Religious Formation Program




The Catholic Church of St Mark seeks to serve the community through programs supporting an individual's desire for Catholic formation throughout their lifetime. Our religious formation programs are designed to for everyone - children, youth and adults. You're encouraged to join us as a member, catechist, catechist assistant, discussion coordinator, or simply a helping hand.


One Church One Message

 One Church One Message is about getting every member of our church to hear the same message on a given week.  At Catholic Church of Saint Mark this means that our children, students and adults are all being taught a similar theme - so families can discuss it.  This is done using message series which are done during the weekend homily.  It is the centerpiece of our church communication.  


Our Religious Formation Programs Include ...



Religious Formation for Children and Youth


The Catholic Church of St. Mark’s children and youth programs provide age appropriate religious formation for grades 1-12.  Our formation year starts in September and concludes in late April or early May.

We offer the following options:

  • Catechist Model

  • Teen Formation

    We also encourage adults and Confirmed teens to join our ministry as Catechists or catechist aides. The Religious Formation office provides training and support.  Each catechist and aide must also complete a background check and VIRTUS training.


Teen Formation For Grades 6 - 12

Teen Formation at St Mark is a comprehensive Youth Ministry program that includes religious formation for grades 6 to 12, opportunities for community building through service, spirituality, and social gatherings. It also includes Sacramental preparation for the Confirmation. Teen Sessions for 6th through 10th grade are usually conducted at least two Sundays a month from 6-8pm.

Sacramental preparation for Confirmation: To prepare young people for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation, St Mark has a process in accordance with the norms established by the Diocese of Richmond. Young people must be registered for and attending religious formation or Catholic High School. Sacramental Preparation is intended for those young people entering the 10th, but is also open to 11th and 12th grade if the sacrament has not yet been celebrated. There will be separate formation sessions associated with the preparation of receiving this important Sacrament. Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School students have the option to participate in our formation sessions, as well as participating in the parish Sacramental preparation only to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Y3S:  'Youth participating in Service, Spirituality and Social aspects of their faith'  ( Y3S ) is our youth ministry action gathering. Led by a team of adults and teens, there are monthly gatherings that focus on one of the 3 S aspects of this teen ministry. Y3S takes place on 1-2 Sundays a month from 6-8pm for grades 6-12.

 Adult Formation

Our Adult Formation consists of programs and events that encourage adults to grow in relationship with Christ, knowledge of the Catholic Faith, the Bible, and to strengthen their prayer life.



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Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

The RCIA process is focused on those adults (17 and older) that have not been baptized and desire to inquire into the Catholic faith and way of life or for those that have been baptized in another faith experience and desire to become a Catholic or have been baptized in the Catholic faith and have never been formed in this faith tradition.

The full RCIA journey consists of four periods of awakening, growth and formation marked by celebration of three major rites (steps) involving the whole St. Mark community. For more information please visit our page Becoming Catholic.


Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC)

This formation process is designed for children and youth, age 7 and older, who have not been baptized in any Christian faith, or those coming to the Catholic faith from another Christian faith tradition, or those not formed in the Catholic faith.

Most formation sessions normally meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month throughout the school year from 10:30am to 11:30am.  These sessions are supplemented by having the children also participating in either the Regular Sunday or Family Model Religious Formation sessions.  This is a one year process where those who have not been baptized will ultimately receive the 3 Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil in their 2nd year if discerned to be ready by parents and the Pastor.

The process begins with an interview with child and parent to determine the process that best fits their situation.

For more information or to schedule an interview contact The religious Formation Office, by phone at at 757-479-9897 or Email Religious Formation Office .


Vacation Bible School (VBS) Team

Our highly successful and very popular Vacation Bible School is a one-week summer formation program for Pre-K through elementary school age children. The program occurs each July with preparation beginning earlier in the formation year. The VBS team plans, organizes, and conducts the one week summer program assisted by youth and parent volunteers.

Adult team members must complete a background check and VIRTUS training. Teen Crew Leaders, 16 years of age and older, must complete a background check, if 18 years old, must also complete VIRTUS training.


Virtus Training

Any adult (18 years and older) volunteering with children or youth in the parish must complete the diocesan mandated Virtus Training

What is Virtus Traning?

1. VIRTUS: “Protecting God’s Children”.  This consists of a one-time 3 hour facilitated session that addresses the signs of abused children and potential abusers and what to do if abuse is suspected.  Monthly on-line bulletins are associated with the program to keep everyone up to date in this particular problem area.

There is no charge for this training. It is mandated by the Diocese of Richmond that all diocesan employees, clergy, religious, teachers, staff, and all volunteers who work with children or youth take this training.

To Register for the facilitated sessions: Go to and choose “Registration,” then highlight “Diocese of Richmond” from the drop down menu. Press SELECT. Fill in your information and submit. Choose the green arrow next to “I would like to attend….” Then select the training called “Protecting God’s Children for ADULTS” on date and place of. 

2. Background Checks:  The diocese also has established a process where all volunteers (ages 16 and older) working with children and youth will fill-out the necessary background check paperwork.  The background check is accomplished every 5 years. You will also become familiar with the Safe Environment policies of the Diocese of Richmond and the St Mark community.

If you have any questions please contact the Religious Formation Office at 757-479-9897.