Children's Faith Formation

Contact John Sweet - Director of Religious Education

2020 Home Study Parent Guide


Religious Education Options for Children Ages 4 - Grade 5

Sunday Program:  Classes meet weekly, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm.

Wednesday Program: Classes meet weekly, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm.

Home Study Program:  For families who wish to incorporate the "formal" religious education of their children into the daily home life of the family.  Parents are provided with a "Parent Guide" to work with their children in their textbooks.  Review sheets are given which must be completed and returned to the Director of Religious Education upon completion.

St. Mary's Religious Education is guided by the Catechetical Norms published by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.


Children's Liturgy of the Word

Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) is offered at the 9:00 am and 11:00 am Sunday Masses each weekend for children ages 4 through 4th grade.

Following the opening prayer, the celebrant invites the children forward for a special blessing and the children then leave the assembly and go to the Daily Mass Chapel where they will hear the Sunday Scripture Readings from the children's Lectionary and will hear a reflection on those readings specifically developed for their age level and understanding.

There is no registration for CLOW.  It is open to all children at Mass.

CLOW is not offered on Holiday weekends or weekends when our parish celebrates the Sacrament of Baptism.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a Monday-Friday morning program offered for one week during the summer for children ages 4 through 5th grade.  Each day of VBS, children rotate through a series of "stations" with a variety of activities based on the day's bible theme.

Registration for VBS generally begins in May.  Visit our VBS page for current information regarding this year's VBS.

Sacraments of First Reconciliation (Confession) and First Eucharist (Communion)

Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist is open to all children in the 2nd grade or above.  Children must be registered in and attending a Catholic School or our Christian Formation program in addition to participating in the Sacrament preparation program.  The preparation for the Sacraments takes place within the parish, not in the religious education or school classrooms.  Families must be registered members of St. Mary's to participate.

Our preparation program for these Sacraments consists of parent & child workshops at the church and at home work in the textbooks. Parents, as the first and primary catechists of their children, participate in all aspects of this program.

General outline of Preparation Program:

  • Parent Orientation in the Fall
  • 2 Reconciliation workshops (for parents and children)
  • Celebration of the First Reconciliation in the Winter
  • 3 Eucharist workshops (for parents and children)
  • Celebration of First Eucharist in the Spring.

RCIA Adapted for Children

The RCIA Adapted for Children is the process by which children (age 7 and above) are welcomed into the Catholic Church.

The RCIA Adapted for Children is open to children who have never been baptized or those who have been baptized in another Christian denomination and are interested in becoming Catholic.

For more information about the RCIA Adapted for Children, please contact Pat Novak (804-740-4044).