Children Helping Children
Over 150 years ago, Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson founded the Holy Childhood Association as a mission organization for children to help other children. Today, thousands of children within the Archdiocese of Edmonton support children in mission countries through prayer and sacrificial giving. Each year we support specific countries as advised by our National Office. This financial gift is used for children in orphanages, slum areas, street havens, schools, hospitals, refugee camps and handicapped centers. The money provides food, medicine, clean water, shelter and education to the children.
The Archdiocesan Mission Council publishes a Holy Childhood Newsletter for Advent and Lent, which is distributed to all parishes and schools in the Archdiocese. The National Office of the Holy Childhood Association also publishes twice-yearly graded newsletters (Gr. 1-3, 4-6, 7-9) which focus on the children in the countries that are currently being supported. They also have videos, posters, activity sheets and Advent and Lenten materials that can be ordered at no cost to the schools and parishes.
We ask that any funds raised for the Holy Childhood be forwarded directly to the National Office, 2219 Kennedy Road, Toronto, ON, M1T 3G5, in the form of a cheque made payable to Holy Childhood Association. For more information about the Holy Childhood Assocation call toll-free to 1-800-897-8865 or email hca(at)missionsocieties.ca
To order free educational resources, visit the Holy Childhood Association website.
In Our Parishes
Every year, more parishes respond to our call to become involved in the Holy Childhood Association program of "Children Helping Children". The children of our parishes want to play a role in helping other children in mission countries, and regularly set the Canadian record for most funds collected by a single diocese. Some parishes invite the children to come forward to the altar to drop their coins in a simple jar at the same time as the adult collection. Other parishes make it a part of their catechetical program, youth group, Advent or Lenten program. We extend a special thank you to all the parishes currently involved in the Holy Childhood and we welcome all parishes to come on board!
In Our Schools
The Holy Childhood Association is also active in our elementary and junior high schools. Many of our schools make it their Lenten project in preparation for Mission Day in May. Some schools have come up with some very creative ideas for fundraising, while others keep it as simple as sending the HCA mission boxes home with the students to be returned at the end of the program. The Archdiocesan Mission Council welcomes invitations for school visits at any time throughout the school year.
Holy Childhood Mission Day Mass
World Mission Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday of May each year. Since 1999, the The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton has invited participation from all elementary and junior high schools throughout the Archdiocese to gather in prayer at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Richard Smith. Fundraising is not a requirement to attend the Mass; however, most of the schools attending have done some fundraising during Lent and choose this time to present their cheque, made payable to the Holy Childhood Association, at the Altar during the "Presentation of the Gifts." Students are invited to participate in various parts of the Mass.