Friday, April 23, 2021

Thank you for a Great Year!

I can't believe that this is our final virtual class for this year! Back in July, I was full of anxiety and was not quite sure how we could make the program work. Among the many things that I have learned during this past year is that St. Mary's Parish is extremely blessed to have the people that we do as volunteer catechists. (I have actually always known this, but it became even more apparent this year!) Those who were hesitant at first, spent time learning and practicing. Those who were more comfortable with technology shared their knowledge. After a few bumps in the road at the beginning of the year, things got easier and here we are! We have completed 26 weeks of lessons and with one more to go, I just want to say THANK YOU! 

Thank you to all of our catechists for the time you spent preparing lessons, looking up activities, sharing your faith and teaching the children of our parish about God's great love for them!

Thank you to our parents for your patience with all of us, your children (and technology), we hope that as you spent time teaching and assisting your child in faith formation that you too were able to learn and grow in faith with them!

Thank you to our students for being present, for completing work on your own and for participating in class discussions and prayer! We pray that this year, while difficult in many other ways, still offered you the opportunity to grow closer to Jesus!

For anyone who may have fallen behind on lessons, they will remain active and available on our Google Classrooms until at least the end of June, so you can go back at any time and catch up on something that you may have missed.

While this is the end of our Faith Formation school year, we will continue to share ways for our families to continue to grow closer to Jesus throughout the spring and summer.  

The best way to grow in relationship with Jesus is by attending Mass as a family.  Being nourished by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass unites us directly to Jesus, the True Vine! I know that many families have gotten out of the habit because of the pandemic, but we invite you to come, join us at the Table of the Lord!

I look forward to celebrating sacraments with many of you, please pray for our children receiving 1st Holy Communion and those that will be confirmed in June.


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Schedule of classes for 2021

Happy New Year to all of our families! We hope that during this year, we can all grow closer to the Jesus, the Light of the World and share his light with all we encounter. We look forward to seeing you all again next Sunday, January 10 for our first class of 2021.

Schedule of classes for 2021

January 3, 2021 - No Class or Work Assigned

January 10, 2021- Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

January 17, 2021 - Independent Learning

January 24, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

January 31, 2021 - Independent Learning

February 7, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

February 14, 2021 - Independent Learning

February 21, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

February 28, 2021 - Independent Learning

March 7, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

March 14, 2021 - Independent Learning

March 21, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

March 28, 2021 - Independent Learning

April 4, 2021 - No Class or Work Assigned

April 11, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

April 18, 2021 - Independent Learning

April 25, 2021 - Virtual Learning via Google Meet at 9am or 11am

Friday, October 2, 2020

Start of a New Year!!

I want to welcome you to St. Mary's Faith Formation Program.  We look forward to walking with you and your family in your journey of faith.  Although this year will look a lot different than years past, we hope to help you and your child to get to know Jesus and learn all about our beautiful faith and what it reveals to us.


You can pick-up your child's books at the Parish Center, which is located on the corner or St. Mary's Place, Monday-Thursday 9-4pm, Friday 9-1pm.  When you pick up the books, we ask that you also sign a permission slip for our virtual learning program this year.  I have attached it to this email in case you would like to complete it at home and bring it with you.  


To log on to your child's Google Classroom, you will use a St. Mary's Faith Formation account that we have created for you.  It is not a Gmail account, so please sign into Google Classroom:


If you do not see your child's Google Classroom:

Be sure that you are on your St. Mary's account. When you open a new tab, it will default to another Google account that is signed in (your personal Gmail or school).  We suggest signing out of other Google accounts to prevent confusion.

Once you are in the St. Mary's Google Classroom, you will see your child/children's classes.  You will need to hit Accept to enter the classroom for the first time.

If you have any issues on Sunday Mornings, please contact Mrs. Joanne Porecco: 

Faith Formation 2020-21

We will be using Google Classroom for our program this year. Each Sunday, you should sign-in with your family's St. Mary's Faith Formation Account (you can use this on multiple devices) you should go to your child/children' Google Classrooms. 


Starting this week... October 4

You will find a new assignment posted in Google Classroom (it should actually post on the Saturday before class). In this assignment, you will find a reminder of our Virtual Class via Google Meet (on weeks when we have them), directions on what to do (read the chapter, do assigned activities, etc) and you will find the Chapter Review.

Entering a Google Meet

The link for the Google Classroom will be posted in the Google Classroom. When you click the link, please be sure that you are in the St. Mary's Account. When the Google Meet opens, it may default to another Google account that is signed in. If this happens, you will not be able to enter the Google Meet.


On Weeks with a Virtual Class

October 4 & 18, November 1 & 15, December 6 & 20

Students will attend a Google Meet Class (30-40 minutes)

Read the Chapter with their families

Complete any activities assigned by the Catechist

Complete the Chapter Review


On Weeks with no Virtual Class - Independent Learning

October 11 & 25, November 8, 22 & 29, December 13

Students will watch a video (10-15 minutes)

Read the Chapter with their families

Complete any activities assigned by the Catechist

Complete the Chapter Review


If you have any questions, please let me know.

I look forward to meeting all of you!



Anthony Armando

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Faith Formation Update #3

I can’t believe we have just turned the calendar to September… As you prepare for a new and definitely different school year, we have been developing our program for the upcoming year of Faith Formation.  

Thank you to everyone who has registered for classes already. If you have not yet had the opportunity to register or have been waiting for more information, I encourage you to register your family for classes as soon as possible so that we can be ready for everyone.   

The Archdiocese of Newark has issued guidelines for all Religious Education programs in light of the pandemic.  All programs in the Archdiocese are to be virtual (no in-person classes) at least until January 2021. They will reevaluate where things stand and provide further information at that time.

What Faith Formation will look like at St. Mary’s Parish for September-December of 2020

  • Classes for Grades 1-8 will begin on Sunday, September 27th. Unfortunately, this year we will be unable to have a Kindergarten class. We will have a calendar ready very soon.

  • Classes will only be on Sunday mornings. There will be 2 sessions: 9am and 11am.  

We will assign students to a session and class according to their class from last year. Many (not all) of our catechists have moved up with their classes to provide some familiarity and consistency for the students.  If your child is assigned to a time that does not work for your family, please let us know and we will make the change.

  • Students will have “live” classes every other week. These “live” classes will be conducted using Google Meet and will be only 30-40 minutes long.  Following the “live” class, students will read the assigned chapter and complete a chapter review.  This assignment can be completed at any time during the week.

  • On the weeks that there are no “live” sessions, students will watch a short introductory video, read the assigned chapter and complete a chapter review. This assignment can be completed at any time during the week.

  • We will use Google Classroom to help parents, students and catechists to stay organized with the work that is assigned. It will also provide a place for students, parents and catechists to be able to communicate with one another.

  • All families and catechists will be provided with an username so that they will be able to use Google Meet and Google Classroom.

  • Students will have hard copies of the student workbooks so that they can use them during virtual class sessions and in case we are able to return to in-person class sessions after January 2021.These will be distributed beginning next week.

  • We invite parents to be present with their children during all of our “live” sessions, but especially for our younger students in Grades 1-4. We will also be sending out a code of conduct to all of our families and catechists to provide a safe environment for all.

  • We will record all “live” sessions for safety purposes. These recorded sessions will not be viewed or shared with anyone, but will be kept digitally until the end of the school year. We will be sending a permission form for parents to sign regarding this as soon as we receive it from the Archdiocese.  Parents who do not wish to have their students recorded can simply have the camera turned off during the class.   

While this year will be different than most, our goal is to provide quality religious education to our students and families. Many of our teachers are just learning this technology so we realize there may be some bumps along the way. We ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate new methods of teaching. We will also be reevaluating things as we move forward and will keep you updated to any changes that need to be made. We hope that during this year of virtual learning, we can help you and your children engage in faith formation in a different way and allow for you as a family to have opportunities for sharing and living out the Gospel message.

We thank you for being with a part of our program and look forward to continuing the journey of faith with your family.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Saint Mary's Church, Nutley, NJ
Faith Formation Program
Registration for 2020-21
We are busy putting together our virtual Faith Formation program for the 2020-21 school year. We will be starting training with our Catechists and looking into the best way to help our families and students grow in faith during this upcoming year. We know things will not be the same with a virtual program, but we are striving to put together a program that helps our students and families to grow in their relationship with Jesus.  

You can use the button below to access the Online Registration form for Grades K-8. Registration for those making their Confirmation will be sent home in a few weeks. Therefore, do not add your 9th Grader using this form.
Registration is simple and can be done online in just a few minutes. Through John Patrick Publishing (JPP) and Parish Giving, you are able to register your children for classes and pay using your credit card or checking account through the secure site that we also use for our parish online giving. 

We ask that you please register your children for classes by September 1st. This will give us the opportunity to better plan our sessions. It will also allow you to relax and take one more thing off of your to-do list! Thank you for your support and we look forward to walking with you and your family in their journey of faith!
A few things you may notice...
There is no choice of days for our classes yet. We are still trying to figure out when our classes will meet virtually and how that will work for everyone. So you do not need to choose a day (Sunday or Tuesday) because there are no in-person classes. We will update you of our plan for "live" sessions as soon as it is finalized.
We lowered our fees. 
We did this because we want to meet the needs of all of our families.
We know that shut downs, furloughs, and layoffs are something that many of our families have had to deal with during the past 4 months. In an effort to make sure that all of our families can afford to have their children receive religious education, we reduced our fees for the 2020-21 school year.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties at this time, please do not hesitate to contact me for payment options.
We can still use help! We are looking for teachers to help us provide quality religious education to our students and families. 

We are also in need of teachers who can assist our catechists with technology.
We do hope that those families that are able to can continue to be generous in their support of the parish through our Online Parish Giving and envelopes. 

Saint Mary's Parish | 17 Monsignor Owns Place, Nutley, NJ 07110

Friday, July 17, 2020

Faith Formation Update #2

These past few months have not been easy, I pray that during these next few months of summer, you can find opportunities to rejuvenate, relax and recharge. 

I wanted to update you on our program for the 2020-21 school year. 
As you know, the governor and state government have given school districts guidelines for reopening. It has been left to each school to come up with their own plans accommodating their school, teacher, and student needs.  In order to allow the Phoenix Center the flexibility to create a plan for their students and staff and to help keep our students and teachers safe and healthy, we have decided to go with a virtual learning program for the 2020-21 school year.

It was not an easy decision to make, but we feel it is the best one for all of our students, teachers and families, as well as those who are a part of the Phoenix Center.  We are still working on the specifics of how things are going to work. We do know that classes will be conducted virtually using Google Meet. Students will have physical books, but submit assignments electronically. In order to better serve our students and families, we are standardizing our program for Grades 1-6. We will be using a new program from Sadlier called Christ In Us. Grades 7-8 will continue using the RCL Benziger series for Middle School students.

While the delivery method is changing, our goal has not: We want to help our students and families grow closer to Jesus. We also understand that your time is valuable, so we are not looking to overburden you, our parents or overload our students with screen time. Our hope is that virtual learning will give our families the opportunity to learn and grow in faith together.  We are still putting together our plan for how this will all work. I will update you as our plan comes together.

This is new territory for our program and many of our catechists, so we are looking for help. We can use more catechists to help teach via Google Meet. We need some help with the technical side as well. If you are proficient in Google Meet and other Google Suite products, we can use your help to be a support to our catechists and families. If you are a teacher who has been using this technology, we need you!! We would like to team you up with our catechists so that they can focus on the teaching and not get caught up in the technical side. If you are interested in sharing your gifts and skills, please email me so that we can get your insight to help us plan.
Hopefully by next week, you will receive re-registration emails. If you know of any new families who have a child who is going into 1st Grade or who have older students that need to begin classes or come back to classes, please pass on my email ( so that they can receive a new family online registration form.

Thank you for your continued support. We will continue to pray for all of you and look forward to walking with you and your children in their journey of faith.

Anthony Armando
Director of Faith Formation - St. Mary's Nutley

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Faith Formation Program Update

We are in the process of preparing our program for the 2020-21 school year. With the uncertainty of how we will be able to conduct classes in September, we are exploring a few different options for our families. We are looking into ways to ensure that all of our students can continue learning and growing in faith no matter what we encounter in the fall.  Online registration for classes will begin in the next few weeks.

If you have not yet completed the lessons from March-April of 2020, we encourage you to do so. With school coming to an end, we invite you to use some of the free time that you have during the summer months to complete the lessons. They can be submitted at anytime and will be a good way to continue sharing your faith with your family during the summer months. We made it easy for you to access the lessons by sorting them by day and grade.

Sunday Lessons Grades 1-8

Tuesday Lessons Grades 1-8