Religious Education and Service Learning
In addition to continuing their study of prayer, Scripture, and the Sacramen Holy Child Academy is a joyful and energetic community that celebrates in song, word, and deed its Catholic heritage and traditions as it embraces children and families of all faiths.
In addition to learning the specific Religion curriculum assigned to each grade, all students participate in the different seasons and feast days of the liturgical calendar through communal prayer. Students begin and end each day together in prayer and are given the opportunity to either share personal intentions or write prayers of their own. Through these daily practices, students learn the communal and personal nature of prayer. Each grade also plans and leads a prayer service or liturgy according to a particular theme or season. From the lively Blessing of the Pets in October to the solemn Graduation Mass in June, students are given the opportunity to actively and creatively reflect on their faith and practice leadership in their community.
The Religion program for Early Childhood, influenced by Montessori practices, allows children to joyously encounter God’s love and engage their imagination and curiosity through practical life skills activities, tangible manipulatives, self-directed learning opportunities, and quiet prayer. Throughout the year, students will explore topics such as prayer, care for creation, geography, virtues, Scripture, the Mass, liturgical seasons, and the sacraments, with the purpose of inviting children to discover and discern a personal and meaningful relationship with God. If you would like the Nursery 2 and Nursery 3 students to send you a prayer card, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Cornelia Connelly’s Book of the Order of Studies, the first lessons in Religious instruction:
should be given to [students] in the form of simple tales–to excite their curiosity and arouse their imaginations–placing Almighty God before them in the light of a tender and loving Father–a kind and good Creator–who made us all and created everything–who has bestowed upon us all we possess, thus leading their young hearts to a sincere love of His Goodness.
With Scripture as a foundation, students will discover and encounter the Trinitarian love and goodness of God as Creator, Savior, and Teacher. In particular, students will study different forms of prayer, the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Kingdom of God, the Sacraments as gifts of love and mercy, and the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes as a foundation for a moral life.
Students are also given the opportunity to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion in the second grade. By reading about the example of Jesus, students learn to examine their conscience, desire reconciliation and harmony with God and their community, prepare their hearts with prayer and sacrifice, and show God’s love through action. The sacraments are then received on campus with the entire school community present to help support and celebrate with the second grade class.
Cornelia Connelly said, “Be then like the Holy Child Jesus in your thoughts, in your words, and in your action.”
In addition to continuing their study of prayer, Scripture, and the Sacraments, Middle School students will begin to discern how to apply the concepts of faith in thought, word, and deed. Students will investigate the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Church documents, and Robert Greenleaf’s concept of servant leadership. By examining the lives of Jesus, Cornelia Connelly, and the Saints, students will be inspired to respond to modern-day challenges with the spirit of the Holy Child.
In middle school, students attend a half-day or full day retreat with their class. The purpose of HCA’s retreat program is to provide students with an opportunity to “retreat” from the routines of everyday life, grow in community and fellowship with their classmates, and further explore and experience their faith. Each retreat is given a theme based on one of the Holy Child Network of School’s seven goals so students learn to embody the values of a Holy Child education and discern how their faith engages with an increasingly complex world.
Students also have the opportunity to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Given the nature and requirements of Confirmation, it is received at a student’s appointed parish and in accordance with the parish’s age requirements. While the preparation for the sacraments is designated to particular grades, any students who wish to receive the sacraments will have the opportunity to receive the necessary formation for the reception of the desired sacrament.
"Prayer is the great source from whence the graces of God flow into our soul."
- Cornelia Connelly
The HCA community regularly prays for those in need and those who have recently passed away. Please share your prayer intention, and together, as a community, we will join in prayer.
"Our children have experienced a well-rounded education at Holy Child Academy that goes beyond academic excellence. From a very early age, they have learned the significance of faith, spirituality, community, and especially, works of charity. They find great joy from participating in the many service opportunities throughout the year and are increasingly recognizing that when put into action, their values and beliefs can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others."
Bernice Ho, P '23 & '28