St. Mary's Parish
St. Mary's Catholic Church -- 600 Avenue B Sterling, IL 61081 -- Call 815-625-0640 -- Rev. James Keenan- Pastor

St. Mary Religious Education


We, who serve in the Religious Education Department of St. Mary Church, are called by Christ and His teaching to be servants to our parish. We strive, to the best of our ability and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to provide the Catholic Christian Education each one of our students deserves.
St. Mary Religious Education Classes are open to all Catholics between grades 1 through Confirmation Prep. Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary School. We meet from September through April and also celebrate opening and closing Masses.
The Religious Education Program only has students for a limited amount of time and though our catechists and aides prepare well and the programs are well designed, all of the religious education cannot take place in the classroom. It is for this reason that we ask that parents of children in our program share the responsibility of providing leadership in faith and moral development by discussing the class materials at home.
For First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation, St. Mary requires that all candidates preparing for these sacraments be enrolled in either a Catholic School or Religious Education Program for one year prior to receiving the sacrament. In addition, the child is expected to attend Mass regularly and have an interest in and a desire to receive the sacrament for which they are being prepared. We also provide a student retreat for each of our sacraments.
Parents are expected to model our Catholic Faith to their children and are required to attend the parent meeting associated with the sacrament to be received.
First Reconciliation…second grade or older…celebrated in the month of January
First Communion…second grade or older…celebrated in the month of April
Confirmation…ninth grade or older…The date is set by the Diocese of Rockford at the Bishop’s discretion. Our Refresher Classes consist of students in our Religious Education Program as well as those attending our Catholic Schools.                 
*For further information regarding each Sacrament, go the the Sacraments link on the main menu.
Gerry Williamson, Coordinator of Religious Education
Dianne Williamson, Secretary

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