Interparish Religious Education

Our Interparish Religious Education Program (IREP) is an on-going after school formation process for children in Kindergarten to 8th grade. IREP is intended for children who do not attend Catholic School but would like to be formed in the Catholic Faith. Families from any parish are welcome to enroll their children in our program.

The Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation are received during these years, which are extremely important and are rightfully causes of celebration for our families. However, our program is focused on building a solid foundation of faith in our students, not just administering sacraments, so attendance from grades K-8 is highly encouraged. Each year builds on the previous years and helps strengthen and reinforce important aspects of the Catholic faith.

Below is a list of the times and locations where our classes are offered. Children attend class once per week. Our online registration portal will ask you to choose ONE time that is best for your family:


Grades 1-3: 4:00 - 5:30 pm; classes held in St. Joseph Grammar School.


Grades K-6: 4:15 - 5:30 pm; classes held in St. Ignatius Grammar School.
Grades 7-8: 6:00 - 7:30 pm; classes held in Loyola High School.


Grades K-6: 4:15 - 5:30 pm; classes held in St. Ignatius Grammar School.
Grades 7-8: 6:00 - 7:30 pm; classes held in Loyola High School.


Ages 3-5 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: 4:00 – 5:30 pm; classes held in the Parish House.
- St. Joseph Grammar School is located at 420 East 87 Street, between First Avenue and York Avenue.
- The entrance to St. Ignatius Loyola Grammar School is 48 East 84 Street between Park and Madison Avenues (in the middle of the block, on the south side of 84th Street just to the left of McKinnon Hall).
- The entrance to Loyola High School is through the St. Ignatius Loyola Parish House, 980 Park Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets on the west side of Park Avenue.

Meetings for parents, especially for new parents, are scheduled throughout the year. Attendance is required for all new parents at a fall orientation session. In addition, periodic evening meetings are scheduled for parents of children preparing to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation.

Tuition is $400 per child per year. (Additional fees for First Communion and Confirmation are not included in this figure.)  We ask you to remit tuition payment before or at the time of registration. Financial aid is available for those who demonstrate need. If you wish to pay by installment or request financial aid, you must denote this on the registration form.

If you need further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I very much look forward to meeting you and your child(ren).


Nicole Bedard
Pastoral Associate | Religious Education and Youth Ministry
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212-288-3588 ext 609


What is Religious Education?
Primary Role of Parents
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Facilities/Waiting Area
Service Projects
Calendar of Events
Liturgical Services
Professional Services

“Catechesis” or Religious Education is the process of communicating the beliefs, values, and practices that make people Catholic Christians. It is the work of handing on, from one generation to the next, the faith that has come down to us and the way of life this faith calls us to embrace.
Growing in the faith is a life-long process that begins in early childhood and continues throughout one’s life. On-going formation in the faith is vitally important for every age of life. Our catechetical program assists parents to educate and nurture the faith in their child(ren), but active participation and involvement by parents is integral to the program at St. Ignatius and to an on-going, complete formation of faith in children.

Parents are the primary religious educators of their children. What an awesome responsibility! The role of catechists as religion teachers is to enhance, support, and supplement what parents are teaching at home. Our expectation in the Interparish Religious Education Program (IREP), therefore, is that all parents will become immersed with their children in an on-going faith development. Parents are enthusiastically encouraged to set aside time each week to review the chapter that was presented in class. (There are special notes at the end of each chapter to guide this conversation.) The focus of each book is its strong scriptural foundation—Bible reading is encouraged. Each book also has an age-appropriate prayer and reference section and a glossary of important words to be understood.

Parents are encouraged to attend the various IREP prayer services, sacramental celebrations, and Masses that are held during the year. Your participation in these celebrations fosters a strong community of dedicated parents and strengthens our faith in Jesus as our risen Lord.

The Archdiocese requires two years of preparation for all sacraments. That means students must be enrolled and regularly attend classes for a minimum of 1st and 2nd grade to receive First Reconciliation and First Communion, and a minimum of 7th and 8th grade to receive Confirmation. If your child is already in 2nd or 8th grade and has not been attending religious education classes, they will need to register for the grade below in order to receive the two years of preparation. This always applies to a number of children, so your child with not be alone.
If your child is in 3rd-6th grade and has not yet received First Communion, please contact Nicole Bedard.

Special preparation meetings and prayer services for First Communion, First Reconciliation, and Confirmation will be held throughout the year. Attendance at these meetings is obligatory for parents. These meetings will offer not only practical information about the day of the sacrament, but an opportunity for parents to learn more about the important sacrament their child is receiving. As the primary religious educators of your children, it is essential for parents to take this formation seriously.

The Interparish Religious Education Program (IREP) of St. Ignatius Loyola offers an additional program of religious formation for preschool children ages 3, 4, and 5 called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This program uses Montessori-based educational techniques in a space called the “Atrium.” Within the Atrium, the child has the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with God through hands-on and activity-based introductions to Scripture narratives and the Liturgical traditions of the Church.

You may learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by visiting their website at

Register for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd on our website. Space is limited.

Our registration form can be completed on our website. No child will be admitted to class without first being registered.
Families must also complete a Medical Information Data Sheet for each child before classes begin. This will be sent to prior to the start of class.
On the first day of class, students who have registered and have received a Class Location/Teacher Assignment form: 
- Grades 1-3 (Monday) go directly to St. Joseph Grammar School; 87th St between 1st and York Ave
- Grades K-6 (Tuesday and Wednesday) go directly to the St. Ignatius Grammar School; 84th St between Park and Madison Ave
- Grades 7-8 (Tuesday and Wednesday) go to the Parish House; 980 Park Ave
Students who are registered but do not have a Class Location/Teacher assignment form should report to the same location and search for Mrs. Bedard or Mrs. Schneider.

Faith formation thrives in a stable environment. It is therefore imperative that your child attend classes regularly and on time. Excessive absence will result in the possible retention of a particular grade.

If unforeseen circumstances or illness prevent your child from attending a class, please email or call Nicole Bedard at 212-861-4764 or before noon of that class day. If this is not possible, please call before the class begins so that we will not need to worry unnecessarily about the whereabouts of your child.

Parents/care-givers MUST check in with their child’s teacher before leaving. ONLY 6th, 7th, or 8th graders are allowed to self-dismiss and ONLY if they were given parental permission to self-dismiss on the registration form.

- On Mondays, grade 1-3 dismissal will be at 5:25 from the cafeteria of St. Joseph Grammar School
- On Tuesday and Wednesday, grade K-6 dismissal will be at 5:25 from the gym (McKinnon Hall) at St. Ignatius Grammar School
- On Tuesday and Wednesday, grade 7-8 dismissal will be at 7:25 from the Parish House (980 Park Ave, to the left of the Church)

If your child has a special schedule on a particular day or other unusual circumstances prevail, or if you have a complicated family/caregiver situation that you feel we should be made aware of, please telephone or email Nicole Bedard. If there is sufficient time, please send a written message and follow-up with a telephone call.

We ask that you pick up your child promptly. On Mondays, an adult will stay with any child who has not been picked up. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, a child not picked up by a responsible adult by 6:00 PM will be escorted to the Parish House, 980 Park Avenue, for delayed pick-up. In either case, if this becomes a continuing problem, a late fee of $20 will be charged each day. Thank you for your cooperation. 

A gentle reminder: Please do not expect your child to leave the building alone to meet a parent/caregiver in a waiting car. This is not a safe practice and, for safety considerations, we cannot permit it.

Your child’s safety is a major concern to us and if there is any doubt about the identity of the adult coming to pick up your child, we will always err on the side of caution.

A security person will be at the entrance to St. Joseph, St. Ignatius Loyola Grammar School, and the Parish House/Loyola High School for the duration of classes.

Some rules apply to our use of the school buildings.
- No food or beverages are allowed upstairs in any classroom.
- No gum chewing is allowed in the building at any time.
- Scooters are not to be brought into the building because they represent a hazard to the children.

There are no waiting areas available for parents/caregivers at St. Ignatius Loyola Grammar School or at St. Joseph’s. Drop-off on Monday is at 3:55 PM, and 4:10 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday. You will be able to enter the building at 5:20 PM for dismissal. Unfortunately, parents/care-givers must vacate the building during class time due to Safe Environment protocols and to accommodate the many other ministry gatherings.

IREP will not be in session on days when NYC public schools or NYC Catholic schools are closed due to a storm or other inclement weather conditions. We ask parents to use their discretion when sending their child(ren) on days of inclement weather.

It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children the traditional prayers of the Catholic Church. Such knowledge is a necessary part of our faith formation. Parents are strongly encouraged to review these prayers with their children on a regular basis.
- Hail Mary
- Our Father
- Glory Be
- Act of Contrition
- Creed
- Responses at Mass

All our 7th-8th grade students will receive a basic facts and information test. Students will receive thorough preparation and materials to review in class before this test. Students must pass the test to advance to the next grade/show preparedness for Confirmation. Testing accommodations are happily made for any unique situations.

For all students, a progress report designed to inform parents of their child’s progress will be sent home in February.
If you move during the school year, please notify us of the necessary changes in address and telephone number

We are called to bring God’s love to others by the way we live our lives. God invites even little children to participate in this call. We can make a difference by our response to this call to service.

IREP provides a number of opportunities for service/donations throughout the year by partnering with a variety of programs:
- Food Drives throughout the year benefitting different pantries
- Toy Drive in December that benefits the New York Common Pantry
- Lenten Project - Pennies for Progress.

Eighth-grade Confirmation candidates must complete a service requirement in order to be Confirmed. Volunteering with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Ignatius is one way to complete the required service hours. Students can sign up to help transform Wallace Hall into a temporary women’s shelter every other Friday beginning in November to the end of April.

You will be receiving the calendar of events for the academic year. It will also be posted on our website. This calendar lists all scheduled events, though minor changes or additions may be necessary at a later date. You will be notified in advance of these changes. We will also send email updates to the calendar and reminders every month.

Liturgical services are the occasions when we come together to pray as a community. They represent an important dimension of our Program and parents are strongly encouraged to attend these services held throughout the year and noted on the calendar.

Family liturgies on Sunday are at 9:30 AM in the Church and 11:00 AM in Wallace Hall. A separate Children’s Liturgy of the Word is offered at the 9:30 AM Mass. The Children’s Liturgy of the Word is designed to help the children more fully engage with the Liturgy of the Word during Mass. 

The Interparish Religious Education Program held at St. Ignatius and St. Joseph is a joint effort of the parishes on the East Side of Manhattan to provide quality religious education to their parishioners. We apply no geographical restrictions to families who wish their children to participate in the program.

The program, therefore, must be financially self-sufficient in order to provide quality education. The tuition charge is based on the real out-of-pocket cost of the program’s services. Limited financial assistance is available to families, but we ask every parent to contribute to the program to the extent that they are able in order to ensure that the program can meet its expenses.

To receive financial aid, a parent must check the box requesting financial aid at the time of registration. A financial aid request form will then be sent to you to complete and return. Requests for aid are granted only on a yearly basis.

We humbly ask those families who can do so to contribute financially even beyond the tuition payment so that we can offer greater financial assistance to families in need who want their children to learn about the love of Jesus Christ.

Parents have often requested a reference for professional psychological services either for themselves or for their children when they are experiencing difficulties and some assistance seems called for. We highly recommend: 
Kenwood Psychological Services
David M. Kelley, Ph.D., Director
124 East 84 Street, Suite 1D
New York, NY 10028

Dr. Kelley takes great care in selecting an appropriate therapist or counselor to meet the needs and requirements of each person requesting assistance.


Nicole Bedard
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