Interparish Religious Education

“Catechesis” or Religious Education is the process of communicating the beliefs, values and practices which 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, therefore, is vitally important for every age of life. Our catechetical program assists parents to educate and nurture the faith in their child(ren). For this reason your active participation and involvement play a role that is integral to the program at St. Ignatius.

Here is some important information about our program:

Our program is an on-going formation process ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade students. This means that there should be no interruption in your child’s religious education. The Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation are received during these years after the completion of required periods of preparation.

Children attend classes each week on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Classes extend from 4:00 PM-5:30 PM (Monday) for grades 1, 2, 3, 4:15 PM-5:30 PM (Tuesday and Wednesday) for grades K-6, and from 6:00 PM-7:30 PM for grades 7 and 8. Classes for K-6 and 1, 2, 3 are held in St. Ignatius Grammar School (48 East 84 Street) on Tuesday and Wednesday. For grades 7 and 8, classes are held on Tuesday and Wednesday at Loyola School (980 Park Avenue).

We will continue to offer classes at our off-site center at St. Joseph Grammar School on East 87 Street between First and York Avenues for 1st through 3rd Grade. These classes at St. Joseph’s are held on Monday afternoons from 4:00 PM-5:30 PM.

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.

Every Sunday from September to June, at the 9:30 AM Mass in the Church and at the 11:00 AM Wallace Hall Mass, the children process to the Lady Chapel or Loyola Chapel where the Liturgy of the Word is conducted especially for them.

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 September 27, 2019 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 response form in the space provided.

If you need further information or have any questions, please call me at (212) 861-4764 or email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I very much look forward to meeting you and your child(ren).

Sincerely in Christ,
Nicole Bedard, Director



Parents are the primary religious educators of their children. What an awesome responsibility! The role of catechists as religion teachers is to help parents meet their solemn obligation. 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 which was presented in class. (There are special notes at the end of each chapter.) The focus of each book is its strong scriptural foundation—Bible reading is encouraged. Each book also has a prayer and reference section which is age appropriate and a glossary of important words to be understood.

Parents are encouraged to attend the various prayer services, social events and sacramental celebrations 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.



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 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 School.

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 School is through the St. Ignatius Loyola Parish House, 980 Park Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets on the west side of Park Avenue. St. Joseph Grammar School is located at 420 East 87 Street, between First Avenue and York Avenue.


No child will be admitted to class without first being registered.

Students who have registered and have received a Class Location/Teacher Assignment form:
- Grades 1-3 (Monday) go directly to St. Joseph Grammar School
- Grades K-6 go directly to the Grammar School
- Grades 7-8 go to the Parish House

Students who are registered but do not have a Class Location/Teacher assignment form:
- Grades 1-3 (Monday) go directly to St. Joseph Grammar School and look for Ms. Bedard or Mrs. Schneider
- Grades K-6 go directly to the Grammar School and look for Ms. Bedard or Mrs. Schneider
- Grades 7-8 go to the Parish House and look for Ms. Bedard or Mrs. Schneider

There are no waiting areas available 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, there is no available space to wait during class time.

On Mondays, dismissal will be from the cafeteria of St. Joseph Grammar School. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the gym (McKinnon Hall) at St. Ignatius will be used for dismissal. We ask all parents/caregivers to wait by the stage area and to be mindful of all announcements.

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

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 call Nicole Bedard at 212-861-4764 or email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 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.

The Program will not be in session on days when 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 - the Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be to the Father (primary grades), Act of Contrition, Creed and the responses at Mass. 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.

For all students in our 7th-8th grade program, a basic facts and information test will be administered. A suitable mastery of religious teaching must be demonstrated in this test in order for a student to continue in this level of the program. For all students, a progress report designed to inform parents of their child’s progress will be sent home in February.

We are challenged to bring God’s love to others by the way we live our lives. God invites even little children to share this challenge. We can make a difference by our response to this call to service. And so this year we continue our involvement with a number of programs: Food Drives throughout the year and the Toy Drive in December that benefits the New York Common Pantry, and finally our Lenten Project - Pennies for Progress. These service projects give our children the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate.

The 8th grade Confirmation candidates will continue their involvement with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Ignatius. They will prepare and serve meals for the women in our homeless shelter every other Friday beginning in November to the end of April.

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 in attendance at the entrance to St. Joseph and St. Ignatius Loyola Grammar Schools beginning at 4:00 PM and will stay until the end of classes on Mondays (for St. Joseph’s), and Tuesdays and Wednesdays (for St. Ignatius). 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 a young child (K – 4th grade) 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.

If you move during the school year, please notify us of the necessary changes in address and telephone number.

You will be receiving the calendar of events for the academic year. 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. Our 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. 

Parents’ attendance at the special preparation meetings and prayer services for First Communion, First Reconciliation, Confirmation and Family Faith Formation sessions are extremely important. Attendance at these meetings is obligatory for parents. For a child can fully appreciate and enter into the sacramental celebration only if the child’s primary teacher, that is the parent, is actively involved in the preparation process. In fairness to the child, therefore, we may need to delay the child’s reception of the sacrament in order to give the child more time to make up for the parents’ lack of involvement.

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, in order to provide quality education, must be financially self-sufficient. The tuition charge is based on the real out-of-pocket cost of the Program’s services. (The Program is not charged for the use of parish and school facilities and other resources at St. Ignatius or St. Joseph.) Though some financial assistance is available to families, we ask every parent to support the Program financially to ensure that the Program can meet its expenses.

To receive financial aid, a parent must fill out an application form at the time of registration. Requests for aid are granted only on a yearly basis. We ask those families who can do so to contribute financially even beyond the tuition payment so that we can offer some financial assistance to needy families who want their children to learn the saving truth 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.

Upcoming Events

No scheduled events at this time.


Nicole Bedard
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