Recognizing the need for adult catechism, Fr. Smith has begun a 30-minute catechism for adults 18 and over. The class meets every Sunday at 12:45 pm in the Aula Magna of the parish center, which is room 315 on the third floor. We are using the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which is available here.
Pope St. Pius X wrote about adult catechism in his encyclical Acerbo nimis:
24. VI. Since it is a fact that in these days adults need instruction no less than the young, all pastors and those having the care of souls shall explain the Catechism to the people in a plain and simple style adapted to the intelligence of their hearers. This shall be carried out on all holy days of obligation, at such time as is most convenient for the people, but not during the same hour when the children are instructed, and this instruction must be in addition to the usual homily on the Gospel which is delivered at the parochial Mass on Sundays and holy days. The catechetical instruction shall be based on the Catechism of the Council of Trent; and the matter is to be divided in such a way that in the space of four or five years, treatment will be given to the Apostles' Creed, the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and the Precepts of the Church.
To be part of the email group for this class, subscribe to the group by sending an email:
In a new production from the makers of the Mass of the Ages, Michael Knowles gives conducts five delightful interviews exploring the meaning of the Traditional Latin Mass, and why people love it so much. Here are separate links to the five different discussions:
First, he interviews a group of children:
Second, Francis, a college student:
Third, Alex, an atheist YouTuber:
Fourth, Fr. Brian Park, a diocesan priest:
Finally, Dr. Mike Foley, a theologian:
The Pro-Life Group of St. Lawrence Church will be organizing a group of parishioners from St. Lawrence and other FSSP parishes to participate in the third annual Pennsylvania March for Life at the Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday, October 16, 2023.
9:30am—Holy Mass at St. Lawrence (110 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101)
10:15am—Light breakfast (please register) at the St. Lawrence Parish Center (112 State Street)
11:00am—Rally at the Capitol (three blocks east of St. Lawrence)
This event will be an opportunity to advocate for the sanctity of all human life. Please register:
More information is available at the March4Life website: here.
Parking information from the organizers' website:
We recommend the North Parking Lot on City Island. Additional parking in/near downtown Harrisburg is available at various parking garages or streets. For more parking information, go to parkharrisburg.com. Consider taking the Amtrak train or CAT Transit bus into Harrisburg – each downtown drop-off station is within walking distance of the rally location.
Registration for this year's Sunday catechism (CCD) will close on Sunday, September 24. To register, visit here.
Classes begin Sunday, October 1.
There will be a mandatory parent meeting on Sunday, September 24, at 10:15am in the Aula Magna (on the 3rd floor of 112 State Street). Classes will run from 9:15am to 10:15am. The following Sundays there will be no class:
- November 23 (Thanksgiving break)
- December 24 (Christmas break)
- December 31 (New Year’s Eve)
- March 24 (Palm Sunday)
- March 31 (Easter Sunday)
Sunday, May 12 (Mother's Day) will be the May crowning of Mary. We request that all children report to their classrooms as usual to participate in the May crowning. This will be our last class for this year.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION & CONFIRMATION
- Your family must be registered parishioners here at St. Lawrence.
- All children receiving the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation, regardless of being either homeschooled or enrolled in a Catholic or Public School, must take either the Friday or Sunday catechism classes here at St. Lawrence.
- Please see Fr. Smith, the Pastor, for any questions on these matters.
Dates for Sacraments and Interviews
March 2: Interview for First Penance.
March 16: First Penance.
April 16: Confirmations.
May 4: Interview for First Holy Communion.
June 2: First Communion.
Kindergarten: This class will provide a nurturing environment that introduces young children to God: how to know, love, and serve Him.
- Teacher: Mary Zambito. Mary has 30+ years in early childhood education, both kindergarten and preschool, as teacher and/or director, in Catholic and other schools (always teaching the Catholic faith though!). She has Private Schools Certification to teach preschool and kindergarten and a BS in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh. She and her husband have 7 children and 10 grandchildren.
Grade 1: Bible History – The primary text is My Father and Mother on Earth and in Heaven: Our Holy Faith Series. Elementary catechisms and the Catholic Children’s Bilble supplement the text.
- Teacher: Mary Ann Schleihauf. Mary Ann is a certified elementary education teacher with a background teaching religious education.
Grade 2: Preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion (age 7 by the first day of class) - All children making their First Penance and First Holy Communion must be a part of this class. There will be two exams with a priest in the spring—one before First Confession and one before First Communion. The children must be 7 years of age by the first day of class. Parents of children who turn 7 after the first day of class may request Fr. Smith to interview their child for admission to the class as an exception. This year's First Communion will take place on Sunday, June 2nd 2024. Please have your First Communicant join the Parish procession in their nice First Communion attire. The text used is The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism. All material for the exams will be taken from this book.
Teacher: Daniel Jones. Daniel is in his 19th year of teaching for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland. He currently teaches high school and middle school students in Math at the alternative placement school for the county. Part of his experience includes 11 years of elementary school teaching. He also worked with inmates at SCI Camp Hill on job seeking skills prior to their transfer back to civilian life. Daniel holds a BS in Elementary Education from Mount St. Mary's University, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Science and Math from Hood College, and a Maryland certification for teaching elementary grades, and secondary mathematics.
Grade 3: Post Communion Class I - This class is intended for those children who have recently made their First Communion. This is year one of a two-year class. The material will be geared towards post-Communion students continuing catechetical studies. The textbook used is The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, Vol. 1.
Teacher: Eric Anton. Eric has taught CCD for five years both at St. Lawrence and his previous parish, St. Domnic's in Colorado Springs, CO. He has many years of practical experience teaching, while in the Army, serving the homeless, and being a Cub Scout leader.
Grade 4: Post Communion Class II - This class is intended for those children who have made their First Communion over a year ago. This is year 2 of a two-year class. The material will be geared towards post-Communion students continuing catechetical studies. The textbook used is The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, Vol. 1.
Teacher: Art O’Dea. Art has faithfully volunteered at Mater Dei and St. Lawrence for years, most recently assisting with the 4th grade as the teacher’s aide for the Post Communion class and then as the primary instructor last year.
Grade 5: Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Class I - This is the first-year class of a two-year program. This class introduces the student to the parts and prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and familiarizes them to the worship space and sacred objects. The book that is being used is entitled Know Your Mass, by Father Manousos and Father Burbank.
Teacher: Brian Smith. Brian has been at Mater Dei since 2017. He is married with seven children. He is the managing editor of the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg. Brian is versed in Latin and taught the 5thgrade class last year.
Grade 6: Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Class II - This is the second-year class of a two-year program. This class executes a more thorough investigation into all the parts and prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in addition to vessels, vestments, altar, sacristy, etc. The book that is being used is titled The Latin Mass Explained.
Teacher: Ivona Mikulic. Ivona will be entering her 3rd year teaching CCD classes. She has a bachelor’s degree from Saint Francis University and a Masters in prosthetics & orthotics from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently works as a certified Orthotist/Prosthetist.
The upper-division classes begin with broader themes, but become more specific as the student progresses through the curriculum. The basis for faith, public worship, morality, and prayer is the focus of these classes.
Grade 7: Chief Theoretical and Practical Doctrines of the Faith – This class will delve into how we understand the doctrines of our faith and how we apply these understandings in our daily lives. The text for this class is from Fr. Laux’s Chief Truths of the Faith.
Teacher: Michael Serpiello. Michael has taught CCD at grade 5 at four different parishes over multiple years and grade 4 most recently in 2014 at St. Patrick’s in York. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology & Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary (2020).
Grade 8: Preparation for Confirmation. All children making their Confirmation must be a part of this class. This one-year class is intended to help and supplement parents in the preparation of their children for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Students must be 13 years old by the time of reception. The required text used is entitled The New Confraternity Revised Baltimore Catechism #3, by Rev. Francis J. Connell, Seton Press (all questions and answers are the same as Baltimore Catechism III). We plan to have Confirmations at St. Lawrence take place in the Spring/Summer of 2024. All material for the exams comes from the required text, which replicates Baltimore Catechism III's questions and answers.
Teacher: Jim Fair. James (Jim) has taught Religious Education for High School students for 15 years. Specifically, he has taught: Sacred Scripture, Morality, Church History, Apologetics, Philosophy, as well as Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, & Pre-Calculus). He holds a PA Secondary Teaching Certification for Mathematics and also holds an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute (including many credits in Philosophy and Theology from St. Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, PA).
Grade 9: Mass and the Sacraments –This class will help students to acquire a fuller, more profound grasp of the gift of our Catholic faith by studying the means of grace. Topics will include the scriptural basis for each sacrament, the matter and form of each, the development of doctrine, and the effects of the sacrament on the soul. The text for this class will be The Means of Grace: The Sacraments, The Sacrifice of the Mass, Sacramentals, and Indulgences by Fr. John Laux.
Teacher:Todd Caine. Todd has taught English as a Second Language, German, Musicology, and given innumerable music lessons in the past as well as serving as master in the master/apprenticeship relationship in the organ-building shop. His most valued teaching experience comes from The School of Real Life, of which he professes he has not yet graduated.
Grade 10: History of the Catholic Church – This class will examine the history of the Catholic Church from its Old Testament roots, to its foundation by Jesus Christ and its subsequent 2,000 years of growth. The text for this class will be Fr. Orlandis’ A Short History of the Catholic Church.
Teacher:Phillip Cuccia. Phillip has been a college professor of History for over 5 years and he taught History at a Catholic Boys’ High School in France for two summers and Church History at St. Lawrence last year. He holds a Ph.D. in European History, a Master’s in International Security from Sapienza University in Rome and is currently working on a Master’s in Theology at Augustine Institute online. Phillip earned his bachelor's degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, and was brought back to teach there too. He has recently taken on the role in the parish as volunteer director of religious education (DRE).
Grade 11/12. Catholic Morality – This class will deal with the theory and practice of making moral decisions based on a true Catholic identity. The texts for this class are Fr. Laux’s Catholic Morality, Veritatis Splendor, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Teacher:Lauren Zelesky. Lauren is a professional school teacher that has taught English and Social Studies at the 11th and 12th level for seven years. She has a minor degree in Theology.