Realizing that parents are the primary religious educators of their children, Immaculate Conception Religious Education Program exists to provide assistance to parents in this lifelong process. We are committed to teaching the children of the parish the Catholic faith and to fostering Gospel values.
The Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the holy Catholic Church guide the program of religious education at St. Mary’s parish. The parish’s Office of Religious Education is directed by Mrs. Marisa Starceski. The phone number is (717) 846-6001. The office hours are Sunday through Thursday, closed Friday and Saturday.
The Office of Religious Education has as its mission, the faithful instruction of souls in the essential and fundamental elements of the Church’s deposit of faith so that they may come to know the Truth, entrusted by God to His Son’s Church. Armed with this truth and by the grace that comes from prayer and the holy sacraments, souls are empowered to resist the empty promises and distractions of the world and gain hope for eternal life.
Religious Education for CHILDREN is offered for young disciples of the ages of Kindergarten through 8th grade. Jesus Christ, the Divine Teacher, has given parents the duty to pass the faith on to their children or grandchildren and religious education classes are designed to supplement their instructions. The elements of the program of Religious education classes for CHILDREN are:
· A systematic curriculum designed to build upon the lessons taught in previous catechetical study. Since it is designed to aide children in knowing and loving Christ and His Church, the curriculum is not built solely around the preparation for sacraments. Conscientious parents will keep their children enrolled in religious education classes as long as they attend public school, from Kindergarten through 8th grade.
· A schedule that allows families to celebrate Holy Mass together, before or after Sunday School classes; 10:00 AM until 11:10 AM
· A two-year course of study (as required by the Diocese of Harrisburg) at the age-appropriate level of religious formation in preparation to receive the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The appropriate time to begin preparation for First Holy Communion is in First through Second Grade. The appropriate time to begin preparation for Confirmation is seventh through eighth grade.
· A special class for UNBAPTIZED children who have attained the age of reason (7 years of age or older), have already attended one year of religious formation and wish to enter the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation. This class is offered on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM.
· Specialized instruction for children with Developmental delays or other disabilities can be arranged in direct consultation with Mrs. Starceski.
· A class for HIGH SCHOOL-AGED youth (Grades 9-12) who are seeking to complete their initiation in the holy sacraments of the Church or to continue their education in the Catholic faith. Students must complete two years of catechetical formation and may receive the sacrament of Confirmation with other adults if they attain the age of 18 before these studies are complete. This class is offered on Sundays from 12:45 PM to 2:00 PM