Faith Formation for Children and Families


Parents, grandparents and guardians are the primary teachers of our children in the faith.   In partnership with those who care for our children every parish provides supportive religious formation.  Saint Mary’s offers a classroom model with opportunities for Christian service, liturgical participation and modeling the Christian life.  The process includes retreats and other gatherings considered part of the comprehensive experience.  We encourage all families to take advantage of these opportunities for their children by enrolling them in the parish faith formation process. 

To Enroll

  • On line Registration Form
  • Contact: Kate Johnston (General Faith Formation) or Bridgette Shepardson (Youth Ministry): 607.432.3920 x204


Pre-K through Grade 6 - Sunday Mornings from 9:00-10:15

Grades 7-12 - Sunday Mornings from 9:00-10:15 and other events as announced

First Confession and First Communion Preparation - Sunday Mornings from 9:00-10:15


It is a unique vocation when parents and guardians take on the responsibility of their children’s academic life. Homeschooling parents deserve our respect and support when they assume responsibility for their children’s education.   It takes a strong and dedicated adult to educate a child.
However, the dynamically communal nature of Church requires full, conscious and active participation in the midst of church life. With this understanding, the parish staff believes that the best tradition and practice of passing on the Christian Faith (evangelizing) to each child is to participate in the communal parish Faith Formation process.  Here, with other young Christians, the children will learn through the shared experience of the community to live out charity, common worship and our beliefs.   Families who homeschool their children are therefore expected to enroll them in the faith formation process.  Preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion also takes place within this communal setting.  Parish Faith Formation programs employ approved materials of both the American Bishops and each diocesan authority.   

Sacrament of Baptism

A person can come to the Sacrament of Baptism at any age.

Do you have a child under six (6) years of age who is not baptized?
The Church looks to parents and family of these children to make the act of faith for them.  It is them the responsibility of the parents along with the example of the parish community to raise these children in the practice of the faith.  Parents of children six years of age and younger should contact the parish priest for Baptismal preparation and the celebration of the Sacrament which normally takes place during the Sunday Eucharist.

Do you have a child seven (7) years of age or older who is not baptized?
From seven years of age and older the church considers a person old enough to make the request for Baptism and the profession of faith themselves.  Thus a process of appropriate length to hear and meditate on the Sacred Scripture (Gospels) is employed to introduce the person to Christ.  The candidate is also invited to participate in the service dimensions of the community to live the Christian life, supported by sponsors and the people of the parish through example and prayer.  The emphasis is on being formed into the values and lifestyle of the Christian which is called conversion of heart.
Public rituals and prayers accompany the journey and mark significant points of passage toward the celebration of the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist during the Easter Vigil or other appropriately chosen time.

Note that in this process a young person would receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) in one ceremony.  This is a marked change in Catholic Church practice.  This return to early Christian practice was mandated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council to foster in the candidate an encounter with Christ as living Lord.  This encounter takes place through the gathered community’s example, reflection on their life in the light of the Gospel stories and being introduced to Christian values and our lifestyle.

Contact Mel Sperti at or call at 432.3920 X204


Sacrament of Reconciliation

Prior to the reception of Holy Communion for the first time, candidates are prepared to experience the forgiveness of Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).  This preparation takes place within the Faith Formation process.  Any questions can be forwarded to Mel Sperti at or call at 607.432.3920 X204.


Sacrament of Holy Communion

Preparation for the reception of Holy Communion, the Lord’s Body and Blood, takes place within the Faith Formation process.  Any questions can be forwarded to Mel Sperti at or call at 607.432.3920 X204.


Sacrament of Confirmation

For information in regard to the Sacrament of Confirmation check under Youth Ministry.   Any questions can be forwarded to Bridgette Shepardson at or call at 607.432.3920 X204.

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