Welcome to our St. James Parish family! My name is Sister Regina Rosarii McLallen, IHM, and I am the Director of the Parish Religious Education Program called PREP. I often meet with parents who want do their best for their children but feel overwhelmed and challenged. When you say to yourself “Where do I begin?” Mother Teresa advises us to just begin with one, with the resources you have. She continued that if she had not started with just picking up one person, she may not ever have picked up the rest of the millions that she ended up providing for. Good advice, for parents and all of us!
In PREP we are here to help parents share their Catholic faith with their children. Our program provides faith formation and sacramental preparation for children in Grades 1 through 8. We also provide a Kindergarten level but it is limited to just one session in the afternoon. We accept students on a first-come first-served basis in our Kindergarten. It is not required for First Penance and First Communion.
Our classes are held every Tuesday beginning in mid-September and ending in mid-May. In the afternoon, sessions begin at 4:30pm (Levels K-8) and end at 5:45pm. In the evening, sessions begin at 7:00pm (Levels 1-8) and end at 8:15pm. The evening classes also include special classes for students who are preparing for sacraments but who are older than the grade level in which the sacraments are received. There is a tuition charge each year. For the current school year, PREP tuition is as follows: $125 for one student / $175 for two or more students.
First Penance and First Holy Communion are received in Level 2, after having completed Level 1. The Arlington Diocese requires a two-year preparation for each sacrament. Confirmation is administered in Level 8, after having completed Level 7. However, faith formation is not just for sacramental preparation. Our curriculum parallels our parish school curriculum which spans all eight grades. We use the Sadlier Parish Religious Education Program and provide many opportunities for family celebrations and for service.
There is also an opportunity for high school students who have missed sacramental preparation, to receive instruction and formation. These classes are registered through a personal appointment with me. My number is 703-533-1182 x103.
Parents of all new students must have a copy of their child(ren)’s baptismal certificate (if the child was not baptized in St. James) at the time of registration and must already be registered members of St. James Parish. If a new student has already completed some PREP classes elsewhere, proof of attendance and dates for sacraments already completed are also needed.
Finally, there are two wonderful people who work with me in the Religious Education Office – Pam Heid and Mary Alice Healey. Whether you speak with Pam, Mary Alice or me, please know that we are all happy to help you in the faith formation of your child(ren).
May God bless you!
Sister Regina Rosarii McLallen, IHM
Director of Religious Education