Children’s Religious Education Programs
at Holy Faith Catholic Church
- Sunday School
- Sacramental Preparation
- Youth Confirmation
- Vacation Bible School
- Catholic Education
Religious education of children begins and grows in the home, within the context of a nurturing family life. Parents are the first and primary religious educators of children. Holy Faith Catholic Church partners with parents to educate our children to love, know and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, and grow in His compassion.
At Holy Faith, there are three primary modes of Children’s Christian Formation (CCF):
- Sunday School for grades Kindergarten through 9
- Sacramental Preparation Programs
- Vacation Bible School
All children of the Parish, whether attending Catholic or Public schools, are invited to attend our religious education classes and experiences.
These educational experiences are enhanced by a variety of community activities and family catechesis:
- Stations of the Cross
- May Crowning
- Family Picnic
- Fall Carnival
- Christmas Play & Cookie Exchange
- Holy Thursday Soup & Sandwich Supper
- Other Social Gatherings
The Sacrament of Baptism (for infants and young children), the gift of initiation into the life of Christ and the Church, is available for all children from birth through age 7*
- Parents are asked to attend a Baptismal Preparation class, and must register for these classes by contacting the Church office or register here.
- Parishioners may complete the Preparation class and request pastoral permission for the Baptism to be held at another Parish. Please contact us to prepare the necessary paperwork.
- Godparents must be at least age 16.
- Godparents are not a parent.
- The Godparent must be in good standing with the Catholic Church and have received the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
- There may be only one Godparent.
- If there are two Godparents, there must be one male and one female, and one of these Godparents could be a Christian witness.
- Many children are blessed with a multitude of Godparents. Please note, only two names of Godparents will be recorded on the Baptismal certificate.
- Scheduling a Baptism is done through the office after completing the required preparation class. If completed previously Contact Us with your request to schedule the baptism.
*Baptism for children over the age of 7 is generally completed through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Adapted for Children, to meet the special needs of children and youth. In the Diocese of St. Augustine, the process of RCIA for children is a two-year process. Please contact the office for more information.
Sunday School – Grades KG – 9
Kindergarten through 9th grade students meet on Sundays following the 9:30am Mass, from September through April/May. Classes begin around 10:40am and ends at Noon.
Registration for CCF Sunday School. To register online click CCF Registration. Note: Your date of registration will determine the year attending. All registrations must be completed by January of the current year for attendance in this academic school year. Most registrations after January will be for the next academic school year beginning in the fall. Call the office for special circumstances.
You can download a 2016/2017 CCF Class Schedule here. New school year schedules will be available in late August and can be found in the vestibule of the church, in the office lobby and in the Parish Life Center. The schedule can also be found in our online calendar.
Sacramental Preparation – First Reconciliation and First Communion
Children in grades 2 or higher may register for our First Reconciliation and First Communion classes. Children must have completed at least one year of catechism before registering for the Sacramental Preparation program. Children enrolled in one of the Catholic schools (St. Patrick or Queen of Peace Academy) will attend only the Preparation classes. Children enrolled in the public schools will attend Sunday School and the Preparation classes.
Classes are held on Saturday mornings, one Saturday each month, from 10:00am – Noon. We ask parents and children to attend the first hour of class together for Family Catechesis. During the second hour, children meet in separate classes, while parents remain for an hour of catechism and faith sharing. The Rite of First Reconciliation is celebrated generally on the second Saturday of January. First Communion is celebrated generally two weeks after Easter.
You can register for Sacramental Preparation classes here throughout the year: CCF Registration. Note: Your date of registration will determine the year attending. All registrations must be completed by December of this last year for the current school year. Most registrations after January will be for the next academic school year. Call the office for special circumstances.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in Grades 10 and higher. Children must have completed at least one year of catechism before registering for the Confirmation Sacramental Preparation program. Confirmandi (Confirmation candidates) attend approximately eight classes. They also attend at least one class of family catechesis with their parents, and one class with their Confirmation Sponsors.*
Other requirements for Confirmation are:
- Participate in the Catholic Youth Ministry
- Select from several service project opportunities (2 required) and submit a written report of the experience.
- Attend a Youth Ministry Retreat
- Participate in the Good Friday Liturgy of the Veneration of the Cross
- *Confirmation Sponsors must be at least age 16, not a parent, in good standing with the Catholic Church, and have received the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Confirmation Classes begin with an Orientation Session for Parents and Students usually in October. 10th graders are expected to participate in community service project opportunities presented to them during the year, as well as participate in the CYM (Catholic Youth Ministry) group before and during their Confirmation Preparation year. CYM meetings are scheduled on selected Sundays from 4:00pm to 5:30pm in the Parish Life Center youth room (see the weekly bulletin for scheduled CYM events.)
Register for Confirmation Classes (Confirmation Class Registration). In the section where you add the student’s information, you will be asked what school they are attending. Please specify which public school or Catholic School your child is attending. All registered students for this Sacrament must attend all scheduled Confirmation classes and required events. Note: All registrations must be completed by December of this last year for the current school year. Most registrations after January will be for the next academic school year. Call the office for special circumstances.
The Confirmation Class Schedule will be posted in the weekly bulletin and on our online calendar. Paper copies of the current academic school year schedule are available in the office. In the fall, schedules for the next school year will be available in the church, office lobby and in the Parish Life Center.
Holy Faith asks families to pay the following fees; however, please know that we will never exclude a child or family for inability to pay program fees. The fees are used to pay for textbooks, craft supplies, and related materials. Fee for 1 child is $25.00 total Fee for 2 children is $40.00 total Fee for 3 or more children is $60.00 total
Vacation Bible School
At Holy Faith, we schedule a five-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) every year for mid-June or July. This year VBS 2017 “Catholic Camp-Out” will run from JUNE 24 to JUNE 28. Click HERE for more information and to REGISTER.
Read below about a prior VBS and be sure to hit the photo button below to see the fun we all experienced in our past VBS programs.
Read about our VBS 2014, one of the favorites.
You may think that “WEIRD” means something unpleasant or negative, but at Holy Faith Vacation Bible School 2014, we learned that when it comes to seeing the world as God created it, WEIRD really means: Special, Unique, Rare, Never-before-seen, One-of-a-kind – JUST LIKE YOU!
For five days we learned different Bible lessons through Bible stories, Untamed Games, imaginative experiments and crafts, and the lives of Saints. We watched videos of children who had similar life experiences to the Bible lessons. We learned how we can love one another with the love Jesus has for us. We looked for God working in our midst each day. Singing and dancing and jumping and shouting played a big role in our experiences. Even the snacks we made at Critter Cafe represented the Bible lesson for the day.
Here are some of the Bible lessons and accompanying Bible stories that 85 children (ages 4-10), 50 Middle and High School Helpers, and 20 Adult volunteers learned:
|Even when you’re left out…Jesus loves you.||Jesus heals ten lepers.|
|Even though you’re different…Jesus loves you.||Jesus reaches out to the Samaritan woman.|
|Even when you don’t understand…Jesus loves you.||Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.|
|Even though you do wrong…Jesus loves you.||Jesus dies for us and comes back to life.|
|Even when you’re afraid…Jesus loves you.||Ananias bravely helps Saul.|
Children took the part of various characters in the Bible stories. They became the lepers left out of family and community events until Jesus healed them. Our teen helpers washed the feet of the younger children. We wrote our names on the cross of Jesus thanking him for taking away the wrongs we have done. We met a converted Saul, who demanded to know if we were Christians.
Vacation Bible School began over 115 years ago as a method of religious education for children during their summer vacations. While it has been very popular in many of our Protestant churches, the Catholic Church has only more recently become actively involved in promoting VBS experiences. Holy Faith uses Catholic versions of VBS that has an official Imprimatur from our Bishops. Our 2014 VBS program is published by “Our Sunday Visitor” company. We use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition of the Bible.
It takes a community to create this experience of religious education. It takes a community to have fun and create memories. VBS is never simply a “children’s activity.” VBS is a church-wide outreach event. Holy Faith is blessed by volunteers that gave hours of time to prepare lessons, set-up, present activities, teach song and dance, and herd WEIRD ANIMALS. Then, they took time to clean up and put it all away until next year. 2015 VBS was also a huge success for Holy Faith with even more children, teen volunteers and adults in the community involved. We had to sit out 2016 due to the construction of our new Family Life Center and we all missed VBS greatly. But not to worry, VBS IS BACK in 2017, better than ever with “Catholic Camp-Out” coming to Holy Faith in June with Sunday being a FAMILY Vacation Bible School Session. Consider joining the Holy Faith VBS Community. You will gain more than you give. Watch for the dates, times and registration information in our weekly bulletin and E-Newsletter.
Past Comment from an adult volunteer:
“I was just so impressed with the whole program, especially reading about the God’s sightings. So different from what I was taught as a child when I was told that God is in the Church, but only in the Catholic Church. Then inside the church, God was in the Tabernacle and then God was on the altar at the Consecration. Never that we find God in ourselves or in others.”
On Day #4 of VBS 2014, we learned about the sacrifice Jesus made by dying on the cross. The children were asked about how others sacrifice for them in daily life. Here are some of their responses, which remind us of how valuable parents are to their children:
|“My dad works and provides for us even when he’s sick.||‘My grandma gives me food and presents.|
|‘My teacher gave me extra time and work so I could bring my grade up.||‘Our dad came from Columbia so we could have a better life.|
|‘Mom gives time to take us to the activities we want to do.||‘Police & firefighters|
|‘Dad spends time playing with us.||‘Mom & Dad take me to baseball.|
|‘Mom & Dad sacrifice money.||‘Teachers sacrifice.|
|‘Soldiers sacrifice their lives.||‘My friend stood up to a bully.”|
Catholic Education in Gainesville
St. Patrick’s InterParish School (Pre-Kg through 8th Grade) Website: St. Patrick Interparish School Queen of Peace Academy (Pre-Kg through 8th Grade) Website: Queen of Peace Academy St. Francis Catholic High School (9th through 12th Grades) Website: St. Francis Catholic Academy