Waltham, MA Catholic Church - St. Mary
A Communion in Faith Since 1835
(781) 891 1730

133 School Street, Waltham, MA. 02451


Catechetical Program

Nilvia Hernandez, Coordinator 781-308-4961

Father Michael Nolan, Pastor

Father Alejandro Lopez-Cardinale, Administrator

What is Catechesis? The word catechesis means "handing on". In this instruction the Church hands on the faith to its youngest members. At the heart of catechesis is the person of Jesus Christ. Instruction aims to help the young understand the meaning of Christ's actions, words, and signs to awaken and nourish their faith in our Savior. This education is different from everyday schooling because the Church is a family, a household. St. Paul calls the church "the family of faith" (Galations 6:10). St. Peter calls the church "the household of God" (1Peter 4:17). As in a family or household, some activities take place together; other ones are designed for the individual stages of children's learning. Catechesis is training in the family life of the church which is one of care rather than competition.

Why Sunday? Catchesis takes place on Sunday, the Lord's Day, because that is the family day of the household of God. On other days of the week children are educated in common adult skills and leisure activities. In school and in sports, children learnto strive for prizes. On Sunday they are instructed in striving for the prize of faith which is eternal happiness in heaven.

What do the children do? Catechesis involves a variety of activities. On Sunday morning children in grades 1-8 begin the day in an assembly. Next there is classroom teaching followed by a project period. Finally they process to the church to worship together. The assembly is a kind of family gathering. To begin the day, children sing together, prepare for the day's instruction, and pray together. From time to time children participate in sacramental rites at this gathering. 

In the classroom children have a period of study. This is followed by work on a creative project which they complete over a number of weeks. The project presents the material which children are studying in another form for learning and remembering. Creative activity also enables children to develop in habits of working together enjoyably.

Catechesis continues at liturgy where children sit with their teachers in a special area of the church where children can see and hear all the actions of worship. Teachers assist the children in their participation as they learn the words and gestures of worship.

The Protection of Children

At Saint Mary Church, we are committed to the protection of children and the prevention of their abuse in all its forms. The Archdiocese of Boston has provided guidelines that engage the clergy, the laity, employees, and volunteers in a concerted effort to protect the children within the community of faith. We have a copy of the Archdiocesan Child Protection Policy available in the parish office for anyone who would like to review it.

Click the link below to find these documents on the Archdiocesan website:

Child Protection Policy