Welcome to Jr. High Ministry, D.A.S.H. (Disciples Actively Striving for Holiness) at St. Anne. Our overall goal in 6 – 8th grade is to witness how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in the tradition of the Catholic faith. How? By engaging our youth in a learning environment that allows them to connect with their peers and reflect on their faith in community. We want our youth to continue to actively work towards getting closer to God through prayer and the Sacraments. We desire for them to know their Catholic faith and LIVE it out in our world – this all is holiness!
1) Religious Education – part of being a disciple is knowing what we believe as Catholics (aka essential facts about our faith and engaging with Scripture)
2) Confirmation prep (part of R.E. beginning in 6th grade/DASH 1) – encouraging/developing a more personal relationship with Jesus
3) Prayer, Service, and some social opportunities both inside and out of regular RE time
D.A.S.H. 2 & 3 calendar
At St. Anne students are prepared for Confirmation starting in 6th grade (or DASH 1). They continue through DASH 3 (usually 8thgrade.) This allows them to have two solid years of fact-based learning before they move into a more “youth group style” Confirmation program in DASH 3. Students typically receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Fall of a student’s Freshman year of High School. Information about requirements are incorporated below into information for each level.
Special note to consider: sometimes a teen decides early they are not ready for Confirmation. That is okay!! But continuing one’s faith formation is always important. So, whether you want Confirmation, aren’t certain yet, or know for sure it’s a “no” right, DASH concepts are still excellent faith formation for their journey! Why? Because the aims for Confirmation preparation are aims for Catholic Discipleship! You can’t go wrong working on them.
CURRICULUM for DASH Jr. High is based off of St. Mary’s Press Catholic Connections Handbook for Middle Schoolers and the Breakthrough Bible for Young Catholics. The textbook is the backbone for DASH.
We understand that families are very busy with outside activities, and we listen to situations on an individual basis. Homeschooling is an option for DASH 1 (usually a 6th grader.)
DASH 2 & DASH 3 Homeschool? Due to the nature of the interactive sessions, large group teaching/activities into small groups with more intentional preparation for Confirmation, students in DASH 2 and DASH 3 should be present with regular attendance at their DASH RE sessions.
DASH 1 (6th Grade students)
–Meet on their chosen day/time: Monday – Wednesday options
-Their focus is the Old Testament, Catholic connections to the Old Testament, Liturgical Year, and precepts of the Catholic Church
– On the first day of class, students are gifted with a special Bible for their studies.
– Connections to Confirmation are made at different points in the year.
- 6 hours of Service – hours can be family based just to get them used to thinking about this and doing service for others. Hours are turned in when completed or at end of year.
D.A.S.H. 1 SERVICE HOUR LOG
(1) At various points throughout the year we try to offer a DASH night. This usually follows a Saturday 5:00 PM Mass when the homily is geared to Jr. High youth. Past events have included: food and movie; food and service project (i.e. plarn making); and food, movie and special prayer in the church.
(2) Youth Fellowship Fridays Approximately once a month on a Friday, junior high youth are invited to come for an evneing of games, some conversation about faith and closing in prayer. Each night is different as those who come vary per month. Each time we meet food may be snacks, pizza or even a hot chocolate bar in the colder months.
(3) Discipleship “Rooted” Groups For the 2023-2024 year, students in DASH 2 and DASH 3 will be invited to participate in a gender specific discipleship group. These options are in addition to regular DASH level sessions.
BLAZE! (DASH 2 & DASH 3 girls)
“BLAZE is a Walking with Purpose ministry that was created to counteract the way society drives girls to question their true worth and beauty. Through BLAZE, we emphasize how a girl’s identity is rooted in Christ as God’s chosen, beloved daughter. An antidote to bullying, anxiety, and body-image issues, BLAZE replaces lies with truth and strengthens girls from the inside out through Scripture-based learning.”
- Parents: quick snip why you should encourage Blaze for your daughter (or Ignite for son)
- Preteens promoting Blaze!
This group meets 20 times this year (Tuesday from 4:45 – 5:45pm).
BLAZE has a 2-year curriculum, so you can enroll for one year or both!
The choice to commit is optional and the cost is $50 (beyond your final RE tuition) per girl to have the boxed kit of items that goes along with each lesson.
IGNITE! (DASH 2 & DASH 3 boys)
Running on Tuesday from 4:45 – 5:45pm, 10 times from October – early January.
This counterpart to BLAZE will cover similar topics, but with concerns specific to boys and helping them in a fun and active way to embrace their identity as a beloved son of God.
Though a kit is not created, the $50 fee will go towards all the items the lessons asks us to buy.
In previous years (2016 – 2018), during the summer a small group of students attended Catholic Heart WorkCamp. This camp is available to incoming 8th graders through High School Seniors. It is a weeklong camp packed from morning to night. Each day begins with Mass (that every teen says is a highlight of their experience); teens move into a day of service projects; upon return back to camp the evening is full of fun, witness speakers, and more awesome prayer. It is one intense yet awesome week! If new parents are open to chaperoning/leading this experience, it may be offered again in the future.