Contact: Diane DiSanto, Ed.D.
Our children hold the future of the Church and the advancement of the world in their hands. They will need a genuine understanding of their faith to meet the challenges of a complex, fast paced, ever-changing society. The purpose of our religious education program is to assist you, as their parents and primary teachers, in passing on the tenets of our faith and communicating what it means to be Christian. Together, catechists and parents strive to instill the following traits in St. Mary children:
- To make sound, prayerful decisions based on strong Christian values.
- To develop a sense of spirituality and a personal relationship with God.
- To respect the diversity of the world and creation.
- To live a life of caring and compassion for all.
Toward this end, our curriculum at all grade levels has four components:
- What Catholics believe.
- How Catholics worship.
- How Catholics live.
- How Catholics pray.
These four elements are embedded within concepts and activities taught within our classrooms. We ask all adults involved in a child’s development to reinforce the “what” and “how” of our faith through daily life experiences. Together we strive to impart to our children the glorious joy of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
For information, please contact the Director of Faith Formation:
Diane DiSanto, Ed.D.
Church of St. Mary
Providence, RI 02909
(401) 274-3434 ext. 176
PRE-KINDERGARTEN (4 year olds)
Preschoolers listen to an adult leader read popular children’s books as a springboard to talk and play. Each book has a theme that reflects a Christian value. Children use their imaginations to think and interact in ways that will build a strong foundation for prayer. This program, called “Pray Me a Story,” lasts about thirty (30) minutes.
The kindergarten program focuses on basic concepts, such as God’s love for us, the Church as community, loving and sharing as Jesus would, stories that Jesus told us, and praying and singing with God. Children will engage in active, hands-on learning as they build on the faith formation that their families have begun to inspire in them.
RECONCILIATION AND FIRST COMMUNION: Grades 1 and 2
First Communion is a two year program that begins in grade 1 and culminates in receiving the sacrament in May of the second year when children are in grade 2.
DEVELOPING A STRONG FAITH: Grades 3 through 6
During these years, children acquire a sense of community within St. Mary’s parish and a stronger, deeper knowledge and understanding of their faith and spirituality. The years between sacramental preparations may be the most important time for developing a young adult’s sense of spirituality.
CONFIRMATION: Grades 7, 8 and 9
Confirmation is a two-year program. Confirmation 1 begins in grade 7. Confirmation 2 carries through grade 8. Candidates receive the sacrament of Confirmation in November of grade 9. Older high school students also participate.
SACRAMENTAL CATCH-UP: Any age or grade
Are your children in a grade other than grade 1 or 2 and not made First Communion? Are they in kindergarten or an upper grade and not baptized? Are they in high school and not confirmed? Register them. We will prepare them for the sacraments so they may join their age appropriate peers. Older children usually learn concepts more quickly. Correct instruction will place them on a fast track so they may not require the full two-year traditional program.
OPEN ENROLLMENT: Register at any time of year. We practice open enrollment. That is, children may begin classes at any point in the year at any age.