Religious Education


Children’s Faith Formation

About: This ministry helps the children of the parish experience the presence of God in their lives and to learn who Jesus Christ is by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We aim to follow the ways of Jesus Christ through Catholic teachings, creatively engaging the children in the learning process, and giving them the hope of salvation.

Time: September through May on Sundays, 9:00am – 10:15am.

Coordinator: Joan Ritter 717.642.8834.  

Forms: Photo Release Form, Registration Forms


Sacred Heart Tutorials
About: Sacred Heart Tutorials is a 501(c)3 group serving the needs of homeschooling families in Pennsylvania and Maryland since 2006. It is a cooperative group of families who share the workload of education for children from grades K-12. Additionally, dances, fun events, and field trips are sponsered for teens in the surrounding areas. For more information please see the website noted below. The 'Contact Us' page can be used on the website.

Time: Twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) at St. Mary’s parish from September through May

Coordinator: Ellen LeGare,

Note: While this is not a St. Mary's only ministry, many of our parish families participate. 


Vacation Bible School

About: A nondenominational program that is held in conjunction with St. John Lutheran Church.

Time: One week each summer.

Coordinator: Joan Ritter 717.642.8834.

Note: For children in grades K-6.


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

About: RCIA is an acronym for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The RCIA is a process whereby adults and children (catechetical age of seven or older) can learn about the Catholic Church and so discern whether to become Catholic Christians.  If the person is unbaptized, then the process leads to their baptism, usually at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night. If the person is baptized in another Christian tradition, then the process prepares this person to be received into the Catholic Church by making a profession of faith as a Catholic. After the baptism or profession of faith, the person receives the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist at the same vigil.  

Adults or children interested in becoming Catholic, or those who just want to inquire further into the Catholic faith, usually attend weekly sessions held in the parish.  At some point in this process they indicate that they are ready to enter the formal process of becoming Catholic.  The total process until Easter Vigil is several months. The participants learn the Catholic Christian way of life through instruction and being in the midst of the members of the parish community. Parishioners can participate in this process as sponsors, (Catholics who share their faith and “walk with” the candidates as they journey into the Catholic Church), mentors, or those who give witness (former participants of the RCIA process).

Time: Mondays at 7:00pm 

Coordinator: Donna Butt 240.529.2470.


Adult Faith Formation

About:  Bible Studies, certain doctrines or important topics of the Catholic faith are explored during certain designated times throughout the Church Year. Missions are also held during the Season of Advent or Lent that assist parish adults with their spiritual journey and there by become closer to Jesus Christ. These studies or missions are set up by the pastor.

Time: Various times throughout the year.

Note: Please call the parish office for current course offering, 717.642.8815.


New Evangelization

About: Jesus said ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…’ (Mt 28:19-20)  The Church has been sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ since the time of the chosen Apostles.  Our parish evangelization team, comprising members of ministries, e.g. Adult and Children Faith Formation, RCIA, Music Ministry, etc. is striving to do the same.  We share the Good News of Jesus Christ in many ways.  Our mandate is Jesus Christ himself.

Contact: Please call the Parish Office



About: This is a program for those who are discerning a return to the practice of their Catholic faith.  A small team of lay persons meet in a home setting for eight consecutive weeks.  There is shared a revitalization of the Catholic faith practices, personal faith witness, and a feeling of “a safe place” and “a welcome home” from the parish community.  The program followed is designed by the Paulist Fathers and endorsed by the Diocese.

Contact: Please call the Parish Office

Time: Eight series of Monday evenings, to be arranged by agreement.


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