The Religious Education program is very proud to announce a new video series:
Our Church: Learning about Holy Innocents with Fr. Greg Doherty.
6/20/2021: The Religious Education program congratulates Henry Slocum who received his First Holy Communion last week at the 9:00AM Mass. All those in attendance in person and on our livestream were able to witness and celebrate this very special day in Henry’s life. We join with your family and friends in praying that this is the first of many, and that you will remain as close to Jesus throughout your life as you are this day. Congratulations Henry! Today we celebrate Father’s Day and wish all the fathers, uncles, and grandfathers of our students and in our parish a very happy day!
6/13/2021: One of the most loved and popular saints of our faith is Saint Anthony of Padua and June 13th is his feast day. He was born into a wealthy family and was raised in the church. In 1220 he joined the Franciscan order and won great admiration as a preacher. He was noted for his simple yet profound teaching of the Catholic faith. News of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi, and Saint Francis entrusted Anthony with teaching his friars. Saint Anthony had a book of psalms with notes and comments to help him with his teaching, and one of his students stole his book. Saint Anthony prayed that his book would be found or returned to him, and it was. This is the reason he is commonly referred to as the “finder of lost articles.” Pictures of Saint Anthony usually show him with a book and the Infant Child Jesus. Holy Innocents has a beautiful stained glass window depicting Saint Anthony, see if you can find it!
6/6/2021: Registration for the 2021-2022 year has begun! The information for registering is on the parish website. We have also enabled on-line payment via WeShare. All classes will be in-person. First Grade through Fifth Grade will be offered Monday through Thursday. Sixth Grade will be on Monday evenings, Seventh Grade on Tuesday evenings, and Eighth Grade on Wednesday evenings. Registration will continue through August 31st. The registration form can be emailed to Religious Education or mailed to the Parish office. Feel free to email us with any questions. `Thank you!
5/16/2021: We are happy to announce that in this unusual year we have completed a successful year of Religious Education at Holy Innocents! It could not have been possible without the care and support of our pastor, Fr. Luke Hoyt, O.P. who was willing to charter the untested waters of going virtual! Our parents, the first teachers are also to be acknowledged and congratulated for working with us throughout the year. Thank you for your patience as we progressed through the year, and the dedication you showed to your children to learn
the ways of our faith and your support to our program. The largest, heartfelt thanks to our thirty-five catechists who made the journey interesting and fun for the students. They designed new creative assignments, hand-delivered projects, and materials, and utilized ZOOM, and whatever methods worked with their students to keep them engaged and learning! Thank you all! We are working to be back in person in the Fall. Stay tuned for information regarding 2021/2022 registration.
5/9/2021: The Religious Education program congratulates all our First Holy Communicants. List of 1st Communion You worked hard throughout this difficult year to receive Jesus for the first time, and we are so happy to celebrate with you! We especially thank the parents who are the primary educators of the children in the ways of the faith, and who will continue to assist them in their future growth in faith through their prayers and actions. A heartfelt thank you to our Second-Grade catechists, Mrs. Josephine Cardone, Mrs. Alice Fortino, Mrs. Kasey King-Petrellese and Mrs. Kathleen Trudo for their dedication to preparing our children for this special day! Thank you to Fr. Luke, Fr. Leo, and Fr. Greg for making the liturgies so beautiful and meaningful for these special days, and we also thank Roseann Graj for planning the special logistics to keep everyone safe.
5/2/21: Mrs. Raefski’s Confirmation students asked for your assistance with one of their service projects – to create Easter bags for the children at Mercy Center. So many of you donated and were very generous. Religious Education program thanks you for your support and we wanted to share the response from the Mercy Center.
“I just wanted to thank you and all of the students and families who helped to bring such big smiles to our children – you had to see their faces when they saw the beautiful bags – WITH THEIR NAMES ON THEM! They loved them! I couldn’t get all of their pictures, but I did get quite a few! We all know how challenging this year has been – thank you for bringing such love and joy to our children! When I told them the story of how you made them all especially for each of them they honestly couldn’t believe it! One of our parents and one of her children were assaulted this weekend, so it is so good for our children to see that there is goodness in this world – thank you for being that GOODNESS! May God continue to bless you and protect you always, Marianne”
4/25/21: The Religious Education program thanks all of the parishioners who generously contributed to Mrs. Keating’s eighth grade service project to provide donations to the Food Pantry run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal in Harlem. Sr. Elizabeth wrote to us and expressed her gratitude and assured us of their prayers for our parish and all the Confirmation students. She especially relayed a story of their UPS driver who was overwhelmed and could barely keep up with the constant deliveries to their convent. One day they received 22 packages! Sr. Elizabeth explained the reason and the project and he was touched and moved by your witness of faith and your good will toward the poor. Thank you for your generosity! We never know who will be touched by our actions.
4/18/21: This weekend’s readings speak of the breaking of the bread. Jesus broke bread during the Last Supper and gave it to His disciples, and that act is remembered at each Eucharistic celebration. His words “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” The early Christians came together regularly for common meals, which included bread and that sharing was part of their fellowship. We still come together at mass and remember Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and share His body and blood during Communion. During this weekend, as you hear the words, and receive the Eucharist, say a special prayer for our Second graders who will partake in the Eucharist for the first time in May.
4/11/21: The Religious Education Department wants to thank Fr. Greg Doherty for making the video series Our Church: Learning About Holy Innocents possible. When presented with the concept and idea, Fr. Doherty willingly accepted the role of host and presenter. Fr. Doherty did his homework, researching the history of our parish, and all the aspects that are presented in the series. When technical glitches happened, he gave us more time for filming, voice recording and editing, even during the cold weather, and despite personal aches and pains. He directed his words and explanations for our Religious Education children, but his work is appropriate for all parishioners. Fr. Doherty walked in, around and outside the church and explained the various aspect of our beautiful parish. The Religious Education program is extremely grateful to Fr. Greg Doherty for bringing our parish to life in this special video series. He brought so much knowledge and experience to the production and made it a wonderful gift to our children. While the video series was designed as an education tool for the children, it can be enjoyed by everyone. Thank you, Fr. Greg !!
3/28/2021: The Religious Education Department wishes all the members of our Parish a very Happy Palm Sunday. We hope that all of you will participate in the beautiful liturgies of this week that commemorate the events surrounding the suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. The liturgies of Holy week are filled with some of the richest and most ancient symbols of the Catholic faith. The waving of palms today reminds us that we are called to be followers of Jesus, not just distant fans. The Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday speaks to us of the selfless love that we are called to practice in imitation of Jesus. The Veneration of the cross on Good Friday reminds us that, as Christians, we believe that Jesus can overcome anything, even death. The lighting of the Easter fire, and the procession of the paschal candle into a darkened church from which our individual candles are lit, speaks to us of the new life that is ours because of Jesus’ triumph over the darkness of sin and death through His resurrection. Our students will not have classes during Holy week, it is our sincere hope that they and their families will participate in these special days.
The Holy Innocents Eighth Grade Religious Education students have performed various service projects in their preparation for Confirmation. Christian service is one of the tenets of our faith and follows the example of Jesus who came to serve. Mrs. Joey Keating’s class decided to host a food drive to help those in need. They arranged for this contactless project utilizing Amazon to collect donations. The food collected will be shipped directly to the Food Pantry in Harlem run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. If you would like to contribute, please click here to be directed to the Amazon list. Your generosity is appreciated, and the class thanks you in advance for helping them help those in need.
3/7/2021: This week beginning Monday, March 8th, the sacrament of Confession is being made available to all our students in the Religious Education program. We are incredibly grateful to our pastor, Fr. Luke Hoyt, O.P., and to all of our priests for taking the time to be available for the students. Our Second graders have already led the way last week by receiving their First Reconciliation. They were well prepared and completed this first step toward receiving First Holy Communion in May. This is an especially perfect time for our Eighth graders to have this opportunity since they will be receiving Confirmation, in a few weeks on March 20th. In Confession we can repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. Receiving absolution from any sins we may have committed is like a “spring cleaning” for our souls! We hope that many of our students will avail themselves of this sacrament this week. It helps us stay close to God and the church, a friendship that will sustain us through a pandemic and through life.
2/28/2021: This week in Mrs. Graj’s Sixth grade class, they marked Lent with Butterflies. This activity is one of Mrs. Graj’s yearly classroom events with her class. She beautifully modified it for our Coronavirus days, through her ZOOM session. This year, she placed the larva in individual cups labeled for each of her students. Each student then named their larva, and Mrs. Graj wrote the name on the cup so each week they can monitor and watch their “buddy” grow and transform. The activity is designed to be an exciting way for the children to mark their Lenten journey. As the weeks of Lent progress, the students will watch the larva/caterpillars grow into butterflies! Just as we are growing closer to our Lord and being transformed into something new and beautiful through our Lenten Journey. Thank you to Mrs. Graj for continuing this activity for our children! Thank you to all of the students in Mrs. Graj’s class for participating in this beautiful activity. We look forward to the pictures of your “buddies” when their transformation is complete!
2/21/2021: On Monday, February 22nd and Tuesday, February 23rd our Second Grade students will be receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. These students are learning about their faith under the direction of their catechists – Mrs. Josephine Cardone and Mrs. Kathleen Trudo, Mrs. Alice Fortino and Mrs. Kasey King. This is their first sacrament since baptism and one of the important parts of this year’s preparation for their First Holy Communion in May. Their instruction has emphasized and encouraged partaking in this sacrament as part of living our Catholic faith. We are very grateful to Fr. Luke, Fr. Leo and Fr. Greg for making the necessary accommodations for receiving this sacrament under the current Covid-19 restrictions. Please especially keep these children, their parents and their catechists in your prayers this week.
2/14/2021: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Religious Education program!! Our eighth graders continue to make us proud with their various service projects during these days of social distancing, isolation and contactless deliveries and opportunities.
Mrs. Pomilla’s class has decided to lead the rosary for several weeks before Sunday mass, and has also arranged to bake and deliver sweets and treats for the workers and patients at Rosary Hill. They are bringing some brightness and cheer to all of those who are so alone to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day.
Mrs. Keating’s class is sending Valentine greetings to our retired religious, who have been wonderful models of Christian service during their lives.
During this holiday, a holiday focused on love, and those in our lives that we love, these catechists designed projects to show love for others. We are very grateful to all of them!
1/31/2021: The Holy Innocents Eighth Grade Religious Education students are currently preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. A part of their preparation for the sacrament is learning about and performing service. Service is based on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and, most of all, on the examples of Christ who came to serve. They will be looking for opportunities to serve their families, in their community and for our church.
Mrs. Danielle Raefski’s class has reached out to the Mercy Center. The Mercy Center offers programs that empower women and their families to reach their full potential and become agents of change for healthy family living and economic independence. Each 8th Grader will be making Easter baskets for the current 70 children at Mercy Center. The project includes decorating bags and making cards for the children that range in age from First to Seventh grade. Each bag will be filled with candy and presents.
The class has decided to use Amazon to collect items to include in the baskets. If you would like to donate, select from the Amazon Wish list and the items will be shipped directly to the class. Mrs. Raefski’s class will then assemble and deliver the baskets.
Your generosity is appreciated and the class thanks you in advance for helping them make a special and memorable Easter for the children at the Mercy Center. Please do not bring any donations to church. It is through Amazon only. If you have any questions please contact Cathy Sabol.
1/17/2021: The Religious Education program has begun our second semester using our on-line textbook, Finding God by Loyola Press. We are looking forward to more interesting activities and program wide projects!
The second and eighth grades are preparing for their sacraments. The sacrament of First Reconciliation is being planned for February, Confirmation will be in March, and First Holy Communion will be in May. The catechists in these grades are busy preparing their students for these special occasions.
We once again wish to thank the parents and the catechists for their partnership to teach the faith to the children of our parish. The first semester was a success due to their dedication, and we know this next semester will be completed in the same way.
Please continue to keep these dedicated teachers and the children in your prayers.
1/10/2021 The Religious Education program wishes to thank Mrs. Wanda DeJesus and the decorating committee for inviting our children to participate in decorating the Christmas tree in the Narthex. We were invited to add an ornament to the tree that was of importance to us. It could be something that represented our nationality, our favorite sports team or something significant about our family and our Christmas traditions. The bigger picture was that we take our uniqueness and add and blend it to the Holy Innocents family, making that family richer. Thank you to all of our Religious Education families who contributed and thank you to the Decorating committee for the beautiful job they did preparing our church for the celebration of the Christmas season, and allowing us to be a part of it!
12/27/2020 On Sunday, December 13th, the eighth graders in Mrs. Moran’s class worked together to complete two portions of their Confirmation service projects. The class attended the 11:00 AM Mass and then stayed afterwards to clean the church. This important act is part of the COVID-19 protocol and is keeping all of us at Holy Innocents safe as we attend our liturgies. They then moved into the Social Hall and sorted, wrapped, and labeled the gifts they had collected for the Open Door Medical Center in Mount Kisco. The students collected 400 gifts and overwhelmed the people at Open Door who were afraid they might not have enough gifts for everyone!
Thank you to The Black Cow, Key Food, Lucio’s Pizza, Pleasantville Pharmacy, and the Village Bookstore for allowing the students to have space for a collection box.
We are very proud of these students for thinking of others besides themselves, for working hard to design and then implement this project and for bringing joy to so many people at Christmastime. Thank you to Mrs. Moran and the parents who worked to help make this project a success! Thanks to all the students for their service!
12/20/2020 The Holy Innocents Religious Education program continues our Advent wreath project and this Fourth Sunday of Advent, the children reflected on the theme of Peace. The candle is known as the Angel’s candle, and reminds us of the message of the angels – “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men” !
Our Eighth Grade Religious Education students continue their preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Mrs. Keating’s, Mrs. Foley’s, and Mrs. Raefski’s classes are all spreading Christmas joy by writing personalized Christmas cards to the Religious Sisters at Marian Woods, and the Dominican Friars who are retired or in elder care facilities. We thank them for being angels to those who embody the Catholic tradition and have been models of our faith and Christian service!
The Religious Education program of Holy Innocents wishes you all a very Merry Christmas. We continue to pray for our wonderful parish, Fr. Luke, Fr. Leo, Fr. Frank and Fr. Greg, and ask that you pray for all of our beautiful children that are the future of our parish and our Catholic faith! Merry Christmas!! Sending you our love and wishing you His Peace!
12/15/2020 The Holy Innocents Eighth Grade Religious Education students are currently preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. A part of their preparation for the sacrament is learning about and performing service. Mrs. Moran’s students chose to organize and distribute holiday gifts for the Open Door Medical Center in Mount Kisco. They asked Pleasantville retailers for permission to place boxes for unopened, unwrapped gifts in their stores. The students then visited those locations every few days to collect the donations.
We are grateful to The Black Cow, Key Food, Lucio’s Pizza, Pleasantville Pharmacy, and the Village Bookstore for allowing the students to have space for a collection box. On Sunday, December 13, the class attended the 11:00 AM mass and stayed afterwards to clean the church. They then worked in the Social Hall to sort, wrap and label the gifts they had collected. They delivered over 400 gifts to a very grateful Open Door! We are so very proud of them and their efforts to bring a Merry Christmas to those in need!
12/13/2020 The Holy Innocents Eight Grade Religious Education students are currently preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. A part of their preparation for the sacrament is learning about and performing service. Service is based on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and, most of all, on the examples of Christ who came to serve. They will be looking for opportunities to serve their families, in their community and for our church.
Mrs. Kaley’s Eighth Graders have decided to spread Christmas joy and spirit to the patients at Rosary Hill Home and the Dominican Sisters who so selflessly care for them. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the patient’s families are not able to visit them, and the Sisters are not permitted to leave the facility.
The Eighth graders will be creating Christmas gift bags for both the patients and Sisters, as well as cards with messages of their prayers and God’s love. The students will then host a Christmas Party Zoom with the patients and Sisters at Rosary Hill where they will sing carols, as well as recite Christmas stories and poems.
This virtual visit will allow those at Rosary Hill the chance to see the beautiful faces of the children who have so lovingly tried to help them, and the children will see the joy that they have brought!
11/29/2020 Our Religious Education students are building their own Advent Wreath located in the Front entrance of church. Each week the children are writing answers to a theme question, and their answers will create the candles of the wreath.
Week 1- What does it mean to have hope, or what do they hope for?
Week 2 – How do we show God’s love, or How do we feel God’s love in our lives?
Week 3 – What brings them joy? What have they done that brought joy to someone?
Week 4 – What makes them feel peaceful? What have they done to foster peace?
They are so amazing and intuitive!! They are hoping, like so many of us, for an end to Corona, they hope things will go back to normal, they hope to be back at school and see their friends, and they are hoping to be together with their extended families for Christmas. They show love by doing good deeds, sharing a smile and going to church! We invite you to stop by and read their responses as you enter church.
11/22/2020 In our Finding God curriculum, every Grade level’s unit starts with the same theme. For example, Unit 1 was titled God our Creator and Father. The sessions (chapters) within that Unit develop the ideas in age appropriate ways and provide thought provoking questions and activities to do and ideas to discuss as a family.
Within Unit 1 there was an opportunity to look at ways that Jesus is a part of our life and how we are part of one family. The various activities and ideas centered around seeing Jesus in all that they do, and to pray to Him.
Our Eighth Graders were asked to draw a picture of a path, and the challenges they faced, asking who was there to help. The Seventh Grade learned about Jesus’ genealogy and how we all belong. For the Sixth Grade, they were asked to consider God’s trust and how they can build that trust in their family and community.
The Fifth Grade’s activity was to draw a picture of God’s love and care for them and their families. In the Fourth Grade, they learned about free will, and how Jesus can help them mend relationships in their family. The Third Grade also discussed trust in God, and they were asked to draw a picture of resting in God’s hands.
The Second graders learned about praising God, and to draw a picture of how they and their family used prayer to praise, and the First grade was asked to draw a picture of themselves with Jesus.
In Mrs. Finck’s First Grade class, they talked about praying and how Jesus gave all of us a special prayer, and that we can consider Him part of our family. The following drawing by Owen Santiamo was submitted and we are proud to share with all of you!
Thank you, Owen!!
We praise God and thank Him for the many blessing He has bestowed on us. Happy Thanksgiving to all of the parishioners of Holy Innocents from Religious Education!
Dear Religious Education Families!
Thanks to all of you who contributed to our beautiful Holy Innocents Family Tree!
Each leaf is as lovely, unique, and special as the children who created them!!
You can see it in person in the Parish vestibule!
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers. ” Psalm 1:3
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as a time to honor all saints and martyrs, and we continue to celebrate All Saints Day as a holy day of obligation in most years. The primary reason for establishing a common feast day was quite simply, there were not enough days of the year for a feast day for each martyr and many of them died in groups. This feast was followed by a day in honor of soon-to-be saints, or All Souls, celebrated on November. 2nd.
In Mrs. Lent’s and Mrs. O’Reilly’s Seventh Grade class, the students took the opportunity of this celebration to research saints they were interested in. This beautiful collage showcases some of their choices including St. Agnes of Rome, St. Anthony, St. Catherine, St. Peter, St. Nicholas, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Martin de Porres, and St. George.
All you holy men and women, pray for us!