Religious Education

2016 Start dates
First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Orientation & Parent Meeting - September 18/19
Edge - September 19
Grades 1 & 3 - 5 September 25/26
Pre-K & Kindergarten - October 2/3


Pre-school - Grade 5

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children ages 3 to 11.  It is inspired by Montessori principles of education.  The children meet in the Atrium in the lower church on Sunday morning 8:50-10:05 or Monday afternoon 3:45-5:00. 
To learn more about this program, visit the CGS website.

Family Formation provides a unique, challenging, and creative curriculum that is family-based, includes adult catechesis and training for parents, is founded on the Truth and teachings of the Catholic Church, and is designed to make living the Faith a way of life and a life-long learning adventure. Family Formation equips parents to pass on the Catholic Faith to their children enabling them to grow in their faith together as a family. This program meets one Thursday evening a month to enhance the home - based learning. For more information, check their website

Middle School

The EDGE is a Catholic middle school youth ministry experience created for early adolescents in grades six, seven and eight. The EDGE is designed to meet the educational, spiritual, emotional, and social needs of young adolescents. Kids should be encouraged to bring their friends to The EDGE. This is a religious education program, not a youth group.

At this age middle school youth are open to good and bad behaviors as well as positive and negative ideas. Many of the values and beliefs they held as children are now questioned and challenged. As young adolescents they are trying to figure out who they are and what they believe. Many young adolescents are on the EDGE and need something in their life to keep them committed to the faith.

In many respects middle school kids are on the edge because so much is going on in their lives physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. It can be a very stressful and difficult time for them and their parents. As a Catholic Community, we have the opportunity to give our middle school youth the EDGE they need in life: Jesus, the Word, The Eucharist, and the Church!

Within the context of faith, middle school youngsters are moving from child-like spirituality to one that will hopefully reach its pinnacle, through the work of The EDGE, into an adult faith commitment to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.  EDGE meets on Mondays, 7-8:30 in the lower church. 


Confirmation Preparation - Grades 9-10

The Confirmation Program at St Mary of the Hills is a two-year program using the Oneight Confirmation Series developed by the National Life Teen Staff. This series is a comprehensive Catholic model of preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation and gives practical, step-by-step ways to help teens grow closer to Christ and His Church. Through a series of sessions based on creative and experiential catechetical methods, young people are drawn into a deeper faith that will transform their hearts and change their lives. Students will also experience an overnight retreat before their Confirmation in the spring of their second year of preparation.




Adult Faith Formation


The formation of adults and the process by which they are initiated into the Catholic Church is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. These adults may be:
•Unbaptized – persons who were never baptized in a Christian denomination. They are considered catechumens.
•Baptized in another Christian Church - those catechized or uncatechized persons from a faith tradition other than Catholic. They are considered candidates
•Baptized but uncatechized Catholic Adults – persons who were baptized as infants yet not given any religious upbringing within the Catholic tradition. They will prepare to receive Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and the Eucharist.

The RCIA is a process of conversion that proceeds in stages. Progress from one stage to another is marked by a liturgical celebration in the midst of the parish community. The stages are:
•Inquiry – What Catholics believe e.g. Bible, Mass, Mary, Prayers and Practices.
•Catechumenate - What are the sacraments, Catholic morality, dignity of life
•Purification and Enlightenment – This period coincides with Lent and is an intense preparation and prayer. This period ends with the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
•Mystagogy – This is a period for the new members of the Church to share and learn how they may continue to grow in the faith particularly in prayer and service in the parish community.

To Learn even more about RCIA, click here.

At St. Mary’s the RCIA process starts in September and concludes in May. For more information contact the Pastoral Associate or call 617-696-0120


Here's a look inside a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program In Peoria

Click here to download the Registration packet/Schedule for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program (pre-K-5), Family Formation (1-5) and EDGE (6-8)
2016-2017 Calendar

Click here to download the Registration packet for the Confirmation Program (9-10)
Conf 1 Schedule 2016-2018
Conf 2 Schedule 2016-2017

Check out our facebook page: SMH Rel Ed