Overview and Registration
St. Mary of the Hills provides many educational opportunities for people of all ages. We offer programs for youth and adults at every level of knowledge. Whether you are a “beginner” in your faith journey or are well on your way, consider joining us for a session that interests you. You do not need to be a parish member to participate in the formation programs we provide. We strongly encourage you to enroll your child in faith formation throughout elementary and middle school (K-8). Attending only during sacrament years deprives your child of developing a solid, comprehensive foundation in the faith.
Growing in Faith Together (GIFT)
Family GIFT (Growing in Faith Together) is the name of our family formation program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade and their parents. At GIFT, parents and children learn about a new topic each session, each at their own level. By learning together, families are better able to discuss, reinforce, and live out the facts of their faith as well as a Christian lifestyle.
This program is designed for parents and their children in grades K-5 (babysitting available). The bulk of the time will be spent with parents working with their children to learn new concepts, following a theme for each session. Parents will be given a shorter adult breakout that is PARENT centered. Children will meet with their specific grade at that time.
The Family GIFT Program is offered on the following days/times (babysitting available at all sessions):
Sunday 1:30 – 4:00 PM
Friday 6:00 – 8:30 PM
There are usually 13 sessions of GIFT running September through April/May. The GIFT Calendar as well as the Registration Form will be available in the right sidebar on this page in April 2020.
Middle School Program (MSP)
MSP is for students in grades 6-8. The MSP program is designed to cover a comprehensive list of topics to prepare for Confirmation, which takes place in the spring of eighth grade. As such, it is important for students to attend all three years to have the most complete formation possible. Attendance at these sessions is required for all those planning to be confirmed unless they are enrolled in Catholic school. MSP meets on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 9 PM, usually every three weeks.
Registration for MSP is a one-time registration for the entire three years of the program. If your child was registered in the MSP program last year, you do not need to register again for this year.
If your child is new to MSP (6th or 7th grade), select the MSP Registration Form in the sidebar. The fee schedule for the MSP program is outlined in the MSP Tuition Schedule. Please read the registration forms and contact us if you have any questions.
Also offered on Wednesday from 7:00-9:00 — High School Youth Group (SMYG). You do not need to register for SMYG. Check the SMYG page for the meeting schedule.
Children who attend public school and wish to prepare for the reception of sacraments for the first time are expected to participate in the GIFT program, or in the Middle School Program (as appropriate). A Sacrament Registration Form must also be completed and turned in with the GIFT or MSP form.
Children who attend Catholic school and are members of St. Mary’s should enroll in our sacrament preparation program by filling out a sacrament registration form. Please note: if you registered your child in the Confirmation program last year, you do NOT need to fill out another sacrament registration form.
To complete registration in the sacrament program, a copy of your child’s baptism certificate must be attached to the registration form unless your child was baptized at St Mary of the Hills. If your child was baptized at another church, please contact them and ask that they send you a copy of the certificate. Your child will not be enrolled in the program until we have a baptism certificate on file.
Registration for Fall 2020 will begin in April. At that time registration forms for all programs will be available on the website and outside the Religious Education Office.
Sunday Morning Children’s Programs
Child Care Room
Have you stopped in to see our new child care room on Sunday mornings? You’ll find toddlers busy playing, doing puzzles, looking at books and having a great time while Mom and Dad are enjoying Mass. This drop-in program is available for children ages 12– 36 months during 9 and 11 AM Mass. We encourage you to give it a try!
Sunday Morning Preschool
We are excited to announce that our Sunday morning Preschool program is now underway during 9 and 11 AM Masses. St. Mary’s staff members are eager to spend the hour with your child, engaging them in song, stories, and activities to help build the foundation of their faith, while you are freer to participate in Mass. This is a drop-in program for 3, 4 and young 5-year-olds, not yet in kindergarten. You can find us in the St. Thomas and St. Jude classrooms. Come join the children who have already discovered this new program!
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
Children in grades K-5 are dismissed just prior to the start of Mass and meet in the gym. Please be sure and follow our age guidelines for this program.
Registration is not necessary for any of the Sunday morning programs. We hope your children will take advantage of these offerings at St. Mary’s!
If you have questions about any of our Religious Formation programs, please call Sherry Link at (248) 243-0259 or email Sherry Link.