Our parish Religious Education programs for children assist parents in fulfilling their responsibility to nurture their children’s faith.

  • Teaching a Catholic way of life: laying the foundations for developing Christian attitudes, values and behavior in their children’s early years
  • Presenting religious concepts in accord with their children’s age and capacity for understanding and growth in faith
  • Helping their children make an increasingly personal response to God through their unique gifts
  • Integrating liturgical and Eucharistic formation with religious education (liturgical celebrations shape a child’s faith every bit as much as Catholic schooling)
  • Nurturing growth by providing a proper environment and witness of adults
  • Fostering a sense of community and belonging (faith is something to be lived and is lived best in community)
  • Recognizing and fulfilling their role as the first and foremost catechists of their children
Pre-K 3 – 6th grade
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)

CGS is a reflective-based program of religious formation that helps a child to further develop his/her relationship with God in a  developmentally appropriate way. It is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy, and the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori.      

 Students in 4th-6th grade choose which program to register for, CGS or AIC.

4th grade – 8th grade
Alive in Christ Classes (AIC)

Alive in Christ: Discovering and Sharing the Kerygma leads children to an encounter with  Jesus Christ, accompanies them as they discover their faith in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and sends them forth to live what they have received.

Students in 4th-6th grade choose which program to register for, CGS or AIC.  

Intensive Religious Education for Sacrament Preparation (IRESP)

Children older than 2nd grade with no prior religious education, or who have gap years, who desire to receive the Sacrament of Eucharist or Confirmation can be considered for our Intensive Religious Education for Sacrament Preparation program. Please contact Selena Roberts at [email protected] or 815-838-2592, ext. 114 to discuss this option.

Please scroll down for more information about our religious education programs for children.
In addition to these programs, we have Family Connection Nights throughout the year.
We also offer Vacation Bible School each summer.

DOJ-Permission Medical Release for Minors
2024-2025 Religious Education Calendar

Alive in Christ Classes

Classes will meet on Monday evenings from 6:00-7:30pm. Classes are held in the school building. Our classroom textbooks will come from the Alive in Christ catechetical series published by Our Sunday Visitor Press.

If you are not available on Monday evenings the entire RE year, there is an option to do the Alive In Christ lessons as a home school program. Parents and children work together using the textbook and other resources provided online. 

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd provides Montessori-based experiential learning atriums, starting in preschool and continuing through sixth grade For more information about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) program, please click here.

Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation

First Communion Program. Along with regular attendance in CGS or AIC there are parent-student meetings held four times a year.  The sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion are celebrated in the spring.. Click here for more information.

Confirmation Program.  Along with attendance in their religious education class, those seeking Confirmation will have additional requirements, including but not limited to a mandatory fall parent/student meeting and a mandatory winter/spring student retreat. Click here for more information.  

Registering for a Sacrament

· First Eucharist typically takes place in 2nd grade and Confirmation typically takes place in 8th grade.

· Your child must be baptized. A copy of their Baptismal certificate is required with registration for all

 children requesting a sacrament.

· Your child must have completed a Religious Education program the year prior to registering for a sacrament.

· During the sacrament  year, your child must also be enrolled in CGS or AIC or IRESP.

· Your family must be registered and an active member of St. Dennis Parish.


OCIC-Order of Christian Initiation for Children

Order of Christian Initiation of Children or better known as OCIC (formerly RCIC) is a program designed for children 7-17 who would like to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. 

If you would like more information about this process, please contact Selena Roberts at [email protected]

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