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 New Kensington Community Catholic (NKCC) Youth Sacramental Preparation

 New Kensington Community Catholic (NKCC) Youth Faith Formation

 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

St. Mary of Czestochowa Parish houses Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children three to 12 years of age.

  • Level I: Ages 3 to 6
  • Level II: Ages 6 to 9
  • Level III: Ages 9 to 12

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a faith formation program approved by the Vatican and the Diocese of Greensburg.  It originated in 1954 in Rome inspired by the Montessori principles of education and developed by Sofia Cavalletti. This doctrinal method prepares the child to respond and participate in a personal relationship that already exists between God and the child.

The key focus of this catechesis is Scripture and Liturgy. The specially prepared environment, we call the atrium, is Mass-centered. Work in the atrium focuses on the relationship with Jesus, which finds it's most concrete and intense moment of life in the Eucharist. The children handle materials and experience ritual celebrations like those seen and experienced in church. The atrium can be compared to a retreat house facilitating recollection and silence.  It is a place for religious life, for community and worship—not a classroom for instruction.

Sessions are held Tuesdays at 9:30 AM or 6:00 PM. Sessions are two hours in duration. Download a registration form here. Please don't hesitate to contact the parish office for more information.

 Faith First


Faith First is a program of Catholic religious education for children in grades K - 5. Faithful to the command to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, Faith First catechists seek to lead the children of the parish to Jesus – that they might grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus and learn how to live in light of the Gospel and the traditions of the Catholic Church.


Faith First was formerly known as “CCD,” and was the means by which the Catholic faith was taught to the children of the parish who did not attend the parish school. The name was changed in 2005 to stress the importance of putting faith first in the way that we live our whole lives.

Class Location

MQA School building - Freeport Road site

Class Frequency

Monday evenings from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, September through May.

Description of Sessions

Faith First sessions are structured around the classroom model of education. Integral to the program are “family nights,” generally held one Monday a month, in church rather than in classrooms. Those sessions are meant to enrich the faith life of entire families, and parents, siblings, grandparents and other parishioners are invited. These sessions are considered part of the curriculum; attendance is not optional for families whose children are enrolled.

Additional Information

There is a separate process of preparation for children preparing to celebrate the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion (usually in 2nd Grade). The process includes 3 parent meetings, and 2 retreat days for the children and their parents, as well as family meetings with Monsignor Begolly, Father Rodele, and Jamie Dillon. Children (and their parents) preparing for the reception of these Sacraments must participate in this year-long process, in addition to participating in regular religious instruction in Faith First or MQA Catholic School.

To enroll a child in Faith First, download the registration form here and send it to the Parish Office at Mount Saint Peter Church (100 Freeport Road, New Kensington, PA 15068).

If you need additional assistance please contact JDillon@dioceseofgreensburg.