Religious Education: Pre-K through 6th Grade

Nate Gulya, Director of Religious Education, ngulya@sjnlancaster.org

Melissa Steffy, Assistant to the DRE, msteffy@sjnlancaster.org 

The goal of Religious Education (formerly called CCD or Sunday School) is to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

The primary and essential objective of our catechesis (instruction in the faith) is to bring our students into study and contemplation of the “mystery of Christ” within the context of evangelization – to place them “not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ” (Catechesi tradendae, no. 5).

In Religious Education, our aim is to teach not only concepts, but to teach the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the teacher in our classrooms, and it is His teachings and life that we pass on to our students. It is Jesus who saves us and offers us eternal life.

Religious Education is distinct, however related to Sacramental Formation.

In order to help parents prepare their children for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Communion, and Confirmation, we will take some time during the year to focus on the Theology of these Sacraments, how to prepare for them, and how to receive them. Parents are reminded that they are the first catechists of their children, and that any preparation we do as a class is supplementary to the instruction they have first provided for their children.

To learn more about Sacraments, please scroll to the bottom of this page.


7th and 8th Grade

The goal of EDGE is to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

The primary and essential objective of our catechesis (instruction in the faith) is to bring our students into study and contemplation of the “mystery of Christ” within the context of evangelization – to place them “not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ” (Catechesi tradendae, no. 5).

In EDGE, our aim is to make the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ come alive in the lives of our middle-school students. Through large-group activities, a teaching, and breaking open the Good News in small groups, we prepare our students to be sent into their daily situations with the seed of faith growing in them.

In EDGE, our students are also prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

To learn more about EDGE, visit this linkW


Sacramental Preparation

Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which God’s divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1131)

Sacraments, especially Sacraments of Initiation, require preparation before they are received.

If you are an individual or parent wishing to inquire about preparations for the Sacraments for yourself or your child, please refer to the list below for whom to contact.

Baptism –          

For infants and children under the age of 7

Kim Mikulski, kmikulski@sjnlancaster.org or (717) 569-8531 ext. 227

For children over the age of 7
Nate Gulya, Director of Religious Education, ngulya@sjnlancaster.org  or (717) 569-8531 ext. 212

For adults in RCIA

Father Steven Arena at frarena@sjnlancaster.org

Reconciliation – 

For children for the first time
Nate Gulya, Director of Religious Education, ngulya@sjnlancaster.org  or (717) 569-8531 ext. 212

For adults for the first time
Father Steven Arena at frarena@sjnlancaster.org

Examination of Conscience:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CONFESSION STEPS PDF

Eucharist – 

For children for the first time
Nate Gulya, Director of Religious Education, ngulya@sjnlancaster.org  or (717) 569-8531 ext. 212

For adults in the RCIA
Father Steven Arena at frarena@sjnlancaster.org

Eucharistic Adoration 

Wednesdays following 9 a.m. Mass to 3:30 p.m.

Confirmation –   

For young people
Nate Gulya, Director of Religious Education, ngulya@sjnlancaster.org  or (717) 569-8531 ext. 212

For adults in the RCIA

Father Steven Arena at frarena@sjnlancaster.org

Matrimony –

Please contact Kim Mikulski, kmikulski@sjnlancaster.org or (717) 569-8531 ext. 227

Holy Orders –

Please contact Fr. Dan Powell, frdan@sjnlancaster.org or (717) 569-8531 ext. 216

Anointing of the Sick –

Please contact the Parish Office at (717) 569-8531