Children’s Catechism Program


Children’s Catechism Program

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” – Mt 19:14



Our Family Catechesis program is designed with the understanding that parents are rightfully the primary educators of their children. At the end of the day, parents are ultimately responsible for the catechesis of their children. That said, we can help! The goal of our program is to assist and supplement parents in teaching their children to know, love and serve God and the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church. We do this by engaging the family in the reading of Scripture and the Catechism, in prayer and in the community life of the Church. The motivation behind this program is the salvation of all souls, and we believe this is best accomplished by helping families actively catechize their children and authentically live the Catholic faith. 

Classes Offered

We currently plan to offer the following classes for children aged 3 and up. 

  1. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for 3-6 year olds (the program is full. It is closed for the year 2023-2024).
  2. Class on Penance and the Eucharist, required for families seeking 1st Holy Communion for their children.
  3. Class on Confirmation: Required for families seeking Confirmation for their children. The Ongoing Catechesis class (#4) is strongly recommended as a prerequisite for this class if the child is not yet sufficiently prepared to start this class. (Note: We won’t be able to open a class for the year 2023-2024 for the Sacrament of Confirmation). 

Class Curriculum and Structure

Our curriculum fosters the truth, goodness and beauty of the Catholic faith. Children are educated in the four sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Creed (what we believe), Sacraments (how we worship), Morality (how we live), and Prayer. Our classes include Scripture reading, discussion and hands-on activities (such as writing and artwork). 

With the exception of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, all classes generally adhere to the following weekly class structure:  

  • Class session: The catechist provides a lesson on the assigned readings and facilitates group discussion and activities. Each class begins and ends with a prayer, such as a decade of the Rosary. 
  • Post-class work: Families are encouraged to review with their child the lesson covered in class. 

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach that engages children in the essential elements of the faith through materials they can work with and experience with their five senses. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd requires a fair bit of mental focus and listening ability from children. Younger children who are not yet of age to mentally engage with the materials should defer enrollment. Unlike our other classes, the CGS class is designed for the children only; parents and other siblings do not normally participate in our lessons. We offer Level I CGS for children aged 3-6 years old. More information about CGS can be found here:

If you have any questions about your child’s eligibility, please call Mariella Zevallos at the parish office 415-751-0450 or email:


We are using The Baltimore Catechism One for younger children preparing for First Confession and First Holy Communion. The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2  is used for older children preparing for Confirmation (when the class is available). For the Bible, we are using the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition (RSV-2CE). Texts are included as part of the registration fee. 

Class Calendar and Locations

Class meets on a weekly basis for ~45 minutes. Our academic year starts after Labor Day in September and runs through the first week of May. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd meets two Sundays a month after the 9:30am Mass from 10:30-11:20am in the Preschool Atrium. The Children’s Catechism program to prepare children for First Holy Communion meets every Sunday 10:30-11:20am (after the 9:30am Sunday Mass).

Class locations are as follows: 

  • CGS classes take place in our Atrium located in the Star of the Sea Preschool. 
  • All other classes meet on campus, at Stella Maris Academy School. We will inform of the location of our classrooms.

Community Life

Our knowledge and practice of the faith is deepened in community life outside of the classroom. We encourage parents to join our Hospitality gatherings each Sunday after the 9:30am Mass and 11:30am Mass and any other parish events and social activities.

Expectations inside the classroom

We expect class participants to actively participate during class and to complete any assigned homework after class. 

We expect participants to be on time for class. Children with more than 3 unexcused absences will not be eligible to receive their sacraments. 

Expectations outside the classroom

We ask families enrolled in our program to actively live and model the Catholic faith by:

  • Attending Mass at Star of the Sea if possible, every Sunday and on all Holy Days of Obligation with their children. 
  • Bringing their children to confession and to also confess their sins at least once a month in the event of mortal sin. 
  • Praying daily with their children and we encourage to pray the Rosary together as a family at least once a week.
  • Supporting our parish with sacrificial gifts of time, talent and treasure.

Eligibility to receive the Sacraments

In addition to having fewer than 3 unexcused absences, children in the sacramental preparation classes will be required to pass an exit interview at the end of the school year in order to be eligible to receive the Sacrament. This includes First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Fr. Joseph Illo, pastor will conduct the exit interviews with the children and their parents. 

All families are invited to register their children, even if you do not currently attend our parish. Please submit your registration:


(Please note the Children’s Preparation class for First Holy Communion is full for the year 2023-2024)

(Registre a su niño/a)

Tuition is $100 for your first child, an additional $50 for your second and subsequent child.

Please pay in cash or write checks to “Star of the Sea Church” with “Children’s Catechism Program” in the memo line. Your tuition will pay for the required texts. No child will be turned away because of financial need. We are pleased to offer scholarships and financial aid. 





“Si necesita información en español acerca de nuestro programa de catecismo para niños (preparación para el sacramentos de Primera Comunión) por favor llame a nuestra oficina teléfono (415) 751-0450 y pregunte por Mariella Zevallos.” Gracias!