Religious Education

2018 Start dates
Grade 2: Sunday/Monday,  September 16/17
All Pre-K through Grade 8: September 23/24


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.

We would love for you to volunteer and experience the Atrium for yourself.  See how this program enriches its volunteers. contact joan regan for more information.

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. Family Formation meets monthly to enhance the home lessons.  Meetings happen on the first Thursday of the month, October through May, from 6:00-7:30 PM in the lower church. For more information, check their website.

Middle School

St. Mary of the Hills uses the EDGE religious education program for grades 6,7 and 8.  EDGE is designed to meet the educational, spiritual, emotional and social needs of young adolescents.  The youth are encouraged to bring their friends to the EDGE evenings.  see why here

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. 

Click here to download the 2018/19 Calendar for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program (pre-K-5), Family Formation (1-5) and EDGE (6-8). Click here for the 2018-2019 registration packet.


Confirmation Preparation - Grades 9-10

St. Mary of the Hills Parish is dedicated to forming ententional disciples.  To further this mission, we have adapted the USCCB Curriculum Framework for high school age youth as our Confirmation Preparation Program. This is a two-year program beginning in Grade 9 and includes an overnight retreat experience in the second year. The program is centered on 6 core themes:

  • The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture
  • Who Is Jesus Christ?
  • The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)
  • Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church
  • Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ
  • Life in Jesus Christ

It is expected that all Confirmation candidates have a basic understanding of our Catholic faith before entering this program. If your teen has not been regularly attending Religious Ed., please contact Joan Regan for more information

Click here to download the calendar and registration packet for the 2 year Confirmation Program (9-10) 2017-2019
Confirmation 2 Schedule 2018-2019

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

Check out our facebook page: SMH Rel Ed