Religious Formation

Youth Religious Formation: The Parish is pleased to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Levels 1, 2, and 3 for children from 3-years-old – 6th grade. Level 1 serves children from 3-years-old – Kindergarten. Level 2 serves 1st – 3rd grades. Level 3 serves 4th – 6th grades. In addition to CGS, we offer a Graded Program at St. Vincent Ferrer for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. We also offer the Ignite Middle School Youth Ministry program for 7th and 8th grades and a high school program. Sessions will begin the week of September 17 and run through the first week of June. The fee for religious education at any level is $250 per child. The Graded Program is held at St. Vincent Ferrer. CGS, Ignite, and the High School Program are held at St. Catherine of Siena.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: CGS was developed by two Catholic laywomen in Rome guided by the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. The resulting religious education materials are based on the Bible, Catholic Liturgy and Sacraments, Tradition, and Church teachings. CGS sessions are limited to twelve children each and are held in the Atrium, a sacred space designated for catechetical sessions intended to help children fully engage in their religious education, to develop their religious potential, and to facilitate their participation in the life of the Church. Preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion occurs within Level 2. These Sacraments are typically received in the 2nd grade, following at least two consecutive years of religious education. If you would like more information about CGS, please visit If you would like to visit the Atrium and see a demonstration presentation of CGS materials, please contact Lisa Harrelson. All are welcome!

4th, 5th, and 6th Graded Program: The graded program is a more traditional, structured religious education program. In accordance with Archdiocese recommendations, our Parish is moving toward having children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation following their eighth grade year. However, those children who have already participated in the graded program for at least one year may still be confirmed after completing the 6th grade program, in the fall of their seventh grade year, if parents and children so choose. Those students will also have the option to continue on to Ignite Youth Ministry even if they have already been confirmed or to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation after their 8th grade year. Children must participate in religious formation for at least two consecutive years leading up to Confirmation.

Ignite Middle School Youth: Our Ignite Middle School Youth Ministry program serves as continuing religious education, as well as formation for youth who have not yet been confirmed. We cover the Old Testament, the New Testament and Life of Jesus, the Human Person, the Sacraments, Morality, Prayer, Church History, and other relevant topics. Students also have social and service opportunities.

High School Program: Our newly formed High School Program offers opportunities for fellowship, service, and continuing religious education for students in 9th ­– 12th grades.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA): RCIA is a program for adults who wish to become Catholic or to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Beginning September 20, 2017, it will meet most Wednesday evenings from 6:45 – 7:45 pm at St. Vincent Ferrer. To learn more, please email

Parish Study: On most Tuesdays of the Parish year (September – May), Adult Faith Formation classes are offered either in the form of a Bible study or as an exploration of some relevant aspect of the Catholic faith. The Fall 2017 Parish Study program, focused on the Arts as Paths to God, begins on Tuesday, September 19, at 6:45 pm and continues each week through November 14.

FORMED: Online Catholic Learning Resources: The Archdiocese of New York has partnered with the online Catholic learning resource website FORMED to provide free access to the website for Parishes across the Archdiocese. The website has videos, audio recordings, and books available for streaming and/or download on a variety of topics, including the Bible, the Sacraments, and the Saints. To register, visit and input the St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena Parish Code: 2ZFMH7.