Religious Education is considered by Vatican officials to be vital to children’s development as Catholics. These classes not only educate children about Jesus and the Catholic faith but prepare children to receive the sacraments of Penance (confession), the Eucharist (Holy Communion), and Confirmation. It is important for adults and children to be familiar with some of the key ideas from Catholic social teaching.
Religious Education classes for all ages, including adults are held once a week during the year from September through May. For more information read the descriptions below or contact the parish staff.
Our program offers instruction for children from Grade 1 through Confirmation in the high-school years (typically Grade 10). Following the teachings of the Catholic Church, it offers a curriculum that draws upon the “Faith and Life” series published by Ignatius Press, as well as other materials, especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. Classes are held on a weekday evening in the Parish Hall beginning in early fall and ending at Pentecost. The program also includes various liturgical and social events.
Classes start in mid-September and are completed at the end of April/beginning of May. The final phase ends with the reception of First Holy Communion and the May crowning of the Blessed Mother by a first communicant.
St. Mary's offers special classes for those children who have been baptized or are awaiting baptism outside the usual time frame, and for those who have not received the sacraments of Penance or Holy Communion in the usual time frame.
For more information, a referral, or to receive a registration form, contact the parish staff.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Religious Formation Program
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a highly acclaimed approach to the religious formation of children, rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use to ponder the story of Christ and the life of the Church. Elements of the Mass, a topographical map of the Land of Israel and a timeline for the History of the Kingdom of God are just a few of the experiences the children encounter in an atrium that serves children ages 3 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9 to 12.
Atrium sessions will begin in early October.
For more information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, see the program's homepage: http://www.cgsusa.org/.
In the archdiocese of Hartford, it is customary that teens receive Confirmation during their sophomore year of high school. This means that usual time for a teenager to begin our two year Confirmation prep program is the fall of their freshman year of high school. Any families who have a high school freshman who would like to enroll in our first year Confirmation Prep program should contact the parish office as soon as possible.
We will have sessions meeting at these times:
Monday, 4:30-6:30 pm: Levels 1, 2, and 3
Wednesday, 4:30-6:30 pm: Levels 1 and 2
Payments can be made in the Religious Education section of the 'Online Giving' portal available at the top of the page.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), or Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum was developed by the Catholic Church for prospective converts to Catholicism who are above the age of infant baptism.
Candidates are introduced to aspects of Catholic faith. For those who join an RCIA process it is a period of reflection, prayer, instruction, discernment, and formation. There is no set timetable and those who join the process are encouraged to go at their own pace, taking as much time as they need.