Pilgrimage Mandy Bell from Libby is coordinating a trip to World Youth Day next Summer 2023 in Portugal, and she is inviting individuals from other parishes to join. If you want to go, please reach out to Mandy: 406-263-7485 or She’s partnered with a travel group and the pilgrimage will be lead by Chris Stefanick.

Adult Faith Formation

We invite you to continue your faith journey.

At St. Francis Xavier we offer a variety of ways to enter into prayer. From  small group gatherings to the Spiritual Exercises to putting your faith in action. Join us!

Becoming Catholic RCIA

Becoming Catholic (RCIA) & Adult Confirmation Preparation

When: Monthly Community Gatherings, variable times & activities

What: A facilitated spiritual journey, with individual, small group and large group components, where the whole parish acts as companion and guide to adults who wish to join the Catholic faith and deepen their relationship with Jesus through the sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.

Contact: C. Hightower, SJ  406.542.0321

Women's Spirituality & Scripture Study

Women’s Scripture Study

Sessions offered in the Fall and the Spring

Spring 2023 Session lead by Fr. C. Hightower, SJ

The 1st class will be a teaching Mass

What: Join an exceptional circle of women, both long-standing members and new participants, for deep exploration of scripture and topics of faith. Presenters rotate, two different topics each year.

Who: Women! Members of the parish and guests, Catholics & non-Catholics, from all backgrounds, with open minds and open hearts for one another.

When:  Thursdays, 10:00 to 11:30am, February 9th – April 6th The Sacraments

Where: SFX parish, Loyola Center, Dave Thomas Room.





Men's Prayer Group

Men’s Groups

Catholic Men’s Spirituality Group – every first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm
 Meets in the parish office building . Questions: Eric Reiber 406. 370.1777

When: Option #1 Weekly, Friday Morning, 6:30am, Upstairs Meeting Room of Parish Center Option #2 Monthly, First Wednesday of Every Month, 7pm,  Come to one or both!

What: An opportunity for Catholic men, and men interested in Catholic faith, to gather and explore faith, masculinity, fatherhood, being a man, husband, servant, leader, and follower of Jesus. Prayer, discussion, learning, fun.

LGBTQ Outreach Ministry

LGBTQ Outreach Ministry

When: Variable meetings and special events; watch for announcements.

What: Our parish LGBTQ+ ministry, a work for, with and increasingly led by LGBTQ+ Catholics, is
inspired by the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358:
“They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust
discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s
will in their lives…”

Wonderfully Made

A soon to be released documentry!

“Wonderfully Made – LGBTQ+R(eligion)” is the feature-length documentary striking at anti-LGBTQ attitudes by exploring the challenges and aspirations of LGBTQ+ Catholics due to the institutional Church’s formal rejection of their identities. The film focuses on the Catholic Church because it is one of the largest religious organizations and its anti-LGBTQ+ stance is known and growing more hardline in many parts of the world. While the film criticizes Church teaching, but it is respectful of those of faith, focusing on inclusion and representation for all people. It features interviews with leading advocates of LGBTQ+ Catholics, including a pioneering nun, a prominent priest, an openly gay priest, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, among other influential organizational leaders and activists.
The narrative of the film is shaped by the process of a fine art project creating unprecedented, photographic iconography representing LGBTQ people and depicting Jesus on the side of the LGBTQ+ community, portrayed by multiple LGBTQ+ models of diverse ethnicities, genders, races, sexualities, and identities. The reactions of the film’s interviewees were filmed as they saw the images for the first time. The never before seen images are revealed at the end of the film.


Jesuits West CORE

Jesuits West CORE (Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity)

When: Leadership Zoom Calls with Province-wide organizers, 2nd Tues. monthly, 5:30pm
Periodic Retreats, special events, actions, and learning opportunities.
“My Grandmother’s Hands” – Practice Circle on trauma and race. Offered periodically.

What: Our local participation in our Province-wide efforts toward community organizing, justice, and ecological protection