Sunday School – Grades KG - 9
Vacation Bible School
Sacramental Preparation - Baptism
Sacramental Preparation – First Reconciliation and First Communion
Catholic Education in Gainesville, Florida
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
- Holy Thursday Soup & Sandwich Supper
- Pancake Breakfast
Kindergarten through 9th grade students meet on Sundays following the 9:30am Mass, from September through April. Classes begin around 10:40am and ends at Noon. Please find dates of scheduled classes and special events in our calendar section.
Registration for CCF 2013/2014 has begun. To register online click CCF Registration
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.
- Parishioners may complete the Preparation class and request pastoral permission for the Baptism to be held at another Parish. Discuss this with Dr. Chadik.
- 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.
- Baptism for children over the age of 7 is generally completed through the RCIA program. Please contact Dr. Chadik or Mrs. Roig for more information.
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. Please register for these Sacramental Preparation classes here.
To register online for Sacramental preparation classes for the year 2013/2014 you will use the same registration form as for CCF classes. If you are a Catholic School Family you will have the chance to select the option to attend only the Sacramental Prep classes as explained above. Register HERE if not already registered through CCF.
Please find dates of scheduled classes for Sacramental Preparation in our calendar section.
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
- Complete a service project 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. 10th graders are expected to participate in community service project opportunities presented to them from October thru December 2013, as well as participate in the CYM (Catholic Youth Ministry) group before and during their Confirmation Preparation year. CYM Kick-Off is scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2013 at 4:00pm in the Upper Hall.
Register for Confirmation Classes HERE. 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 classes.
Please find dates of scheduled Confirmation Classes in our calendar section to be posted shorty.
You can learn more about the Sacrament of Confirmation on the website page dedicated to the Youth of our Parish.
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
At Holy Faith, we schedule a five-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) every year for mid-July.
Holy Faith Parish completed a successful experience with our 2013 Vacation Bible School (VBS). Over 70 children from the ages of 5-10 participated, with about five preschoolers in Pip’s Preschool Palace. Fifty-two (52) middle and high school students participated as helpers and leaders in VBS, along with 30 adult volunteers. 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’s 2013 Vacation Bible School took us to God’s Kingdom, a place where children and teens and adults explore God’s incredible love for His children. We explore God’s love in His word through Bible stories, Bible verses, and specific Bible points. We don’t just read about God’s word, we bring it to life through drama and art and music and dance and games and even the food we eat. As we surround our children with God’s word through all of these activities, the reality of God’s love gains new meaning and relevance to their everyday lives.
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 a version of VBS that has an official Imprimatur from our Bishops, and is published by “Our Sunday Visitor” company. We use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition of the Bible.
At “Kingdom Rock” VBS, children were met by a large castle display with knights and flags and banners transforming the Upper Hall into a Kingdom. Many workers labored to transform the environment so children can immediately experience the visual invitation to imagination. We had a “Knight in Training,” Squire Jon, visit us each morning, describing his struggles to be the best Knight he could be and serve the King well. His struggles touched the lives of our children, as they, too, struggle with fears and doubts and bullies.
Children travel in “crews” or families of various ages, from Kindergarten to High School students. With their crew they learn about different Bible stories: (day #1) King David writing Psalm 23, (day #2) Queen Esther, (day #3) Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, (day #4) the death and resurrection of Jesus, and (day #5) King Josiah finding the scrolls of God's word.
They traveled to Tournament Games, and the Imagination Station, where the activities tied into the daily Bible Points. Crews made their own snacks, again carrying the Bible story theme. They watched videos about standing strong against bullies, and a story about Queen Esther conquering her fears. They reported on how and where they saw God working in their lives. Each day, they also learned about a saint: St. Patrick, St. Joseph, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Jerome, and Mary the Mother of Jesus. This year, many of the children attended 9:30 Sunday Mass, processing in wearing their golden crowns, as sons and daughters of the King.
During Kingdom Rock, our favorite phrase was “STAND STRONG.” God’s love helps us stand strong. Family and friends help us stand strong. Prayer helps us stand strong. Trusting God helps us stand strong. The Bible helps us stand strong.
VBS focuses on experiential learning about our faith life. It is all very active and everyone participates, even the adults. VBS is really about evangelizing to others about the love of God, which we know is the mission Jesus sends us out to accomplish. Tell the whole world, including the children, about God’s love for them.
Join us for Vacation Bible School 2014.
Some comments from parishioners about Kingdom Rock:
9 year-old boy: “This is my third VBS at Holy Faith. Every one of them has been good, and this year it’s great! I love the castle.”
Mom of pre-school child: “This was our first year at VBS and my child surely enjoyed her time! Just when she was getting used to it and looking forward to continue attending, it was over. We will definitely be back next yr!”
Mom: “My daughter had a great time at VBS. She was upset it was over and we had to assure her there would be another VBS next summer to console her. She loved eating popcorn in the movie theater (Royal Theatre) and she learned in the movie that ‘it is never wrong to do what’s right.’”
Mom: “All the kids had a blast and now wave to kids at church we didn’t know. K. liked the experiment (Imagination Station) with the burning match balancing the forks. She learned ‘you might think you can balance your life without prayer but you really can’t.’ My other daughter is looking forward to seeing her new friends next year.”
Teacher: “Caroline, Ben and Rona were fantastic teenage helpers who enthusiastically led parts of the imagination station and shared their thoughts on God, Prayer and the Bible with the kids. Michael made us laugh when I asked the kids if they knew how to say the Our Father and he said ‘yeah easy-Our Father.’ J. impressed everyone with his knowledge and prayers in Latin. C. brought her Rosary in and shared how she prays with it. Collin, Adriel, Ashley and Bobby were just a few of the kids who had very insightful responses on the lessons and taught us about their faith.”
- St. Patrick’s InterParish School (Pre-Kg through 8th Grade) Visit their website at stpatrickschoolgnv.org
- Queen of Peace Academy (Pre-Kg through 8th Grade) Visit their website at www.qopacademy.org/
- St. Francis Catholic High School (9th through 12th Grades) Visit their website at sfchs.org