Founded in 1843, the Holy Childhood Association is an international
organization whose membership is made up of students
in Catholic elementary schools and religious education
programs; it is an organization dedicated to fostering
children's awareness of the missionary nature of the
Serving our Schools and Religious Education Programs
The Holy Childhood Association Program in the Peace and
Social Justice Ministry exists to be of service to
schools and religious education programs in the Joliet
Diocese. It is an integral part of our Mission and
Global Solidarity efforts, joining such programs as
Catholic Relief Service's Operation Rice Bowl, Partnership
in Mission to Bolivia, East Africa, and the Philippines,
and legislative advocacy initiatives on behalf of
the poor and oppressed around the world.
Authorized by the Vatican, and in collaboration with the
U.S. Bishops, HCA distributes educational and fund-raising
programs to school and religious education programs
throughout the United States. It is sometimes known
as the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood
because it is sponsored in a special way by the Pope.
It is the official agency of the Holy Father for the
distribution of the fund raising proceeds realized
through the efforts of children for their underprivileged
brothers and sisters in Third World situations. A
Resource Guide (created by HCA in New York) that touches
on all aspects of HCA, is available in pdf form by
clicking here. (put form here) (To view and print
PDFs, Acrobat Reader, free from Adobe, is needed.)
We recommend that each local program appoint a MISSION
MODERATOR to assist with mission awareness and education.
This person is responsible for contact with the Peace
and Social Justice Ministry for purposes of mission
animation of students. We will be happy to visit a
Mission Moderator at his/her site to assist in any
area of mission awareness.
Our Programs: Making a Difference In the Lives
More than 100 countries participate in this effort to bring
the young of different cultures closer. HCA is unique
in that the assistance it provides to less fortunate
children comes almost entirely from those their own
age. Funds raised go toward orphanages, slum areas,
schools, hospitals, refugee camps and handicapped
centers to provide food, medicine, clean water, shelter,
and education. There are at least seven established
programs of participation for children's involvement.
Going the Extra Mile
for Kids in Need:
A special program for
October, Mission Month, where each diocese in
the U.S. is assigned a needy country and is encouraged
to have its children donate a dollar for every
mile of the country's length.
Advent Hope House Appeal:
Children in the Joliet Diocese raise funds for
a special project that the Holy Childhood in Rome
lets us know about.
Christmas seals, with artwork done by young HCA
members in the United States, are available for
programs to purchase and sell.
In the Joliet Diocese children may choose to participate
in Operation Rice Bowl, a program of Prayer, Sacrifice,
and Almsgiving from Catholic Relief Services or
the traditional HCA program of offering boxes
or coin folders to sacrifice for the needs of
children in crisis.
HCA Around the World:
This geography-based mission education program
is designed as a resource for elementary school
teachers, parish schools of religion, and families
to help young people learn more about the world
around them within the context of mission and
their responsibility for that mission.
an offering of $1.15 per student, programs can
subscribe to It's Our World, an educational periodical
on the missions published three times annually
at three different grade levels.
The SHARE/CARE Program:
Some programs raise funds for children in the
missions in programs of their own design such
as a Walk-a-thon. Others do a daily or weekly
collection. Funds such as these are part of the
general category called SHARE/CARE.