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Family-Based Education Model

Immaculate Conception offers a Family Based model for Religious Education.


Once a month, from October to May, on a Monday evening from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, parents and children gather together for 2 hours over pizza and salad to learn together about our Catholic Faith.


The first and last 30 minutes are intergenerational and the middle 60 minutes are spent in break out groups with Catechists teaching an age-appropriate lesson on the monthly topic.

4 Advantages of a
Family-Based Model

Parents are not picking up children whose response to “what did you learn today,” is “nothing.” Parents will be learning with them.


Parents with multiple children are not dropping their children off once a week on different days to learn in a classroom and tax the busy schedules already in existence for today’s family.


Families can incorporate foundations of Catholicism (kindness, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, non-judgement, etc.) into the family system to bring a greater sense of joy to the home.


When you live in NJ who doesn’t like pizza?


Another advantage of a family-based model is that sacraments don’t have to be celebrated with a grade or class so no one feels they “missed” a Sacrament.


Sacraments are always about what God is doing in our lives so we should be open to “God’s time.”


Preparation for First Reconciliation (Confession), First Eucharist (Communion) and Confirmation are done within the household family and the parish family – in community. There is extra time that needs to be given in the immediate year of celebration, but that schedule is developed in synergy with the child’s parents not as a rigid hoop to be jumped through.


Especially now, post-pandemic, children might be ready for sacraments but be older than the norm. Immaculate Conception is not a one-size-fits-all community. We are small and very open to the Holy Spirt working in your family and will do our best to stay out of the way of the Holy Spirit and instead work with that Spirit.


Dennis Corcoran will lead this program for our families.  He was featured in America  Magazine on  “Repairing Religious Education with Family Based Approach.”


Watch his interview by America Magazine.


Beginning this year 8th Graders will be CONFIRMATION CLASS and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in Spring of 2024 along with the incoming 9th Graders.

Want to Learn More?

For more information or to register for October 2023 please contact

Dennis Corcoran at 908.693.5918 or email

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