2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD 20832 | (301) 924-3774

School of Religion

Cindy Dixon, DRE

Andrea Schmitt, Administrative Assistant

(301) 570-4952

Office Hours

From September through May, the School of Religion Office is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10:00am – 5:30pm; Thursday from 10:00am – 4:00pm; and Friday by appointment.

Summer Hours: From June through Labor Day, the office is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00am – 2:00pm and Thursday by appointment. The office is typically closed for a few weeks during August.

Mission and Staff

Saint Peter’s School of Religion exists to assist and support the families of Saint Peter’s Parish in providing religious instruction and formation in the Catholic faith for children attending non-Catholic schools in kindergarten through the eighth grade, and partners with the Youth Ministry to ensure teens are able to continue their life-long faith journey while in high school.

Enrollment stands at approximately 700 students served by volunteer faculty and assistants and professional staff members. Saint Peter’s School of Religion is directed by Cindy Dixon, Director of Religious Education, with the assistance of Andrea Schmitt, Administrative Secretary. Approximately 120 volunteer catechists generously give of their time to assist and support parents in this ministry of educating their children in our faith. Catechists take part in training before the school year begins and participate in two in-service programs each year. Other volunteers serve as class aides and office aides.


The School of Religion academic year runs from mid-September through early May. Students attend one of five sessions offered: Monday and Wednesday afternoons, from 5:00pm – 6:15pm for grades K thru 6, Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm – 8:15pm for grades 3 thru 8, or Tuesdays, for all grades K thru 8 from 6:00pm – 7:15pm.

Registration and Enrollment

Registration for School of Religion opens in April for the coming fall. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. New sections can only be opened when adult volunteers come forward to teach. No class changes will be accepted after October 1 (see Parent Handbook). Registration forms are available in the SOR Office, at the Parish Office, and online.

Please note: Continuous enrollment in the School of Religion is required. Students are not allowed to come in and out of the SOR program; they must register and attend classes each year.

Home Schooling

Some parents choose to teach our religious tradition to their children at home. The School of Religion staff supports home-schooling parents by providing training and student assessments and by acting as an on-call resource. Because it is important to interact with other students, home-schooling is not allowed during sacramental years. Home-schooling families must register in the School of Religion program each year.

Sacramental Preparation

The School of Religion directs the preparation for the Sacraments of First Penance, First Communion, and Confirmation for all parish children. The sacramental preparation program is a two-year process. First Penance and First Communion preparation begins in First Grade with children receiving those Sacraments in 2nd grade. Preparation for the reception of Confirmation begins in 7th grade and continues through 8th grade.

Students who present for the sacraments and cannot demonstrate continuous attendance in a religious instruction program will be required to complete additional preparation time before receiving the sacrament.

In addition, the School of Religion also provides sacramental preparation following the RCIA model modified for children, (RCIC), for older children who may be behind in the sacraments.

Weather-Related Cancellation Policy

In the event of inclement weather, the School of Religion follows Montgomery County Public Schools for closings. If Montgomery County Schools (MCPS) are closed for the day, then there are no SOR classes. If MCPS cancels after school and/or evening activities, then SOR classes are also cancelled. Log on to Montgomery County Public Schools for more information about closings. www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/emergency or listen to WMAL 630AM or WTOP 103.5 FM for MCPS closings and cancellation of evening activities.