Religious Education Overview

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Coronavirus Update

Hello Parents,

As you may have heard, all Masses in the diocese of Phoenix have been canceled. Since we do not know how long this will take, I have provided a plan below for continuing education at home. I do not know yet what this will do to the schedule for the sacraments in May, but I am anticipating that they will change. The CDC is recommending that everyone stay in isolation as much as possible for 8 weeks which would bring us to the week of First Communion and Confirmation. Hopefully, it will be resolved before then, but there are many factors in the diocese that could still change that dates of the Sacraments even if it was resolved early.

Here is a PDF of the Baltimore Catechism.

Please read through the selected chapters for whatever class you are in (see below). At the end of each lesson, there are discussion questions, true-false, fill in the blank and more. Please write all of those questions and answers out on a separate sheet of paper. You do not need to write out the “Other Readings from the Bible”. To clarify there are some questions before these with the answers written in, you do not need to write those out, but you do need to read them.

Plan for home education

Year 1 / Reconciliation
Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31, 32.

Year 2 / First Communion and Confirmation
Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.

Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.

This book was made for children in about 2nd or 3rd grade. I expect that it might take someone in second grade about 30 minutes to an hour to complete one lesson, so it should take less for those older than second grade. I suggest doing 2 or 3 of these a week. When you are finished with all of them, you can turn them in to me at St. Joan of Arc however you prefer. If you would like to buy this book instead of using the pdf, you can order one here. If you finish early, please do the other chapters as well. This book has very clear and simple answers to questions many adults don't know. I am sure that you will enjoy it just as much, if not more, than the children.

Please have the children do these well and have them follow all instructions. Since they don’t have catechists teaching them, besides yourselves, we won’t have an opportunity to know if they understand until after they are finished with all the work, so it would be devastating if they needed to redo them. The answers should be in the previous reading and questions, but if you cannot find them, feel free to ask me.

Confessions have not been canceled. So once Year 1 students are finished, we will most likely have them go to confession on their own rather than one big ceremony. PLEASE FINISH THE PREPARATION FIRST, and then talk to me before they go to their first confession.

And please continue to pray the rosary daily for a quick end to all of this, and a restoration of the sacraments. Again, it takes 15 minutes (1%) of your day and is a great way for the kids to practice their prayers.

If you have any questions please let me know.
God bless,
Eric Maschue

Religious Education 2019-2020

Below is some information about this year’s classes.

Rules and Expectations
Prayers, Questions, and More

Registration for RE Classes is closed. Registration will begin again in June 2020 for classes in Sept 2020. Information and fees for the programs are below.

Where does my child belong in the Religious Education process?

There are a few options for how you can register your child. Click on each to get more information.

Family Catechesis – In these classes, we give parents the knowledge and tools they need to pass on the Faith to their own families. This is for Families with at least one child between 1st and 8th grade. Children can prepare for sacraments through this program.

Pre-Sacrament Classes – These are classes for children who have not yet reached the age of reason* usually between the ages of 3-6. Our two Pre sacrament classes are Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and our 1st Grade Formation Class.

Sacrament Classes – These are for children who are of the age of reason, and 7 years old to junior in high school and need to receive Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation, or First communion. In these classes children receive Catholic catechesis and Sacramental preparation. If you are older than 16, contact Brian and check out this page.

Post Sacrament Classes – These are for children that have received all of their sacraments and are looking for further spiritual formation.

Homeschool – Parents can also choose to homeschool their children on their own.

Catholic School– If your child goes to a catholic school that does do the Sacraments of initiation on their premises, or if you desire to have them done here, You may register here and receive your sacraments here.

Family Catechesis

Family Catechesis is a program designed to give parents knowledge and tools to pass on the Faith to their own families. Children can prepare for the Sacraments through this program. This program is available for families who have at least one child between 1st and 8th grade.

Parents come to class once a month to learn the the faith and receive the tools to pass it on at home. And once a month all the families get together to grow together and share what they have learned.

By teaching the parents the truths of the faith laid out in the catechism, and giving them the tools to pass it on to their children, we help build a family environment where the Faith is taught and exemplified primarily and continually by the most authoritative and trustworthy people in the child’s life, the parents.

We hope, through this, to make the Faith more meaningful to every member of the family and help each member of the family to remain faithful for the rest of their lives.


Pre-Sacrament Classes

Catechists of the Good Shepard (CGS): Religious Formation for Children rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” which contains simple, beautiful materials which they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith. This is for those children who are preschool – kindergarten and potty trained.

First Grade Pre-Formation – Religious education particular to the needs of First grade children. Students will be taught the basic truths and practices of the Catholic Faith and Culture in the conventional preschool tradition. These truths are suited particularly to preparing them for the Sacramental preparation classes next year.

Sacrament Classes

All children in these classes will be taught from the Faith and Life Series books. Year 1 uses the second grade book and year 2 uses the 3rd grade book.


Unbaptized Children

Children who have not yet been baptized must go through the RCIA process. This is primarily a liturgical process identical to that in which adults participate, since children of the age of reason* are adults in the eyes of the church.

The preparation for this process is similar to that of those who have been baptized since the point of both is to form students in the fundamental truths and practices of the faith. So those who have not been baptized must go through a minimum of two years preparation. During the first year they will take part in the Rite of Acceptance, and during the second year they will receive the Sacraments of Initiation, if they are properly prepared during those times. They are expected to meet all of the requirements and expectations in order to receive the sacraments. Those can be found above.

In RCIA the children receive baptism, confirmation, and First Communion at the Easter Vigil. They also are prepared to receive first reconciliation which they receive a few weeks later.

RCIA students are required to attend particular Sunday masses at St. Joan of Arc to participate in the particular rites of RCIA. These dates will be given later.

Year One: Reconciliation

During the First Year students prepare to receive Reconciliation. They will receive basic formation in the Faith as well as preparation for the Sacrament. This formation consists of learning the basic dogmas and doctrines of the faith, as well as the basic story of salvation in Scripture. The students are assessed regularly and are interviewed about their spiritual life. They are expected to meet all of the requirements and expectations in order to receive this sacrament.

All new families desiring sacramental preparation for their child are required to have a parent or Guardian attend an adult religious education class of their own, or have an equivalent or greater education in the faith.

These classes meet for an hour and a half once a week from mid-September to mid-May.

Year Two: Confirmation and First Communion

During the second year, students are preparing to receive Confirmation and First Communion. They receive a more profound formation in the doctrines and dogmas of the faith as well as preparation for Confirmation and First Communion. This formation consists of the knowledge of the faith that a person should know if they are catholic and capable of participating in the church. The students are assessed regularly and are interviewed about their spiritual life. They are expected to meet all of the requirements and expectations in order to receive this sacrament.

Students will also need to complete 8-10 hours of community service and choose a Confirmation Name.

All new families desiring sacramental preparation for their child are required to have a parent or Guardian attend an adult religious education class of their own, or have an equivalent or greater education in the faith.

These classes meet for an hour and a half once a week from mid-September to mid-May.

Post-Sacrament Classes

In this class, students partake in an in depth study of Scripture. Following the “story” timeline of the Bible, students receive a framework for understanding the entirety of scripture within salvation history.

Homeschooling and Catholic School Prep

Homeschoolers and children attending Catholic schools must also follow these guidelines.

  1. The children must be registered with the RE program at St. Joan of Arc.
  2. The children must attend the retreats at St. Joan of Arc.
  3. The children must pass the interview and meet the standards of St. Joan of Arc.
  4. Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation and Penance will be celebrated in family’s parish of registration.

Interview questions are available upon request from the Coordinator of RE.

Parents are the primary educators of their children and therefore have the right to homeschool their children in the Faith. We support and encourage this at St. Joan of Arc. There are a few conditions that must be met in order for you to homeschool your children they are as follows.

  1. Materials must be on the approved list provided by the Division of Formation and Education. The preferred text will be the one used in the here at St. Joan of Arc. The Coordinator of RE will approve the home program and text.
  2. The Children will follow the Religion Curriculum Guidelines for the Diocese of Phoenix.
  3. The Coordinator will meet periodically with the families to review the progress of the program.

Things to Note

Why Parent Classes?

The Church stresses the importance of a parent’s involvement in their children’s religious formation. In fact, the Church tells us: “Parents are the first and most important educators of their children, and they also possess a fundamental competency in this area: they are educators because they are parents.” Therefore, it is the parents’ responsibility to introduce their child to the person of Jesus Christ and to help foster an intimacy with Him as they grow and mature. St. Joan of Arc is dedicated to assisting parents in fulfilling this most important of tasks. Therefore, at least one parent is required to attend a weekly adult enrichment class of their own during their child’s enrollment in Religious Education, or to have taken classes of equal difficulty.

It is the parent’s responsibility to fully prepare the student for their prayer assessments and interviews during both years. Our program is a 2 year program but a child may need more time and when necessary there can be a delay in the reception of the sacraments to better help prepare the child.

What is the Age of Reason?

Age of reason is the name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible. This, as a rule, happens at the age of seven, or thereabouts, though the use of reason requisite for moral discernment may come before, or may be delayed until notably after, that time. At St. Joan of Arc, we do not allow children to enroll into sacramental preparation classes until they are at least in second grade even if they seem to be of the age of reason because they are developmentally behind those who are in second grade. Other options can be assessed for those special cases.

Fees - Sacrament Classes

Cost For
$80 One Child
$130 Two Child
$155 Three Child
$25 Non-Sacramental Classes
$50 Catholic and Home School Students
$190 Other Parish Fee
$10 Late Registration Fee

Fees - Family Catechesis

Cost For
$30 One Child
$15 Each additional child
$25 Sacraments Needed
$5 Bible
$7 Catechism