At what age do kids start cathechism now

and how long is it (like once a week for several weeks ) and what do they learn? Do you have to pay also? Thanks

I started catechism classes in the first grade (age 6) and attended until I was confirmed at age 17. My parents paid a nominal fee for classes (no matter if I was receiving a sacrament or not) but that was a long time ago. If you cannot afford the fee, speak to your pastor privately. All Catholic children should be able to get instruction in their faith without worrying about the costs. Classes were once a week, no more than 1.5 hours during the school year then.

A really good traditional Catholic Catechism book is the Baltimore Catechism series, and it is available in Catholic bookstores and online stores like Amazon, etc. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (thick green book) is more for adults/older teens and more up to date in wording etc. Some people like the YouCat (Youth/Teen version of the Catechism). There are others in Catholic bookstores that can always be used to supplement what is learned in a formal class. I do have recent reprints of the Baltimore Series and also the thick green Catechism in paperbacks. I’ve looked at YouCat, and may get that for my sister’s kids for Easter.

Depends upon the parish.

Most begin in 1st or 2nd grade, some have a Kindergarten level.

Classes are usually once a week for about an hour or 1.5 hours. The classes typically follow the school year, September - May. But, I’m sure that varies in different parishes.

The fees associated with classes-- materials, books, etc-- and the procedures for fee waivers for those who cannot afford them vary substantially from place to place.

These are all questions best asked of your local parish.

Preferably first grade but no later than 2nd

Thanks I wonder how its different than in the 1950’s, I don’t remember going that long,
I did confirm tho, but we moved a lot, so but I think we just went to a cathochism class for like a year, and I don’t remember how old, but it was young like maybe 6 years old.

I wonder if other senior cradle Catholics can remember what it was like back then in the 1950’s.

We offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as well as “traditional” faith formation classes. CSG begins with 3 year olds. We do not (nor do any of the very many parishes I am familiar with) use the Baltimore Catechism. We make use of materials produced by Loyola Press. There are other publishers such as RCL Benziger that produce wonderful Catholic materials - all referencing the CCC and scripture.

Our parish educates around 1200 students. Most children attend class from September thru May - one hour a week. We also offer intensive faith formation classes over the summer.

We charge $75 per child and offer a “good Catholic family” discount. We have reduced fees for volunteers such as catechists.

My mother and her sister attended Catholic schools in the 1950’s. They went until they were about age 12/13 before moving to another area that did not have a nearby Catholic school so they went to public schools for junior and senior high school. They had religion/catechism classes every day during elementary school which including preparing for First Communion, First Confession and Confirmation that they all got before age 10. They also had to go to Daily Mass before school started in uniform. My mother said when her parents tried to enroll their kids for catechism classes at the new church in their area they did not need to go as they got much more instruction in Catholic school in that time frame compared to those who did not go to that type of school but only went to classes outside of public school. So my mother and her sister did not go beyond grade 6/7 for catechism but went to Mass every Sunday & holy day.

This varies a lot from parish to parish. I know some parishes that only have class once a month. Most tend to be once a week. As dconklin mentioned, places with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd start with kids as young as 3. Most traditional programs start in Kindergarten or 1st grade.

Costs vary, too, depending upon how the parish has structured things. There are costs associated with any program even though pretty much all the catechists are volunteers. There are still things like books and materials and the money for them needs to come from somewhere.

I think that more and more parishes are becoming aware of the need to move away from a “Catholic graduation” mentality for catechesis. It’s not simply about punching a time card so that we can get our sacraments and move on. Catechesis is a life long endeavor. It doesn’t end in 8th grade or 12th grade. There’s always room for us to grow.

I wish more churches would offer more formal adult formation opportunities as we shouldn’t stop learning about our faith just because we graduate from formal schooling. I do attend Bible Study Classes but I would also would like to attend classes to gain more knowledge and discuss the catechism, etc but the few available are at times not available to me due to my work schedule.

I do read the Catechism and the Bible in my spare time but it would be nice to sit down with others to study & discuss them in depth at times that work best for my schedule.

Well I must say I’m learning a lot here. I asked my husband what he learned in Cathechism and he said the nuns are mean. I myself don’t remember much, the 10 commandments, Noahs ark, Mary Joseph and Jesus, and the basic prayers. I went back to church also after many year lapse,

but without the internet and Ewtn, how would one know this stuff. I just went to Church and back home.

But I stayed home in the earlies 90’s and tuned into TBN (never being a TV watcher) and that encouraged me to read the Bible and have been since,

but my parents never read the Bible and we were not introduced to it the 50 or 60’s.

So have mercy on some of us senior craddle Catholics, things were very different back then.:slight_smile: in a way I feel cheated, but can’t blame my Parents for that, they learned from their parents, and they were good Parents and taught us right from wrong.

Many parishes had Catholic schools, so children received religious educaiton every day and not in a separate catechism class. For those children who did not attend the parish school, they did have a weekly class. The classes went through primary grades (1-8), and sometimes beyond.

I’m not sure why you did not attend classes regularly, but I can assure you they existed.

I don’t know I remember going but for a year, no didn’t go to Cahtolic school, we did move around quite a bit. I think my parents enrolled us in a Cathochism class then.

I don’t think things were different back then. They are the same as now. The variation is in families, not in the Church.

My husband’s parents, both raised in the 40s and 50s, went to Catholic school and/or Catechism. Their families prayed the Rosary as a family daily. They attended Mass weekly and sometimes daily. They attended Mass on all Holy Days. My MIL’s family was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They read the bible. They were all very involved in church ministries and actively participated as a family. Church was the most important thing in both households. Both families had several priestly and religious vocations.

And yet others raised in this same time period had completely different experiences. Families that went to church and that was it. Or went only sporadically. Didn’t pray together. Maybe only Mom went to church with the kids.

Things are no different now. I know families that pray together, make Church the center of their lives, and foster devotion in their home. They actively do bible study, teach their children the faith, and practice the faith themselves. And, others-- barely darken the door of the church on Christmas and Easter, drop their kids off at religious education and do absolutely NOTHING with their kids of a religious nature at home (and in fact, watch inappropriate TV shows, have a very secular home, and think nothing of it).

This is simply human nature. We respond to the gospel message, or we don’t. We give that example to our families.

I am glad you have found your faith after so many years!


I would venture to say my Parents were just as Holy as you. You should never judge others till you walk in their shoes.

Oh and well I’m happy for you. and your younger than me.

What are you talking about?

children should be receiving instruction in the Catholic faith, prayers and practices at home from their parents and family from the earliest age, and should be taken to Mass when they are old enough to begin to learn what is going on, and why, at the latest, in the primary grades, which is when formal religious education through the parish or Catholic school should also begin. The sypical plan is kinder or even pre-k as an introduction and acclimation to learning, just as they are for “regular school”, 1st year(grade) covers Our Father, creation, person of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, Mary, baptism, and prayer. 2nd grade Penance and First Communion, and preparation for those sacraments including elementary understanding of sin and grace. 3rd grade, the Creed and the Church, 4th grade commandments, beatitudes and moral life in Christ, 5th grade, liturgy and sacraments in depth, 6th grade, salvation history in the OT, 7th grade Life of Christ & the gospels, 8th grade, church history and Catholic identity.

Sacramental preparation takes place as the bishop of the diocese directs, generally 2nd-3rd grade for first confession and communion, anywhere from middle grades to high school for confirmation.

there are no fees for sacraments, there are probably fees for books and instructional resources. If Catholic school is not possible (the gold standard) and parents don’t feel adequate homeschooling, the parish religious education provides classes, usually weekly during the school year, but there are many models for how programs are structured.

Call your parish, or the parishes surrounding you, for information. We accept new residents and migrant workers year round, and our programs run year round, but we are the exception. Many parishes still follow a school year model, and register new students only in the fall.

you can find more threads about specific issues related to RE in the evangelization forum as well.

it is a very rare Catholic parish or diocese that does not offer multiple opportunities each year for adult faith formation and spiritual growth. Have you asked at surrounding parishes and the diocesan education office?

I have no idea what this comment means, as no one on this thread, when asked to give experience from their own childhood, has said their family was “holier” than anyone else’s. And no comment here has been the least bit judgmental.

But it is true that almost universally, at least in this country, for over 100 years, Catholic schools and Parish religious education programs have been standard and accessible to all but the most isolated Catholic families. The reasons for not taking advantage of them are many an varied, and the fact that some of us got fewer opportunitities than others has nothing to do with “holiness”.

it is a very rare Catholic parish or diocese that does not offer multiple opportunities each year for adult faith formation and spiritual growth. Have you asked at surrounding parishes and the diocesan education office?

I do check the diocesan website & other parishes, and the chances available to attend adult level catechism style classes or similar are often during the week day or on Saturday mornings (both at times I am at work). Maybe they gear them more towards retired people that have more time for a weekday session during the day or those who work a conventional work schedule & get Saturdays/Sundays off as examples.

If there were websites that offered reduced cost or no cost web seminars approved by a diocese or other that I could do at my own pace & with my time constraints, I would be happy to participate in them to learn more about my faith on an ongoing basis.

sorry probably took it wrong, apparently I went to Cathochism class, basic , and well my Parents were very fostering and we were in Church as much as they could get us there, as my Dad would truck drive out of town for 2-3 months at a time, and my Mom didn’t drive and we lived out of the city most of the time. And we moved a lot , my Dad trying different jobs so he could be home more, and over the road truck driving was what supported out family. when he was home we went to Church.
My mom found us rides and well kinda hard for people to take 4 kids and her to church, and many times had no family around.
we all confirmed, and my parents did the best they could, probably as they were raised, but they were good morale people and raised us that way,

I don’t blame them or the Catholic Church, no ones fault. Yes we were made to say prayers at bedtime, and no there was not Bible reading, many Catholics I know have never read the Bible, but I"m glad I started.

So we had different upbringings is all due to different circumstances, and not by choice.

But I’m content with that, I was just curious , but I see some go forever. No I have read most of the new cathechism, but some of the dogmas I don’t take that seriouly, but its a good read.

so I guess knowning my Parents I kinda took offense at blaming my parents for any of this.

Thank you.

I think you misunderstood. I was not making any comment about you or your parents. I was actually talking about my own experience-- my husband’s family versus my own upbringing.

Sorry for any confusion.

hey, friends ok, I misunterstood and over reacted. Peace.