Sundays at your local parish


One of the hurdles that I’m trying to jump over is the lack of Sunday School, or other formal study times at our local Catholic church. They have the Mass for 45 minutes and then they are done. As I understand it, there are other opportunities for Mass throughout the week, but what about Bible Study in a large group setting?

Do any of your parishes offer this? Is this just a local phenomenon? Having grown up Protestant, I love Sunday School and find it is a great time to debate issues, wade through tough Scripture, and challenge one another intellectually as we learn more about the Word of God. This is something I would profoundly miss…


It varies from parish to parish. Many parishes will have study groups, prayer groups, etc. It depends on demand and someone willing to run it I suppose.


My old parish had a Sunday morning Bible Study group, two on Tuesday evenings, and one on another weekday morning-- one of which a friend of mine and I started at the parish.

My current parish does not have any bible studies.

Start one up, volunteer to be the leader/coordinator. Go talk to your priest about it.


Depends on the parish… Sunday School? Isn’t the point of Sunday School is to offer some kind of Religious Education for the children?

Catholics DO have CCD which is religious Education Classes for those children that are in grades 1-8 and attend Public Schools. The reason for Public School Children is because children that attend the Parish School get Religious Education as part of their school curriculum. Although in my parish we do have a few parents that send theirs kids to CCD even though their children go to the Parish School.

At my parish CCD for grades 1-8 is on the First Saturday of the month for 3 ½ hours. It’s my understanding that most parishes do CCD once a week, on a week night.

At my parish we do have Sunday School for children ages 3-5. This Sunday School classes take place during one of the Sunday Morning Masses. Before Mass the parents drop off their 3, 4, or 5 year old at the class then after Mass the parents pick them up.

At the same Mass that Sunday School is offered we offer babysitting for those children that are ages 0 (newborn) to 5 years old.

Children as young as 7 may receive Holy Communion; that is why we (my parishes) do not offer alternative activities for children 6 and up during Mass times. 6 year-old is just a year a way from being able to receive Holy Communion. They should have a good understanding of what takes place at Mass. The only way they can really do that is to attend Mass.

As a Mom of a 6 year-old and 5 year-old I can tell you that my children don’t mind being at Mass. They love it…. Especially my 6 year-old; He’s starting to read and tries very hard to follow along with his special children’s missal. In the front of our church is a board that list all numbers to the songs we are going to sing during Mass. One of the first things my 6 year old does is take the song books from the book holder and finds the songs we are going to sing that day at Mass. Once he finds them he marks the page with a piece of scrap paper…… That way he’s ready to sing!

They go to the classes that are for their age group; when they are offered. Right now its summer so there are NO CCD classes and there are NO Sunday School classes. Those classes will start again in the fall when school starts.

Bible Study is also depended on the parish. My parish does offer Bible study for women and another one for men during the week days. Many of what my parish offers start at 6:00 AM so people can go before work or 7 pm so people can go after work.

Then as you mention there is Daily Mass. At daily Mass there is 1 reading, a Psalm, and the Gospel, that is generally followed by a short homily of some short. This in many cases gives food for thought for the day.


We have Sunday school for kids, few Bible classes (at least 3) every week throughout the year, and every Thursday, our priest will have a talk on the next Sunday’s readings and Gospel.

Each class is about 20 to 30 people. We come to learn and share together what the Holy Spirit teaches us and what our Fathers and those who had gone before us learned.

About challenging one another at Bible class - I don’t like this much - some may have more knowledge about Bible, some may have less - challenging might end up like a showcase and those who don’t know a whole lot might feel left out.

To me, living the Word and putting what you know about the Bible into your daily life are more challenging than knowing all in the Bible.


No, Sunday School is not just for children. Most non-Catholic ecclesial communities (AKA Protestant) have vibrant adult SS programs with excellent teachers.

Our parish and diocese in general has so many Bible studies that you can get overinvolved! It’s craaa-zy! I try to limit myself to two a semester, but even that gets kind of wild with all the reading and homework and evenings out. But I’m not complaining! It’s great. I’m an empty-nester, so this is the time to do it.

And I agree, it’s good to study the Bible or do some other theological topical study in a group setting. Online or other private studies are good, but iron sharpens iron.


Our parish has 4 masses on Sunday mornings (all over which are an hour long, or longer), then one Sunday evening. There are some CCD classes on Sundays also before the evening mass. So on Sundays there is really no time left for an adult Bible study. Certainly not one led by a priest.

During the week we have 3 daily masses and a daily rosary. 2 afternoons and evenings a week there are more children’s CCD classes (we have 2000 in the program every year). One day a week we have adoration from noon to midnight.

Monthly there are women’s ‘evenings of recollection’, Legion of Mary, and Knights of Columbus meetings and rosaries.

Those are just the ‘official’ parish activities. There are also groups that met in people’s homes for study and prayer time. There are also various diocesean activities.

I’m sure if you ask around your parish and diocese, you are likely to find something similar to the Sunday School you are used to. It might just be on a different day! And as another poster said, you can ask your priest or DRE about starting a Sunday morning adult class. Just be sure to use orthodox Catholic study materials!


many Protestant congregations have only one worship service on Sunday morning, or possibly another service for families with children, teen’s “contemporary” etc., so their facilities, parking etc. are available all morning for fellowship, study etc.

most Catholic parishes have several services, with only enough time between services to clear the parking lot, and parking is a perennial problem in most parishes, so we tend not to hang around for other functions after Mass.

That being the case, it is still true that many Catholic parishes, if facilities and resources permit, have religious education classes for children, and for adults in RCIA (preparing to become CAtholic), some type of fellowship–coffee and donuts is the usual Catholic event, or presentations by various parish organizations, after Mass.

It is usually a matter of logistics as much as anything else. Most Catholic parishes, at least all I have belonged to or worked at in the last 20 years, have, in addition to RE classes for children and teens, regular adult education, bible studies, small faith sharing communtiies, comunidades de bases etc. throughout the year (or at least during Lent and Advent or tied to liturgical year). They tend to be scheduled on weekday evenings or times convenient for the most people (including the volunteers running them).

Protestant congregations usually have paid adjunct pastors or ministerial staff for such programs, which are run by volunteers in many Catholic parishes, because most Catholics do not tithe with the same generosity as most Protestants.


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