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Parish School of Religion

Parish School of Religion Contacts

Mary Doerr, Director of Religious Education
636-441-0055 ext. 301

To Report an ABSENCE

(636) 441-0055, ext. 300

or email


PSR Office Hours
MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

WEDNESDAY: 12:00 – 5:00 pm

FRIDAY: Closed

Religious Education

As Director of Religious Education at St. Joseph Parish, I want to welcome you to our wonderful program! At our parish, we recognize that the needs of families are many and varied and we have tried to keep that in mind while creating our programs. Hopefully, our program will work well for both you and your child.

If you run into any problems or have any questions, please know that I am always glad to receive e-mails and phone calls. Feel free to call me at 636-441-0055 x301 or e-mail me at mdoerr@stjoecot.org.

Communication is the key to any successful partnership. Family and the Religious Education Office are no exception. We have an open door policy for parents with questions, concerns or problems. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We also encourage you to assist in shaping our program by volunteering to serve on our Religious Education Parent Board.

In his document “On Catechesis In Our Time,” Pope John Paul II wrote, “The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.” It is an honor to be allowed to assist and accompany your family on this journey.

May God bless you!

God give you peace,

Mary Doerr
Director of Religious Education

What is the Parish School of Religion?

Also known as PSR, the Parish School of Religion is a religious formation program for our parish children who are enrolled in public school. We offer Kindergarten through 8th grade religious studies.

Kindergarten – Children who are eligible for kindergarten in a public school may enroll in our PSR program. Students are introduced to the life of Jesus, Bible stories, religious holidays and church customs and rituals. Kindergarten is an optional year. While some children may experience difficulty in the transition from pre-school to all day kindergarten, others are eager to be in a classroom setting. The decision to send a child to PSR for kindergarten is left solely to the parents. You are the best judge of whether your child is prepared to face an additional class once a week.

Grade 1 – Pre First Holy Communion preparation This is a required PSR year for all of our public school children. They will begin to memorize and comprehend basic Catholic teaching (doctrine) and prayers. These will be the building blocks for the next two sacraments they will receive in second grade. A child who is not properly instructed in first grade is placed at such a disadvantage that we do not concede the importance of attendance. Children must attend the 1st grade program to be adequately prepared to understand and receive these sacraments.

Grade 2 – First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion This year moves very quickly as your child prepares to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. They are excited to receive Jesus! Since birth, you parents have been and continue to be the primary educators of your children in the ways of the faith. Please make every effort to bring your child to Mass each week and work with them at home. You may be surprised by what a second grader will teach you!

Grade 3 thru 7 – Pre Confirmation preparation These are important years in your child’s faith development. Students will continue to be nourished by their faith as they move each year toward a more thoughtful and mature spirituality. They will learn important life-lessons in morality and develop a healthy and whole conscious based on scripture and Catholic tradition. These years are not optional; we cannot condone a drop-in, drop-out mentality based on convenience. Our God is constant and our rewards are eternal!

Grade 8 – Confirmation This is the year our young men and women will open themselves to the Holy Spirit and commit themselves to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation. They will share their time, talent and treasure in service to the community in response to the Gospel call. They will be excited to make this decision for themselves! They will want to assume a more “adult” position in our faith community and contemplate God’s plan for their future in our Church. This is not the end of their spiritual journey! The door is open for their next step…

If you have questions regarding any aspect of your child’s religious education, please contact Mary Doerr at 636-441-0055 ext. 301 mdoerr@stjoecot.org or Meghan Winningham at 636-441-0055 ext. 300 mwinningham@stjoecot.org

General PSR

Welcome to our program and God’s blessing on you and your family.

Thank you for inquiring about St. Joseph Parish Religious Education program! Our program is designed to build a community of faith and develop strong Catholic values by utilizing the Finding God catechetical program from Loyola Press. The curriculum emphasizes the Gospels, Sacramental Celebrations, Liturgical Celebrations, Saints, Prayers and the Church family. Our school provides a religious and moral reference to help students critically examine the culture around them and see themselves as playing a critical part in building a society that reflects the Gospel teachings of Christ. The success of our program depends on the combined efforts of parents, catechists, students and the parish community. Our talented and dedicated staff is outstanding. They lead by example, challenging themselves and demonstrating what reasonable and caring people of Christ do to serve others. Volunteer catechists share their faith with your children, but with the commitment of the parish community to foster a nurturing environment for children, St.Joseph PSR is committed to providing a solid foundation in faith. We want all our children to know that God loves them unconditionally, to come closer to Him through the sacraments and to know Him personally through prayer.

With the commitment of the parish community to foster a nurturing environment for children, St. Joseph PSR is committed to providing a solid foundation in faith. We want all our children to know that God loves them unconditionally, to come closer to Him through the sacraments and to know Him personally through prayer.

Religious Education classes are offered from Kindergarten through Confirmation (8th grade). Sacramental preparation through our religious education program will include Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and RCIC (for children who are interested in joining the Catholic Church or need to receive Sacraments of Initiation that were not celebrated at the traditional times.) Classes meet Monday evenings 5:15-6:45 pm or on Wednesdays 6:00-7:30 pm.

Our registrations begin in April of each school year. New students will need to complete a registration packet. We enroll students on a first come/first serve basis. The earlier we receive your registration packet, the more likely we will be able to place your child in your first choice of night and time.

Fees are waived for parents volunteering to teach. Joining our program is a great opportunity to learn more about your faith and to share it with our children.

If you are interested in teaching, call us at the office. Opportunities to observe classes before committing are available in the spring.

Mission & Philosophy Statement

Philosophy of Faith Formation
St. Joseph Parish
Cottleville, Missouri

We, members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, believe that we are each called to develop and deepen the faith with which we have been gifted. In the tradition of Catechesi Tradendae, our goal is, with God’s help, to nourish the Christian life of the faithful of all ages and abilities. Faith formation is a matter of nurturing the growth of the seeds of faith sown by the Holy Spirit at the time of baptism. We believe that faith is nurtured through knowledge of our tradition, the experiences of belonging to the community of believers, service to all God’s people, and participation in public and private worship and prayer life of the church.

We acknowledge the shared responsibilities of all members of our parish to develop and provide opportunities for continued faith development for the immediate faith community as well as for the wider community. “Through education and formation the Church seeks to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action.”(To Teach as Jesus Did, #7)

We believe that faith formation begins with the family, the domestic church, and that parents are the foremost educators of their children. “Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring … For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and men that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among the children.” (Declaration on Christian Education, Article 3)

We believe that faith development is a lifelong journey in relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and brother. The tradition and the faith which have been given to us as gifts must be shared through the myraid activities and opportunities within the life of St. Joseph Parish. We are the bearers of the Good News to a world which desperately hungers for God’s word, hope, consolation and forgiveness. Faith development is a call to discipleship, and a way of life centered on the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus.

Special Religious Education Development

SPRED is a program for students with special needs that provides religious development and education through spiritual movement, music and liturgical words. We do not use textbooks. Instead we use objects, song and specially designed activities. Students, working with skilled catechists, use play-doh, puppets and manipulatives to learn about God and Jesus. Catechists use story boards to talk about scripture and work toward preparation for the sacraments. We have specially designed “kits” for sacramental preparation. Some of our students are non-verbal so pictures and music help them to understand basic simple concepts of our faith. We have a 1:2 ratio or a 1:1 ratio depending on student needs.

Our SPRED ministry has caring, patient catechists who individualize their curriculum and activities to meet the needs of our special children. We have discovered the love and joy that our children give us at each session we are together. We have discovered how Christ is present in the hearts of everyone in our SPRED classes. We have discovered how SPRED is not just a ministry of serving others, but a ministry that fulfills our own spiritual needs of growing closer to Christ.

For more information contact Mary Doerr at the Religious Education Office 636-441-0055 x301

Parent's PSR Resources