Skip Navigation

Traditional Early Childhood and Elementary Program

Traditional Early Childhood and Elementary Program

At St. Mary Magdalene, we offer a traditional, lectionary-based catechism program for children who are three years old (Pre-Kindergarten) through 5th grade.

Our Intermediate Sacrament Program is part of our traditional elementary program and prepares children who have had a Catholic Baptism but have not received First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.

Diocesan sacrament guidelines require all children between the ages of 6-17 to be baptized Catholic and have completed one formal year of religious education prior to preparing for the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and/or Confirmation, making each a two-year preparation program.

Children in our program receive their First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in the 2nd Grade. To participate in the Intermediate Sacrament Program, children are expected to first have completed one full year in a parish religious education program or Catholic school, regardless of age.

What is the Traditional Early Childhood and Elementary Program?

Our traditional early childhood and elementary program is centered on the Sunday Gospels and use the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies at each session.

Five different levels teach children the Catholic faith in ways that are engaging, meaningful, and age-appropriate. Take-home booklets make it easy to involve families in the spiritual formation of each child. Teacher Guides feature lessons, tips, extension activities, and background information so that even an inexperienced catechist can teach comfortably.

Lectionary-based catechesis integrates the catechesis of young people with the ongoing life of the parish community at Sunday Eucharist. Its content is based on the Sunday Gospels of the liturgical year and conforms to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. When religious education follows the Sunday Mass, children learn within the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year.

The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies are comprehensive. They build on the foundation of the Sunday Gospels to provide instruction in the four pillars of the Catechism: Doctrine, Sacraments, the Commandments of the old and new law, and Prayer.

Every level of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies explores the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. Good News, the second and third grade level, emphasizes Eucharist and Reconciliation. Venture, the fourth and fifth grade level, presents all seven sacraments.

In age appropriate ways, we call young people to live the Commandments, the Beatitudes, and other teachings of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We include stories at each level in which people face moral choices like those children of various ages must make. Every lesson of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies works at living and doing the Word.

Children learn to pray by praying! The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies structure prayer into their lessons and contain opportunities for prayer at the beginning and end of every class.

The five edition levels of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies suit their presentation of Gospel themes and doctrinal content to the faith development of young people at each age level, using a three-part lesson plan that is catechetically sound for all ages. Songs, hands-on activities, motivational story starters, and basic catechetical vocabulary are introduced and/or included in each weekly lesson.