Religious Education & RCIA



Religious Education for Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a program for adults seeking full communion in the Catholic Church. It involves the formation and education of both Catholics who are in need of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and/or Confirmation or non-Catholics who are seeking full communion with the Roman Catholic Church including those who are need of the Sacrament of Baptism.

The RCIA is the roadmap for the spiritual journey, a gradual process that varies according “to the many forms of God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individual, the actions of the church and the circumstances to time and place.” (RCIA #5).

RCIA Classes meet weekly beginning in August of each year and conclude following the Easter Vigil Mass in May.

If you are an adult Catholic (aged 18+) in need of the Sacraments or a non-Catholic interested in learning more about the Catholic faith, please contact the parish office.

Religious Education for Children Grades Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

We all have our priorities. Children should be offered every opportunity when they are growing up –the religious formation of children is the most valuable gift they can receive and that means celebrating the Eucharist together as a Parish, as well as ensuring their participation in religious education classes.

Connection to God through parish worship offers support and hope. It will make a difference in what kind of person a child becomes. Yes, we want our children to be successful. More than that, we want them to be happy and loving, with good people to stand by them. We want them to rely on God when times get tough, as times do for all of us. In about thirty hours a year, religious education classes cannot provide your children with a relationship with God. Only religious education and practice at home, family prayer and devotions, weekly attendance at Mass, and involvement in the life and ministries of the parish can truly help deepen that relationship.  For more information about the Religious Education Program at Our Lady of Mercy.

“Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”.” — Luke 4:34, NAB

All children of the parishes in Grades Kn-8, who do not attend a Catholic school, are offered the opportunity to attend Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) at Saint William and Saint Lawrence Parish. We believe that parents remain the foremost educators in their child’s faith formation and strive to encourage a collaborative effort and facilitate a welcoming environment in class that encourages a lifelong commitment to our faith and the Church. Sunday Mass attendance is mandatory for all students at every grade level.

Families must register their children every year for Grades K thru 8 and it is expected that the child will attend regularly through Confirmation.

The forms needed for registration may be downloaded from the options below.  Each child needs a completed registration form, medical release, permission slip for Safe Environment training, age appropriate Code of Conduct.   Registration fee is due at the time of registration.  Completed forms may be turned in on one of the Registration Evenings, August 4th or 5th in the gym between 3-6pm.

The celebration of First Holy Communion at Saint William and Saint Lawrence Church

The Holy Family foreshadowed and anticipated what the Second Vatican Council calls “the domestic church”(Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church [Lumen Gentium], Each Christian family, exemplified in the Holy Family, is to be a microcosm of the larger Church. As the larger Church is a communion of persons, so the family is a small communion of persons. The family receives its life from the larger Body of Christ, the Church, and so comes to mirror the life of this larger Church. Pope John Paul II stated in his apostolic exhortation On the Family (Familiaris Consortio), “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason . . . it can and should be called ‘the domestic Church’” (no. 21). As Joseph and Mary were the first to proclaim to Jesus the living faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so Christian fathers and mothers are the first to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their children. They not only present their child for Baptism, but they also promise within the Rite of Baptism to raise their child in accordance with the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. The Second Vatican Council states that parents:

“By their word and example . . . are the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children” — Lumen Gentium, no. 11

Thus, as the Church is to evangelize all nations, so Catholic parents, in fostering the domestic Church within their own families, are to evangelize their children. They do this in a number of ways, always in keeping with the age of their children.

When your children were baptized, you promised to bring them up in the Catholic faith. I’m sure many of you think that bringing your child to religious education classes fulfills your obligation. In part, it does. The real center of our faith, however, is the Eucharist. If you do not feel the need to attend Mass because you are “fulfilling” your religious duty by bringing your children to class every week.  Please understand that religious education is only the introduction to a relationship with God.


Adult Volunteers


All students, public and parochial, entering Grade 8 must register for Confirmation. Class for Confirmation is on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30 pm.  The program strives to offer the students a solid review of the basic tenets of our faith, participation in spiritual experiences such as Rosary, Benediction, Adoration, and Stations of the Cross and preparation. There are opportunities for community service by volunteering for different projects.

Contact Information

Contact Kara Bekebrede, Director of Religious Education at 270-281-4802 or via email at [email protected]