Catechesis and Faith Formation
Sacred Heart, Saint Ann, and Saint Mary Churches
90 Melrose Road, Auburn, NY 13021
Carlo Stebbings-Catechetical Leader Catholic Parishes of Auburn
Matt Vadala-Assistant Faith Formation Director


God gives each of us faith through our baptism, but our faith grows as we come to a deeper knowledge of God and his works. We never “graduate” from God’s school, because he is training us for heaven. But there are benefits for this world, too; the better we know God, the more we come to understand the purpose and meaning of our own life.

Our catechesis programs at Sacred Heart, Saint Ann, and Saint Mary are here for exactly that purpose. Wherever you are in your life’s journey, there is a place for you here. Come grow with us!

If you are an adult and have not yet been baptized, we invite you to contact Bernie Tomasso (Sacred Heart/Saint Ann 315-252-7271 or Kathy Lipfert (St. Marys's 315-252-9545) for information about RCIA classes.  We would love to have you join our community of faith, and we promise to support you along the way. It’s worth it!

Religious Education Programs

For kids and young adults who have received the Sacrament of Baptism, we offer a variety of programs and classes.

Our goals are simple:

1.   Knowledge of God and his love for us, as summarized in our Creed and shown throughout salvation history.

2.   Seeing God work in our lives and in our Church, through the Liturgy and the Sacraments.

3.   Understanding our Christian responsibility to our community, our Church, and all those around us.

4.   Cultivating a life of prayer, deepened by the richness of our faith.

We use curriculum materials recognized by the Diocese of Rochester and demonstrated to be effective throughout the United States. Our catechists are qualified teachers who eagerly desire to share their faith with others. If you are interested to serve as a catechist or classroom aide, please contact the Faith Formation Office. We need your support!

SUMMER PROGRAM (Kindergarten – 7th Grade)

The Summer Intensive Program teaches the essentials of our faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For the convenience of our families, we offer this two-week program twice each summer, in July and August. Sessions are at Sacred Heart Church, Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to noon. The daily schedule includes prayer, music, service projects, classroom teaching, crafts, and activities. Students are grouped according to age and grade level. We use the Faith and Life series for our curriculum.

Students complete this program by attending six of the 10 monthly sessions. After attending six sessions they are eligible to attend the two week summer portion that will complete that years's religious education requirement.

Registration materials are mailed in early May. For more information, contact the Faith Formation office.


Does your family have a busy schedule? Does the summer program or weekly Saint John Bosco Program seem impossible? Would you like to meet other young Catholic families and learn about the faith together? Then this program is for you!

The Catholic Family Supper takes place once a month at Sacred Heart and Saint Mary Churches from September to May. Families are invited to 4:30pm or 5:30pm Mass on Saturday, followed by potluck dinner and a faith formation hour.

Families learn about the concepts at home using the Faith and Life online curriculum, then gather to review and discuss. Progress is monitored through online quizzes and activities. Families enrolled in this program are expected to attend each monthly session.

Registration materials are mailed in early May. For more information, contact the Faith Formation office.


Many kids learn best by attending a weekly Religious Education class. Regular weekly classes allow kids to build friendships with classmates, while breaking the material into small, manageable lessons spread throughout the academic year. Students are grouped according to age and grade level. Registration takes place in the late summer, and classes run from September to April on Mondays from 4:30-6:00pm at Tyburn Academy, 17 Clymer St. Classes begin September 11, 2017. For more information, contact Mary Ann Turek at 315-246-9731.

Sacramental Preparation

Baptism is the first of the Sacraments, and through it God washes away our sin and welcomes us fully into his family, the Church. Parents seeking baptism for their child should contact Kathy Lipfert (Saint Mary’s 315-252-9545) or Bernie Tomasso (Sacred Heart/Saint Ann 315-252-7271x 204) for information.

First Penance and First Eucharist

As soon as your child can understand that the Eucharist is no longer bread and wine, but rather the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, he is ready to receive the Eucharist. But before a child receives first Eucharist, he should prepare by receiving the Sacrament of Penance. For most children, this takes place around second grade. Our Sacramental Preparation classes help kids understand the great gift that we receive in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance.

Children are expected to participate in our religious education classes for at least one year before receiving their first Penance and first Eucharist. The Sacramental Preparation classes begin in January, and registration materials are mailed in early December.


While we already receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, the Sacrament of Confirmation gives us a fuller measure of that same Spirit so we can fulfill our mission as Catholic Christians. Preparing for this wonderful sacrament is an opportunity for adolescents to renew their faith as they become adults. Our classes examine what it means to be chosen by the Holy Spirit and empowered for a mission to be God’s lights in our community and our world.  

Children are expected to participate in religious education classes at the parish or Catholic School prior to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Per diocesan guidelines, Confirmation generally follows a two-year program of formation, which takes place in high school. Classes begin in September.

Classes are held at St. Mary's Schrader Hall
Year 1 11:00am-1:00pm Confirmandi are invited to atted 9:45 am Mass beforehand
Year 2 1:30pm-3:00pm   Confirmandi are invited to attend 12:00 pm Mass beforehand
A retreat will be scheduled as part of the diocesan program. Date to be announced.
The best form of quick communication is through Remind, a texting app. If you sign up you will receive information on cancellations and other important matters as soon as decisions are made. Furthermore, when you have questions you can text me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Even if you signed up last year you need to sign up again since a new group of studens will be attending each program. Here is how you sign up. Look below for the program you are registered for, text the corresponding code to the following number: 81010. That's all it takes.
Confirmation Program              @Conf1719
Sunday Morning Program        @SMP1718
Monday Afternoon Program    @MAP1718