CCD Program

Registration for CCD for the 2020-21 school year is now open.  Due to the coronovirus pandemic we are are still planning for virtual lessons with the possibility of optional in person lessons if we are able to support this. Please stay tuned!

Under normal conditions, classes are on Sundays from 10:00-11:15 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic School located at 400 Green Street, Alexandria, VA.

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Our Commitment To You

At St. Mary’s we aim to complement and supplement your responsibility as Christian parents to teach and raise your children in the faith. As parents, you are the primary educators of your children. Nevertheless, we desire to provide support and encouragement as you seek to fulfill this responsibility. One way we do that is with our Catechism or CCD sessions. To view additional catechetical resources, please visit the Diocese of Arlington’s website.

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The Objective of Catechism

We prefer to use the terminology Catechism in lieu of CCD. While CCD is the more traditional or commonly used term, the concept of catechesis communicates more accurately our objective. The purpose of our sessions has one clear objective: To know and love Jesus in a personal way. We are not communicating and teaching mere information or establishing a competing religious school or subject matter apart from other areas of one’s life. We are transforming lives by coming into contact with Jesus and learning more about Jesus so that it informs and guides everything else we do, accomplish and learn in life. What else is more important in life than our relationship with God?

Preparation for Sacraments

Children are normally prepared to receive the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) and Holy Communion during 2nd grade. Preparation for these sacraments begins at home and in our programs before the start of 2nd grade. However, in a more formal and intentional way, the process begins in September of one’s 2nd grade year.  We prepare the children to go to confession for the first time usually in February. Then, we have our first Holy Communion Masses in May. 

Preparation for Confirmation begins in the 7th grade year.  Children who have not attended a Catholic School or CCD program may be required to complete the 6th grade year prior to entrance into the 7th grade year.  We being more formal preparation in the 8th grade year including a confirmation retreat and service activities.  Children are confirmed usually in the early Spring during their 8th grade year.

We require that children complete sacramental preparation by attending our parish school, our Catechism/CCD sessions or participate in another approved program at home or with a different Catholic school. 

If you have a child who has not been baptized, is older than 2nd grade and has not received his or her first Holy Communion, or is older than 8th grade and has not been confirmed, please contact the Director of Religious Education to make the appropriate arrangements.

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Become a Catechist and How to Volunteer

We have dedicated and enthusiastic adult volunteers who provide catechetical, logistical, promotional and other types of support. The more volunteer participation we have, the stronger our program will be. Our goal is to offer a high level of catechesis, and this can only be accomplished with your help.  Please contact the Director of Religious Education to explore how you can help.

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Inclement Weather Policy

For questions regarding cancellation of activities due to weather, please see our Inclement Weather Policy


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