Photograph of original watercolor by parishioner Ray Sixsmith  
69 Valley Street
Hillsdale, NJ 07642
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A Parent Handbook




Mission Statement of Saint John The Baptist Parish


We parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church are called by Jesus to be a community of disciples, growing in faith and worshiping together in Eucharistic celebration.

Nourished by God’s transforming love and blessed by gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to live the gospel message and to witness it to others.

Thankful for God’s many gifts, as Christian stewards we commit to share our time, talent and treasure in Christ-like service within our parish community and beyond..

We seek God’s blessing and guidance to be faithful to this mission.


General Statement on Religious Education


The overall goal of all catechesis is to prepare for an adult commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church so that faith may become living, conscious, and active.

The role of our Religious Education Program is rooted in the profound truth which lies at the heart of our Catholic Christian faith: God’s unconditional love for every human being and His unbounded mercy toward all who seek His forgiveness.

Through the study of the teachings of the Catholic Church including familiarization with our vocabulary, sacramental system, and a fostering of prayer, we seek to assist parents to draw their children into a closer union with God, and a deeper and permanent commitment to the Catholic Church community.

Parents are the primary educators of their children. It is through the faith commitment of their parents that children become aware of the obligations of being a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In witnessing their faith commitment, our CCD parents are expected to accompany their children to the Lord’s Day and Holy Day Masses.


Celebration of the Eucharist


The Lord’s Day

Saturday - 5 pm
Sunday - 8 am, 10 am (includes Children’s Liturgy of the Word Sep-June), 12 noon
Monday-Friday - 6:30 am, 8 am; Saturday - 8 am

Holy Days of Obligation

(See parish bulletin for Mass times)
January 1 - Motherhood of Mary
40 Days after Easter - Ascension of Our Lord
August 15 - Assumption of Mary
November 1 - All Saints’ Day
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 25 - Birth of Our Lord

Schedule of CCD Classes

Sundays, 8:30am to 9:45am*: Grades K - 8
Tuesdays, 4pm to 5:15pm*: Grades K - 5
*Grades K will be dismissed 5 minutes earlier than the other grades.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered to all children of the parish at services during Advent and Lent. See schedule for dates and times.




Parish Center
One Valley Street, Hillsdale NJ 07642

Director of Religious Education 13
Ministries Secretary 11
Adult Faith Formation 17
Rectory (Priests, Business Office)
69 Valley Street, Hillsdale NJ 07642


Drop-Off / Pick-Up Procedures


This policy was adopted solely for the protection of the children in our program.

Children should be dropped off no later than 5 minutes before classes begin.

At the end of the first class, parents are asked to come into the classroom to meet their child’s catechist.

Children should be picked up promptly at dismissal time. For safety reasons, all parents are asked to park and come to the classrooms to pick up their children. This policy will apply to all grade levels. Children should be picked up no later than 5 minutes after the end of class.

For the protection of all children, no child is allowed onto the playground near the school after CCD classes.

Older siblings will NOT be allowed to pick up younger children.

If someone other than a parent is to pick up a child, the catechist must be informed in writing. This includes car pools.

If a child must leave class early for a serious reason, the catechist must be informed in writing. When the parent arrives, he or she must sign in at the office in the building in which classes are held. The parent will then be escorted to the classroom to pick up the child.


Attendance Policy


Religious education should be a priority. Children are expected to attend all classes, and parents are asked to call the Parish Center office to report an absence. Leave a message if no one is available to answer the phone.

If a child misses more than three classes per year or is frequently tardy, the child may be asked to come for a review with the director and/or to repeat that year.

If illness or a family emergency prevents a child from attending class, parents are responsible for contacting the catechist for instructions, picking up any homework, and going over the material that was covered in class so that the child will not fall behind.


Inclement Weather


In the event of hazardous driving / walking conditions:

On Sundays, we will try to anticipate any hazardous weather conditions. Catechists will be notified and will call the parents of the children in their classes. Do not venture out if conditions are hazardous.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, if Hillsdale schools are closed or close early due to hazardous weather conditions, there will be no CCD classes that day. If the weather deteriorates through the day, we will try to notify all catechists and have them call the parents of the children in their classes. Do not venture out if conditions are hazardous.


Illness / Accidents


In the event of a physical injury or illness, the child will be taken to the office to the supervising adult. The parent will be contacted. An accident report form will be filled out for any physical injuries that occur during CCD classes.

Emergency cards are required for each child and must be filled out and signed by the child’s parent/guardian at the beginning of each year. If a parent cannot be contacted and the situation is serious, the information on this card will be used to assist the child to the best of our ability.

Allergies / Special Needs:

Parents of children with allergies or special needs should make the staff and catechists aware of these needs as soon as possible.

AIDS Virus:

If a child is infected with the AIDS virus, it should be made known to the Director of Religious Education. The information will be held in strict confidence.


We are not allowed to dispense medication of any kind. If your child is taking any type of medication, please inform the Office of Religious Education and indicate the medication(s) on the Emergency Card.

Food / Refreshment Policy


NO FOOD OR BEVERAGE will be allowed in any class at any time. Parents are asked to have their child(ren) have their snack or meal before bringing them to CCD.

Class celebrations should be of a religious nature (prayer services, Gospel plays, review games, etc.) and should not include food or beverages of any kind.


Emergency Procedures


Emergency procedures have been developed and will be followed by all staff and volunteers.

A fire drill will be conducted within the first few weeks of the beginning of classes.

In case of an emergency evacuation of the school (fire, smoke, etc.), the children will be taken into the church and will sit with their catechist and class. We will have a team call all parents to inform them of the situation and to ask them to pick up their child(ren).

If an emergency situation occurs (such as occurred on 9/11/01) during CCD classes, the children will NOT be informed of any disaster. If parents wish to come to pick up their children before the end of class, they must first go to the office to notify the staff of their intentions.

In all situations, concern for our children will be paramount, and every effort will be made to ensure their well-being and safety.


Abuse Policy


No child will be allowed to be in an unsupervised, one-on-one situation with any staff or volunteer in a remote or unobserved area. If you bring your child to the classroom and the catechist or aide are not yet present, please remain with your child until others arrive.

Any parent who suspects any type of abuse should notify the proper authorities immediately.

The policy on abuse for the Archdiocese of Newark is available for anyone who wishes to review it. Please visit or phone our office if you wish to review this policy or to receive a copy.


Texts Used



"This is Our Faith" Parish Program, copyright 1999
Publisher: Silver Burdett Ginn

Grade 1 through Grade 6:

"Christ Jesus the Way" Parish Program,
copyright 2003
Publisher: Benziger

Grade 7

Creed and Prayer
"Faith First" Junior High Program
copyright 2001
Publisher: RCL - Resources for Christian Living

Grade 8

Morality and Liturgy
"Faith First" Junior High Program
copyright 2001
Publisher: RCL - Resources for Christian Living


First Sacraments Preparation


All children who are members of St. John the Baptist Parish (CCD and St. John’s Academy) begin their immediate preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in Grade 2.

Grade 1 CCD or Catholic school religious education is required before entering the sacramental preparation in grade 2.

Preparation includes their regular classroom work in CCD or Catholic school religion classes plus work at home with parents using a workbook. Parent instruction and guidelines are provided. In addition, two mandatory workshops are held on Saturdays during the year.

Texts used: "With You Always" Series, First Reconciliation and First Eucharist workbooks, Publisher: Sadlier, copyright 1997.


Importance of Each Year


All grade levels of religious education are important, each assisting the child to grow in a deeper knowledge of God and of their faith, and an increased awareness of their responsibilities as a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a member of the Catholic Christian community.

If a child misses a year of CCD, he or she will be required to make up the work by private tutoring sessions in addition to their regular CCD class.

Completion of grades 6, 7 and 8 CCD or Catholic school religion classes are required before entering the Confirmation preparation program in Grade 9.


Grade Level Overviews


Kindergarten - God’s Love

Grade 1 - God, Creation

Grade 2 - Jesus, Reconciliation, Eucharist

Grade 3 - The Church

Grade 4 - The Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes

Grade 5 - The Sacraments

Grade 6 - Sacred Scripture

Grade 7 - The Creed, Personal Prayer

Grade 8 - The Moral Life, Catholic Liturgy


Confirmation Program


fter a child has completed grades 1 through 8 of CCD or Catholic School religious education, he or she will receive an invitation to apply for the Confirmation program in grade 9. Children in grade 9 do NOT register for the CCD program.

If you have any questions regarding Confirmation, please leave a message for the Confirmation Program Coordinator at 201-666-2707, extension 29.


Please keep up-to-date with the CCD program notices which may be sent home with your child. You may also refer to the parish bulletin and web site at