What is Religious Education at Holy Spirit all about?

jesusteachingAt Holy Spirit we aim to complement and supplement your responsibility as Christian parents to teach and raise your children in the faith. As parents, you are the primary educators of your children. Nevertheless, we desire to provide support and encouragement as you seek to fulfill this responsibility. One ways we do that is with our CCD classes, and we offer much more. Listed below is what we offer via the Office of Religious Education. Please also look to the right side of this page for class times, important sacrament dates, contact information for our staff, and other relevant information. Click on each item below for more information.


CCD classes for children in grades K-12

Classes for children in grades Kindergarten to grade 12 are held on Sundays, for grades Kindergarten through grade 8 are on Mondays (you choose which day you want to attend). All classes are held from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM. We accept children from all parishes and we are never out of space for any child. To register your child for CCD classes beginning the week of September 15, 2019 click here to register. Sunday classes are especially popular since there is Mass at 6:00 PM. You can download a CCD calendar by clicking the link on the right side of this page.

CCD classes for teens in High School grades

We have an excellent line-up of teachers for the high school youth of the parish. Each teacher will cover a series on a particular topic. Afterwards, your teenagers can attend the 6:00 pm Mass, and then immediately after they can attend the youth ministry evenings for food and fellowship. Learning about the faith at 4:30, praying the faith at 6:00, and living the faith at 7:00. Here at Holy Spirit, we offer the complete experience – Food, friends, and faith! To register your teenager for High School CCD classes beginning September 16, 2018 click here to register.

CCD classes for children needing special education

Our special education classes are staffed by men and women who are extremely dedicated to these children, some work in Fairfax County Public Schools in this field, and we maintain a low student-teacher ratio. All children are made in the image and likeness of God, and are entitled to all our support, our catechetical efforts, and assistance in receiving the sacraments, which is their right as baptized Catholics. Please let us know how we can personally help you, and please click here to register your child.

“The Church continues to affirm the dignity of every human being, and to grow in knowledge and understanding of the gifts and needs of her members who live with disabilities. Likewise, the Church recognizes that every parish community includes members with disabilities, and earnestly desires their active participation. All members of the Body of Christ are uniquely called by God by virtue of their Baptism. In light of this call, the Church seeks to support all in their growth in holiness, and to encourage all in their vocations. Participating in, and being nourished by, the grace of the sacraments is essential to this growth in holiness. Catholic adults and children with disabilities, and their families, earnestly desire full and meaningful participation in the sacramental life of the Church.” – US Conference of Catholic Bishops click here to read more here.

CCD classes for adults – The Gospel of St. Luke

OUR TOPIC FOR THE ADULT CCD 2019-20 is “The Gospel of St. Luke”! During Sunday CCD classes for the children, the parents and all adults have the opportunity to learn about the faith too! If it’s been a long time since you were in CCD classes, and you feel like there is more to learn, this is the perfect one-hour-a-week for you! Click here to register.

Catechists and Volunteers

The religious education program here runs on the dedicated work of many volunteers. The greatest talent they have is the love of Jesus Christ and his Holy Church, and the greatest skill they have is the desire to help the children encounter the mystery of Christ through the Church’s catechesis. To volunteer as a CCD Catechist, assistant catechist, substitute catechist, hall monitor, office assistant, or school service hour related volunteer, click here to register.

Sacraments for children

1) Baptism – If your child (or anyone) is not baptized, we would love to help! Please contact the DRE to make arrangements.
2) Confirmation
is a one year program that begins in the 7th grade. Children are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during the autumn of their 8th grade year. Children who are enrolled in public schools should enroll in CCD classes (click here), children who are enrolled in Holy Spirit School (or any other Catholic school) complete their religious education in the school in preparation for receiving Confirmation at Holy Spirit (if your child is enrolled in another Catholic school – please notify the DRE so we are aware), and children who are homeschooled complete their religious education at home (please register your homeschool child by clicking here). If your child is older than 7th grade, please contact the DRE as soon as possible so we can help you. Confirmation is too precious to be missed!
3) Holy Communion – is a one year program that begins in the 2nd grade. Children are prepared to receive their first Holy Communion during the  spring of their 2nd grade year. Children who are enrolled in public schools should enroll in CCD classes (click here), children who are enrolled in Holy Spirit School (or any other Catholic school) complete their religious education in the school in preparation for receiving their first Holy Communion at Holy Spirit (if your child is enrolled in another Catholic school – please notify the DRE so we are aware), and children who are homeschooled complete their religious education at home (please register your homeschool child by clicking here). If your child is older than 2nd grade, please contact the DRE as soon as possible so we can help you. Every child should recieve the precious and life-giving Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
4) Confession – Children in 2nd grade go to their first Confession during Lent in the 2nd grade year, as part of their preparation for receiving their first Holy Communion. During that first Confession service, all family members are invited to go to Confession with the children; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, everyone! All other children enrolled in CCD classes (click here to register) have the opportunity to go to Confession twice a year, during the Church’s penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, during their CCD classes. If your child is older than 2nd grade, and has not gone to Confession, please contact the DRE to make arrangements.

Sacraments for adults or adults who want to become Catholic

More Information COMING SOON on Sacraments for adults or adults who want to become Catholic.
1) RCIA Class – for those who want to become Catholic. Click here for more information.
2) Adult Confirmation Class – for those who were baptized Catholic but never Confirmed.
3) Communion & Confession Class – for those who have not been to Communion or Confession for a long time and would like assistance.
4) Marriage – for those looking to be married in the Catholic Church, or have the marriage blessed.

Vacation Bible School

VBS is for children in grades (rising) K-5, and teen leaders from 12 to 18 years old. Click here for information on VBS and to register your children.

June 22-26, 2020. Sessions will begin at 10:00 AM and end at 1:00 PM.

Homeschool children

At Holy Spirit, we have a thriving and active home schooling community. We are very supportive of the parents, who are the primary educators of their children, and we accept all home school children into our activities from all across the area. We recommend registering your home school child with the parish, and we require it for sacramental preparation such as Baptism, Confirmation, first Holy Communion, etc. By homeschooling your child, you are taking control of your rights as parents, but with that right comes responsibility; we are expecting you to fully catechize and prepare your child. We are here to support you with resources, guidance, and prayers.  We will then contact you regarding any requirements to receive the sacraments (usually those that are stated in the Code of Canon Law).  Click here to register your homeschool children.

“Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs. It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship Him, and to love their neighbor. Here, too, they find their first experience of a wholesome human society and of the Church. Finally, it is through the family that they are gradually led to a companionship with their fellowmen and with the people of God. Let parents, then, recognize the inestimable importance a truly Christian family has for the life and progress of God’s own people.” – Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis 3

Military & Government Service Families

Thank you for your service to our country! We would also like to support and assist those in the military or other government service. We understand that frequent moves for your family can mean missing out on the usual sequence of sacraments for your child. If you are PCS or TDY to the area, we can help with all your sacramental needs. Please contact the Director of Religious Education for sacraments for your children, teenagers, and yourselves.

Continuing Education

Continuing to learn about the faith is a life-long endeavor. Here are some websites and resources help you. Here at the Holy Spirit Office of Religious Education, we are here to answer your questions: either by email, phone, or an in-office discussion. Don’t let your questions become doubts that diminish your faith.

The Institute of Catholic Culture – based in Northern Virginia and committed to evangelizing the whole world by freely offering the best adult education content inline with the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.  Click here to access their abundant videos and audio, free of charge. They even have an iPhone app so you can listen on the go!

FORMED – An excellent resource for documentary videos, saint-themed movies, and audio books. Click here for information on how to access your free membership courtesy of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Word on Fire – established by Bishop Robert Baron, they have some of the best video and audio content. Click here to access their website, and we highly recommend subscribing to their commentary on the Sunday readings.

St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Dynamic Catholic


Rome Reports


Encourage and Teach – the official blog of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. You can click here to read it.

Current Families – Subscribe To Our Calendars

For Google calendar users you can subscribe to the calendar to add to your own online calendar, which will automatically update if a class is canceled or a meeting changed. Very handy for inclement weather days!

Click here to subscribe to the Religious Education calendar (for sacraments, meetings, etc).

Sunday CCD class calendar Click here to subscribe.

Monday CCD class calendar Click here to subscribe.

For Apple iCal users (iPhone, iPad, Mac) use these links AFTER reading the following instructions. This calendar will automatically update on your Apple device if a class is canceled or a meeting changed.

READ FIRST – Instructions click here

Religious Education (iCal) general calendar for sacraments, meetings, etc, copy this link.

Sunday CCD class calendar (iCal) copy this link.

MondayCCD class calendar (iCal) copy this link.

Protection & Safety of Children at Holy Spirit Religious Education

Under the guidance of our Bishop, who teaches that we must “work tirelessly to protect all young people as a matter of respect for their precious dignity as beloved children of God” (read more here), and our pastor, we take seriously the effort to protect and nurture our children. To read a letter from our pastor Father O’Donohue, please click here. For more information on what we do at Holy Spirit to protect children while teaching the holy Catholic faith, please click here.

Confirmation Retreat Permission Form (Non-Holy Spirit Students)

We welcome students from other parishes who are unable to attend their Confirmation retreat to attend the retreat here on Saturday September 28, 2019 (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM). Parents, please click here to complete the permission form necessary for your child to attend. We will notify your parish DRE of your child’s attendance once the retreat is complete. We may require a pre-retreat meeting with your child to go over any retreat details, safety rules, and conduct expectations.


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