Youth and Family Formation

Sunday Formation
 

Pre-K through High School

At Holy Cross, we believe that faith formation is a lifelong process and that parents are the primary spiritual and moral educators of their children. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says so beautifully,

Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents” (Catechism, 2226]).

Our responsibility as a parish church is to support parents in their role as the primary teachers and evangelists of their families. Through our Sunday Formation programs, liturgy, service opportunities, and fellowship, we seek to give the children in our care the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to become faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus.

This 2020-2021 academic year, Holy Cross will have new faith formation program for our families with children. Instead of the grade level catechesis that we have had in the past, we are introducing new ways of approaching catechesis and religious education. Holy Cross will implement a new program called “Whole Family Catechesis”. 

What is Whole Family Catechesis?

A program that forms parents and children together in the faith.  Whole Family Catechesis, WFC, allows parents to take a more central role in their own child’s faith formation. With Covid still in our midst, having conventional Sunday “classes” is not feasible and we are trying new, creative ways to engage families.  Parents have the most influence in sharing and living the faith with their children.  Instead of a child -focused program, we want to include the parents in a family setting.  WFC takes a different approach by forming parents and children together. The goal of the program is to highlight and support family life while they grow with one another in service, knowledge and love of Christ and the Church. This is a positive chance for families to grow together creating bonds in faith that will last a lifetime.

How will this work?

Families will attend a monthly seventy- five minute mini-retreat that is theme based within the framework of the liturgical year. These “gatherings” would be at the parish in person or via Zoom.  These gatherings will happen on Sundays or Wednesday evenings.  At these family gatherings, parents receive clear resources that guide them in learning and sharing with their children that will equip, inspire and provide opportunities for spiritual growth at home.  Families will receive support each month from the faith formation team. 

In WFC family approach:

  • Parents are equipped with knowledge and tools to help them understand their faith better and to grow in their relationship with Christ.  Parents may then share their faith more abundantly with their children.
  • Families are able to practice engaging their faith. With encouragement, families are able to pray together, talk about faith issues, and have more family time.  Sunday/Wednesday gatherings provide a time and place for them to actually do it and learn what it looks like to model this at home.
  • Families can have fun learning about their faith! In our busy culture, families have less and less time when they can be present to each other (and having fun). Give this gift to your family.

In addition to the monthly family gathering, parents will have the support and resources from a team of catechists who will walk with them in sharing their faith with their families at home. These would include assistance in praying, understanding Scripture, Celebrating Feast days, and sharing YouTube videos, handouts and links to other pertinent resources. The catechists hope to   empower families during the month.


Youth Formation and Youth Calendar

Pre-K through 8th Grade

The Catechetical Curriculum is organized by grade level, with Catechist and Parent Pages outlining the developmental readiness of children, and curricula content organized by the six tasks of catechesis and the liturgical year. 

Introduction to the Curriculum

Pre-School
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages

Kindergarten
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages

Grade 1
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 2
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 3
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 4
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 5
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 6
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

Grade 7
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

 

 

Grade 8
Parent Pages
Catechist Pages
Six Tasks of Catechesis
Liturgical Year

 

Prayers and Concepts
 

 

 


First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Preparation Requirements
 

If you would like your child to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and/or Eucharist, please register your child for Sunday Formation classes. In order to be eligible for reception of these Sacraments…

  • Your child must be a baptized Catholic in grade 2 (7 years or older)

  • The office of Sunday Formation must receive proof of the child’s Catholic baptism
    • If baptized at Holy Cross: fill out necessary information on the application
    • If baptized elsewhere: obtain a copy of the Catholic Baptismal Certificate and include it with the application for sacrament preparation classes. If you do not have the certificate, please contact the baptismal church and request a copy. If you have difficulty locating an address or phone number, please ask us for assistance
  • The minimum formation requirements are the following: must be currently enrolled and attending Sunday Formation classes or attending Catholic school and ongoing participation in weekend Mass. Readiness for children to begin preparation for First Communion is determined in part by their interest in receiving the sacrament, feeling like they belong to the Catholic community, praying at home and at Mass and their ability to relate to Jesus as one who loves.
  • Preparation consists of Reconciliation and Eucharist parent meetings which must be attended by at least one parent/guardian AND two sessions which must be attended by at least one parent/guardian AND child. Weekly attendance at Sunday Formation classes continue to be required unless attending Holy Cross Regional Catholic School

RCIA for Children -Special Sacrament Needs :

Children 7 years and older who have not been baptized Catholic must attend regular Sunday Formation classes or apply to the RCIA program adapted for children.


Confirmation Preparation Requirements

Confirmation is one of the initiation sacraments, along with Baptism and Eucharist. This sacrament is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made strong. During your Baptism, your parents and godparents made promises to renounce Satan and believe in God and the Church on your behalf. At Confirmation, you renew those same promises, this time speaking for yourself. This comes with the responsibility of not just following Jesus Christ but spreading the Good News as Confirmed disciples.

Confirmation is not:

  • Graduation from Sunday Formation classes
  • Claim of adulthood in the Church
  • Single affirmation of the Catholic religion
  • Decision to be or not be Catholic

Requirements

The family must be registered members of Holy Cross Church.

Baptism: The office of Sunday Formation must receive proof of the child’s Catholic baptism.

Age/Grade: Candidates must be in 10th grade to be eligible for Confirmation. 11th and 12th grade students that have not received Confirmation are eligible as long as they continue to be enrolled in religious education.

Education: Candidates must be enrolled and attending regular religious education classes OR must be attending a Catholic high school in order to be eligible for Confirmation. Candidates must also have been baptized Catholic and received both Reconciliation and First Eucharist.

Place of Instruction:  All instruction that pertains to preparation for Confirmation should take place through the candidate’s home parish. Those enrolled in non-parish-based religious education (i.e., home school or Catholic school) must prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the program of their home parish.

Attendance: Candidates are expected to participate in an entrance interview, all of their religious education classes as well as a Confirmation Retreat.

Sponsors are an extremely important part of Confirmation. A person is eligible to be a sponsor if: They are a baptized, confirmed and practicing Catholic.

Should the Practice of Choosing a “Confirmation Name” Be Encouraged?

Since Confirmation stands in relationship to Baptism, any discussion of a Confirmation name must be placed in that context. The current Rite of Confirmation recommends that the sponsor for Confirmation be the baptismal godparent.[1] It presumes that the candidate for Confirmation will be addressed by his or her baptismal name.[2] Nowhere does the rite mention the custom of choosing a separate Confirmation name; neither does the Code of Canon Law. Only in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is there mention of a rite whereby a catechumen may receive a “baptismal name.”[3]

While the affirmation of one’s baptismal name is thus preferred, one could choose another saint’s name or a mystery of the Lord to be pronounced by the bishop in addition to—not in place of—one’s baptismal name (e.g., “John Sebastian Smith” or “Jane of the Incarnation Smith”). There is no restriction as to the sex (male or female) of the saint, just as in many cultures baptismal names may be combined (e.g., “Peter Mary” or “Ann Daniel”).

The custom of choosing a patron saint or taking an additional name for the Rite of Confirmation should be accompanied by catechesis regarding the communion of saints. The candidate should demonstrate knowledge of the saint or mystery of the Lord that he or she has chosen. It should be emphasized that if a name is chosen, it is to honor a saint or mystery of the Lord, rather than to honor a loved one.

[1] Rite of Confirmation, no. 5.
[2]Rite of Confirmation nos. 21, 27.
[3] See “Rite of Choosing a Baptismal Name,” Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, no. 202.


Children’s Liturgy of the Word (LOW)
 

LOW is an age-appropriate Liturgy of the Word offered for ages 3 through 6 at the 11:00 AM Mass. No pre-registration is necessary. All children are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Just before the Liturgy of the Word begins for the assembly, these children are invited to come forward to the altar to be blessed and then the catechists lead them from the church to a classroom located next to the Nursery. During this special time, the volunteer teacher leads the children through prayers, songs and readings that are simplified for children.

The children learn about the same Scripture readings as the rest of the assembly. They are taught a simplified main message of the readings and are encouraged to share that message with their parents after Mass.

LOW meets every Sunday from October through May with the exception of the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the two Sundays before and after Christmas and Easter Sunday.


Church Camp
 

Vacation Bible School or “Church Camp” as we call it here at Holy Cross is a Monday-Friday morning program offered for one week during the summer for children who are rising kindergarteners through rising 5th gradera.  Each day of Church Camp, children rotate through a series of "stations" with a variety of activities based on the day's bible theme.

Registration for Church Camp generally begins in May and it is free of charge.

 

Registration Form:

Christian Formation
  English (PDF
  Spanish (PDF)

Reconsiliation and First Eucharist
  English (PDF
  Spanish (PDF)

Confirmation
  English (PDF
  Spanish (PDF)

RCIC
  English (PDF
  Spanish (PDF)

Calendars:

Christian Formation (PDF)

Youth Formation Programs:

Sunday Formation
First Reconciliation and First Eucharist
RCIC
Confirmation
Childrens Liturgy of the Word
Church Camp
 

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