Family Religious Education Program

Program Description

Begun in 1984, the Family Religious Education Program at Old St. Mary’s offers weekly class instruction in the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The program aims to foster the spiritual development of children within the context of family: as a member of his or her own family, as a member of the family of our faith, and as an important member of our parish community.

Classes are taught by dedicated volunteer catechists who are certified or working toward certification through the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catechist Formation Program.

Materials which are developmentally appropriate and are in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church are used throughout the program. Interactive instructional approaches are used to involve all the children and to recognize each individual’s unique gifts and growth in the faith and the community.

Family Involvement

Families are the cornerstone of Old St. Mary’s program because family involvement is essential for a child’s spiritual development.

Classes are scheduled on Sunday mornings to accommodate family attendance at mass before or after class.

A monthly Family Mass includes children’s active participation in the liturgy. All families are encouraged to attend these monthly celebrations of our faith.

Faith enrichment materials are sent home during special seasons (such as Advent and Lent) to deepen family sharing and celebration of faith in the home.

Adult bible study is offered at the same time as the children’s classes.

Liturgy of the Word for Children is offered on the Sunday mornings when classes are in session to give small children (preschool to 3rd grade) an opportunity to hear the word of God in age-appropriate language. The children rejoin the assembly at the conclusion of the homily.

Sacramental Preparation

Children should be enrolled in religious education classes beginning with kindergarten.  Kindergarten and first grade classes lay the foundation for their preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. A class attendance rate of 85% is expected for all children preparing to receive these sacraments.  Regular mass attendance and participation is an important part of their preparation. A copy of their Certificate of Baptism must be provided for our records upon registration. You can upload a copy of the Certificate of Baptism with the submission of the online Enrollment Form.

Children must regularly attend classes beginning in September in order to be eligible to receive First Reconciliation and First Eucharist the following spring. (First Reconciliation is during Lent; First Eucharist is usually celebrated during the month of May.) For exceptions to this policy, please consult the program director.

Students in seventh and eighth grades may enroll in our two-year program to prepare for Confirmation. An attendance rate of 85% is expected for all children preparing for this sacrament. Regular mass attendance and participation is an important part of their preparation. A copy of their Certificate of Baptism must be provided for our records upon registration.  You can upload a copy of the Certificate of Baptism with the submission of the online Enrollment Form

The confirmation program covers Liturgy, Creed, Prayer, Discipleship, and Morality. The students are required to participate in parish and community service (a minimum of 15 hours) as part of their commitment to discipleship.

Please note: Archdiocesan guidelines require two year’s of Faith formation before a child can receive the sacraments.

Registration and Fees 

The Religious Education program is open to all children in kindergarten through eighth grade (or older if they have not been confirmed). 

Families who enroll their children are encouraged to register in the parish.

First class in 2017 will be January 8th..  Classes are held on Sunday mornings from 9:40-10:45 a.m. so that families may attend mass together at 8:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. 

Sunday mornings should be set aside for family faith formation. Your commitment to your child’s religious education speaks volumes about setting priorities. Please keep our mass and class schedules in mind when deciding whether or not to sign your child up for sports or other activities that take place on Sunday mornings.  Click the link below to view/download The Religious Education calendar for 2016-2017.

Faith Formation (Religious Education) Schedule – 2016-2017

General Enrollment Fees: $300 for one child, $150 for each additional child in the same family

Sacrament Fees: $40 total for First Reconciliation and First Communion (begins with 2nd Grade);  $80 for Confirmation (8th grade and above).

The fees can be waived for situations of financial hardship. Please speak to the Religious Education Coordinator for assistance.

Please make checks payable to Old St. Mary’s Church.

Complete the online form below to register your child(ren) in Religious Education classes.

Religious Education

  • For Example: St. Patrick's Church, Dixon Illinois.
  • Please indicate your religious denomination, If it is OTHER than the selections provided, please indicate which religion you belong to in the Other Religion text box below.
  • Please indicate your religious denomination. If it is OTHER than the selections provided, please indicate which religion you belong to in the Other Religion text box below.
  • If you use a cell phone, please provide the number.
  • Browse to the location of the copy of the Child's Baptismal Certificate and select it to upload.

Contact Information

Old St. Mary’s Church
Attn: Cathy Walz, Pastoral Associate for Children and Family Ministry
1500 S. Michigan Ave,
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-3444
E-mail: cwalz@oldstmarys.com

Paul Huesing, CSP
Pastor