Children and Youth

presentation_of_christ_in_the_temple-largeJesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matt. 19:14

Holy Spirit Parish is pleased to offer a number of opportunities for children and young people to grow in the love of God and to become involved in the life of the Church.

Baptism – Before the baptism of their first child parents must attend a Baptismal preparation program. Godparents are also invited to attend the program. The program is created to assist parents and godparents in their preparation for the Baptism of their child before he or she is born. It offers the parents and godparents the opportunity to be properly instructed in the meaning of the sacrament and its obligations.

Please call the parish office to find out the dates of the Baptismal preparation program, to schedule the Baptism, or if you have any questions.



First Reconciliation – Children celebrate First Reconciliation in the second grade. A student must attend the first grade Religious Education program as well as the second grade program or Catholic School classes and special sessions for the reception of this Sacrament with the second grade class.

Requirements for parents include attendance of the First Reconciliation retreat to enrich and strengthen the family’s understanding and participation in the celebration of this sacrament.

– Older children beyond 2nd grade, are prepared for the First Reconciliation outside the regular classes and may receive the Sacrament individually after consultation with the child, the parent/guardian, the Director of Religious Education and the Pastor.

– Adults and young people who have not yet received the Sacrament of Reconciliation are asked to call the Religious Education Office to arrange for participation in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).



First Holy Communion – In the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown the class reception of the Holy Eucharist or First Communion is celebrated in the second grade. A student must attend the first grade Religious Education program as well as the second grade program or Catholic School classes and special sessions for the reception of this Sacrament with the second grade class.

Requirements for parents include:

  • –  attendance of the First Communion retreat and practice to enrich and strengthenthe family’s understanding of this Sacrament
  • –  participation in the celebration of this Sacrament.NOTE:- Older children beyond 2nd grade, are prepared for the Holy Eucharist outside the regular classes and may receive the sacrament individually after consultation with the child, the parent/guardian, the Director of Religious Education and the Pastor.


Confirmation – The practice in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is to confirm young men and women in the eleventh grade. The diocesan bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation. This ordinarily takes place in the Easter Season.

The Altoona-Johnstown diocesan policy calls for a process which requires attendance in a parish Religious Education Program in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades.



Social Events and Fun Activities – Throughout the year, the parish and various committees host social events and activities that children and youth may enjoy such as the parish picnic, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, and Easter parties, service projects for and in the community, and special events like the parish AGAPE meal.



Vacation Bible School (VBS) – Getting to know the word of God – the Bible is absolutely vital to our spiritual growth. Vacation Bible School is a great venue for children to start learning about the Bible. If you enjoy sharing your talents with others and love working with children and adults as well as sharing faith with others then VBS is a ministry for you. This is a program with a new theme each year, one that motivates and makes faith connections for children of all ages. Those who participate are greatly blessed because they are helping children learn what it means to live and grow as part of God’s family and they see their efforts and their faith grow with the enthusiasm and participation of children.

If you are musically inclined, artistically inclined, have teaching skills or just love to see children enjoy an exciting religious experience then you will be a great fit for Vacation Bible School. You need to meet with the team to prepare for the week of activities, support one another in various activities and be available for the week.

VBS consists of music, crafts, games, skits, snacks, and Bible stories. Anyone planning to help must complete the youth protection training offered by the Diocese and secure criminal and child abuse clearances (the parish office will assist you with these). If you would like to become part of this exciting adventure please contact the Religious Education Office.