RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

1993

FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF HOLY CROSS THERE HAVE BEEN PEOPLE WHO

ANSWERED THE CALL TO MINISTER TO THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF THE COMMUNITY. PAT GREENE AND BEV EVERETT JAMES, CINDY FARRIS ANO JEFF ARMSTRONG WERE SOME OF THOSE WHO ORGANIZED EARLY PROGRAMS IN FAITH FORMATION , THEN KNOWN AS CCD OR CYO. THEY VOLUNTEERED TO TAKE ON ALL THE DETAILS INVOLVED IN ACQUIRING BOOKS, SUPPLIES, AND RECRUIT CATECHISTS TO FILL THE NEED OF MAKING SURE OUR FAITH WAS COMMUNICATED TO THE CHILDREN.

 

THE CLASSES TOOK PLACE BEFORE OR AFTER MASS. THE SIDE SECTIONS OF THE SANCTUARY (WITH LOW CEILING AND FLORESCENT LIGHTING) WERE ORIGINALLY PARTITIONED INTO CLASSROOMS. THE PLAYSCHOOL BUILDING WAS ALSO USED AS GATHERING SPACE FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS AT ONE TIME. WE STARTED WITH AROUND 80 CHILDREN.

 

THEN. AS NOW, THE VOLUNTEER STAFF FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS CAME FROM MEMBERS OF THE PARISH, MOSTLY PARENTS OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WERE SCHOOL AGE AT THE TIME. THROUGH THE YEARS, MANY PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN THEIR TURN AS VOLUNTEERS TO MAKE THE PROGRAMS RUN. I WISH THAT WE COULD LIST THEM ALL, BUT THERE IS  NOT ENOUGH SPACE HERE.  PLEASE KNOW, IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE, THAT YOU ARE CELEBRATED AS HEROS AND HEROINES. YOUR EFFORTS HAVE HELPED US TO CONTINUE TO BE A LIVING, VIBRANT COMMUNITY OF FAITH. THESE PEOPLE WERE TRULY DEDICATED TO MAKING A PLACE IN THE HOLY CROSS FAITH COMMUNITY FOR YOUNG ONES. MARIBETH NASH, COORDINATOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TO BE HIRED, CAME IN 1984. WHEN JEAN MARIE BECKMAN ARRIVED ON THE SCENE IN 1986, THE FILES AND RECORDS FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ONLY WENT BACK TO 1984. WE PRESENTLY HAVE 284 CHILDREN ANO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ENROLLED IN  FAITH  FORMATION PROGRAMS.

 

OUR PROGRAMS FOLLOWED THE TRADITIONAL SCHOOL MODEL OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION UNTIL 1990, WHEN A COMMITTEE FROM THE DIOCESE CHOSE HOLY CROSS AS ONE OF THREE PARISHES TO BEGIN DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE MODELS FOR HANDING ON OUR PRECIOUS FAITH. SINCE THEN WE HAVE TRIED INTERGENERATIONAL AND PARENT TAUGHT PROGRAMS, WITH OUR MOST NOTED SUCCESS BEING OUR PRESENT SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION PROGRAM FOR RECONCILIATION AND FIRST COMMUNION, WHICH INVOLVES PARENTS WORKING AT HOME, STUDENTS INVOLVED IN ON-GOING PARISH PROGRAMS, AND GROUP MEETIGS (MINI RETREATS) FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN TOGETHER.

 

THESE EFFORTS TO INVOLVE ENTIRE FAMILIES IN FAITH FORMATION FULFILL THE VISION OF THE NAtIONAL COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (NCCB) WHO HAVE RECENTLY RELEASED DOCUMENTS WHICH CALL THE CHURCH TO OFFER PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES WITH "A FAMILY PERSPECTIVE".

 

LAST YEAR, WE WERE ABLE TO ESTABLISH LITURGY OF THE WORD WITH CHILDREN. WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND CELEBRATE THE YOUNG MEMBERS OF OUR WORSHIPING BODY BY CALLING THEM OUT TO RECEIVE THE WORD OF THE LORD IN THE SCRIPTURES IN A SIMPLIFIED MANNER, AND GIVING THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO REFLECT AND RESPOND AS CHILDREN DO BEST, BY TALKING, AND DRAWING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, SENDING THEM BACK TO THEIR FAMILIES TO SHARE THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST.

 

OUR HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH MINISTRY HAS ALSO CHANGED FROM CCD, THE BORING CLASSES, AND CYO, THE FUN ACTIVITIES, TO TOTAL YOUTH MINISTRY, INVOLVING BOTH LEARNING AND FUN, BUT MOSTLY GROWING TOGETHER AS CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS IN AN UN-CATHOLIC PART OF THE COUNTRY AND AN ANTI-CHRISTIAN SOCIETY.

 

WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE FIRST 20 YEARS OF HOLY CROSS, AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT 20 YEARS OF MURTURING GROWTH IN FAITH AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

 

JEAN MARIE SECKMAN

COORDINATOR OF FAITH FORMATION