What is CCD or otherwise referred to as Religious Education?
In 1905, Pope St. Pius X established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) in every diocese and parish of the Catholic Church. The purpose was to extend religious education to children who were not in the Catholic school system. Religious Education Classes for children in grades Pre-school through 8th grade are offered by Corpus Christi Parish through the office of Religious Education. Our purpose is to form and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ and to help them understand, appreciate and live out the Catholic Faith.
Parents of students in our program please know that the pastor and staff of Corpus Christi take their commitment to you and your children very seriously, as a ministry entrusted to them by Christ. We are always striving to make improvements so we may better serve parents and their children and accommodate their religious educational needs.
Commitment of the parish, of parents and of students
Parents you are the principal and first educators of your children. What you do, what you say, and how you act ultimately is passed on to your children. The environment that your children are exposed to also plays a major role in forming them and helping them establish their values and priorities. With that thought in mind, there must be a serious resolve on the part of parents, catechists, classroom assistants, and the students themselves to embrace the doctrines of the Catholic Church, to continue to learn, develop, and grow in our faith so as to apply sound moral principles and values each and every day of life. The intent of our parish religious education program and the commitment of the parish staff is to establish the environment in which all of us collaboratively work together to become faithful Christians and empowered disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. As an initial step in this year’s effort, please take time to read through this document and share the same with your children who will take part in our Religious Education Program.
Tuition and Enrollment
Students who have enrolled in and attended classes in the previous year need not complete and submit another registration form to begin class. A simple telephone call or email to the office to confirm existing information is sufficient. New students, those who have not been enrolled in our program the previous year are required to complete and submit a Religious Education Registration Form. Forms are available in the vestibule of the church, on the church web site or they can be obtained at the Parish Office. Completed forms can be dropped off at the Parish Office during regular business hours or faxed to the office at 717-264-1787 or mailed to the church address or emailed to email@example.com. A copy of the child’s Birth Certificate and Baptismal Certificate (if the child has been baptized) must be submitted with the registration form when registering the child for class. All new students must complete the required registration form. In order to enroll a student in our program it is necessary that the child’s family be registered as members of Corpus Christi Parish. Please visit the Parish Registration Form page on the church web site or contact the Parish Office to request the Parish Registration Forms.
Yearly tuition for one child is $60. The yearly tuition for two children is $110. Tuition for three or more children is $165. This tuition covers the expenses of students’ textbooks, catechists’ materials, retreats, facilities operational costs, catechist training and administrative costs. Tuition is due upon the submission of the registration form. Payment in full is requested upon registration. Checks should be made payable to Corpus Christi Church and please annotate Rel. Ed. in the memo line. Payments can be mailed to the Parish Office at the Corpus Christi address or dropped off during parish office operating hours. If a family is in need of financial assistance or to make alternative payment arrangements please contact the Religious Education Office at 717-263-9541.
Students are expected to attend all CCD classes. Parents please bring your child/children to every class. We understand that there may be instances (a schedule family trip or vacation, a death of a family member, or friend, or an illness of the student, or family member, etc.) that require the student to miss a class. If you know in advance of an instance where a student will miss a class, please send a note with your student to class to notify their catechist in advance of the scheduled absence. Please know that we take attendance weekly and monitor the attendance of all students. If a student is absence three or more consecutive classes the office staff will contact the parents to inquire about the absence. Students enrolled in our sacramental classes (First Holy Communion Class – Grade 2 and Confirmation Class – Grade 8) must make every effort to attend every class unless other arrangements have been made.
Classes begin promptly at 9:30a.m and conclude at 10:40a.m. Students must be in the classroom and prepared for class by 9:30. Parents must escort their children to and from the classrooms. Students will not be dismissed from the classroom until the parent or other authorized individual is present to escort them. Note: A brother or sister (16 years old or older) may escort the student to and from class. It is the parent responsibility to coordinate with the catechists so that the catechist knows who is authorized to drop off and pick up students. Students are not to be escorted to the classroom before 9:20 and must be picked up at the end of class (10:40). For the safety of the students and catechists, classroom doors will be shut and locked at 9:30 and remain locked until class end. Also the hallway doors will be locked during class times to provide additional safety and security.
The Religious Education Office of the Diocese of Harrisburg in conjunction with approval of our bishop have provided a standard curriculum guideline for our religious educational program. Our catechists, using a variety of instructional techniques and methodology, various material handouts, textbooks and the diocesan curriculum guidelines, work weekly to educate the students. The goal is to help them discover, learn, put into practice and grow in their love of God, the Christian Faith and the doctrines of the Catholic Church.
The standard curriculum guidelines can be found online at under the tabs “Education or Our Faith”. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link titled “Curricula” The Curriculum is listed by grade. We encourage parents or guardians to read through this curriculum, the classroom handouts and the textbook material covered weekly with the student so that what is taught in class can further be expounded upon and put into practice in the home. This is important at all grade levels, but especially crucial in the sacramental preparation classes of 2nd and 8th grade. Our catechists have much to cover not only focusing on the grade specific curriculum but also on specific sacramental preparations and practices. Parents or guardians are very helpful in reinforcing what the students learn in class. There may be times when your child/children will be assigned homework, or research to further educate them in the faith. Please see that you are aware of these assignments and work with your child to ensure that this class work is done.
Part of our educational curriculum involves having the students attend the 11a.m. Mass together as a class on the second Sunday of each month. We encourage you to promote this Mass participation. It is one of the Precepts of the Catholic Church. Of course we understand that it is your obligation to take them to Mass, and if you do that, then the students do not have to attend Mass with their class. However we would certainly welcome them to attend again with the class. Students who attend the Mass with the class, must be picked up by the parent or another designated individual in the church. We welcome all children who are of pre-school age through the 8th Grade. We may at times have more than one grade per class, in other words we could have 2 or 3 second grades or two seventh grades because of the number of students. If we have feel that splitting a class would be beneficial to the students and the catechists, we may choose to do so and adjust the student rosters as necessary.
In rare cases (depending on the child/children circumstances) parents may choose to provide religious education at home. In those cases we work closely with families who do so and provide the necessary materials and assist as needed.
Students typically receive their First Holy Communion in the second grade and the Sacrament of Confirmation in eighth grade. Sacramental preparation requires a minimum of two years of instruction. In other words a student who wishes to enroll in First Holy Communion preparation must have been a student who has attended class the previous year. Second Grade students who have not attended the previous year (first grade) religious education may be placed in the first grade class to begin their sacramental preparation. Likewise an eighth grade student preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation must have attended and completed the seventh grade program to be placed in the eighth grade class to continue confirmation preparation. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. To discuss the details of a student grade placement, parents must notify the Religious Education Office. In these cases, the Religious Education Office in consultation with the parents will make the determination as to how best to proceed in preparing the student for the sacraments.
Students who register for the second grade or eighth grade will receive a sacramental registration form to complete. There is no fee for First Holy Communion registration. There is a fee for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Any and all liturgical programs and/or sacramental certificates will be generated using the child’s name as it appears on the Birth Certificate. If it is discovered that a child in grade 3 and above has not yet received the Sacrament of Baptism, and/or First Holy Communion, the Religious Education Office will coordinate with the parents to develop a plan to prepare the child for these most necessary sacraments. The Religious Education Office will conduct two parent orientation meetings for parents and the students who are registered in grades 2 and 8.
Safety and Security
During classes, only adults with appropriate clearances and authorized classroom assistants are allowed in the hallways and classrooms. If you enter on school building you may be approached by a member of our staff and questioned about your present in the building. If that occurs, please be aware that staff are just following safety policies and would appreciate your understanding and respect.
Upon class arrival and dismissal, it is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to accompany each student into the school building and escort them directly to and from their classroom. Upon class dismissal, if a student is not picked up by the parent or responsible guardian in a reasonable amount of time, that student will be escorted from their classroom to the school lobby and remain there with an adult staff member until the parent or guardian arrives. If a child is permitted by their parent or guardian to be picked up by another individual or if the student needs to be dismissed early from class, a written note must be sent in to the catechist prior to the dismissal. Appropriate identification of the designated individual may be required prior to the release of the student. No student will be released from class without the parent or guardian approval.
Emergency Care of Students
Catechists have in their possession a student log which provides the student name, parent information, special notes and the Emergency Contact number. In the event of an emergency the parents, guardian and/or the Emergency Contact Person will be contacted. If the student needs immediate medical attention beyond our ability to administer, medical personnel will be contacted. If the student needs immediate medical attention beyond our ability to administer, medical personnel will be contacted as well as the parents and parishioners who are trained medics. A Basic First Aid Kit is distributed to each classroom. If minor medical treatment is required for your child/children, the catechist (within their scope of ability) will administer treatment necessary. Students are not to bring any medications to class. If students require medications they must take them at home before or after class. In cases where this policy must be amended for specific students, please consult with the catechists and the coordinator of religious education.
Our Catechists and Classroom Assistants
Our Catechists and assistants are held to a high standard of teaching and they are dedicated to their mission of working with the students and forming them in the faith. They spend much extra time preparing lesson plans and studying various texts to prepare for class. They graciously volunteer their time, and without them we would have no religious education program. They possess all the required clearances to ensure the safety and protection of your child. Please get to know them and treat them with the utmost respect.
Class instruction is presented in the English language only. The text books used are in the English language only. We do our best to ensure that parents and guardians who do not speak English are informed of our materials, program and services.
Classroom Behavior and Dress
Food or drinks are not allowed in the classrooms except those times in which the catechists authorize it. The use of cell phones or any electronic devices are not permitted during class. Students must demonstrate respect at all times for their catechists, fellow students, classroom assistants and to school property. Students must be prepared for class by arriving on time, bringing with them books and other required material, and participate in classroom activities and assignments. The contents in the classroom desks belong to the Corpus Christi Catholic School Students and must not be tampered with or disturbed. Religious Education Students will be provided the materials they need for class. Dress for class can be blue jeans, dress pants, tee shirts, collared shirts and appropriate girl blouses. Shirts and blouses must not have any vulgar or distasteful language logos or pictures on them. Clothes worn to class must be what one would be able to wear to church and not be considered inappropriate.
Class Cancellations for Inclement Weather
Cancellations for inclement weather will be announced on the radio station MIX 95.1 or you can call the Office of Religious Education at 717- 263-9541 for a cancellation message. Please use your own digression about travel in inclement weather. We may combine classes due to poor class attendance or unforeseen events.
Thank you for registering your child/children in our Religious Education Program. Please keep the schedule of classes and this handbook handy and refer to them often. Please be sure to discuss the information in the handbook with your child/children. It is very important for you to enroll your child/children each year in our program so that we in conjunction with you can ensure their further formation in the faith and their growth in love for the Church and God. We will do our best to educate the students and coordinate with you on all matters of relevance. Together let us daily model the virtues for each other and our children that our Lord has demonstrated for each one of us.
Communicating with Us
At any time should you have an issue, a suggestion or question please feel free to discuss it with the classroom catechist or any of the staff in the religious education office. If the case is of a more confidential matter, or a more sensitive issue, please call the office to make an appointment. Please note that our staff does not share any of the personal information about matters of your concern or any personal information contained in the enrollment forms. The information we receive is for our internal use only and/or for parish records. Once again the telephone number for the Religious Education Office is 717-263-9541. God bless you and let us help in each to grow in faith, to love for each other and to love and service the Lord! For additional information about the church and the ministries visit the other pages on our website.