Our Early Childhood Religion program is designed to develop a foundation for Christian values. They are introduced to appropriate Scripture stories which tell of God’s love; these stories are connected to their own lives. Prayers are taught and praying is encouraged throughout the day. The program helps the child lay a positive foundation for faith formation and to help the child develop a positive view of themselves and others. This is continued through the Kindergarten program. They are introduced to beginning faith vocabulary and provided a readiness for future Catechesis in the faith of the Catholic Church. A balance is provided among doctrine, Scripture, and the liturgical year. Our goal is for the child to understand what Christians believe and discover how to live out these beliefs.
Religion in Grades First through Sixth is taught in a spiral approach to learning our Catholic faith. The four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer – are taught and developed on every grade level every year. This ensures that the beliefs of our faith are introduced to our young people and reinforced as they grow, develop, and mature in their faith.
In our text, chapters are categorized according to Doctrine, Scripture, and the Liturgical seasons. Each chapter opens and ends with Scripture and prayers. Saints and other faith-filled people are highlighted for their (eventual) exemplary lives so that our students have models. The students’ Catholic literacy is built through the explaining of important faith terms and concepts. Each chapter identifies ways students can put their faith in action, and encourages them to do so. Finally, parents can be invited to partner with their children on their faith journeys through the family pages which offer meaningful opportunities for making faith come alive at home. Our teachers are active role models of our Catholic faith and teachings of Jesus.
In Grades 7 and 8, the students use five different books for a comprehensive approach to their maturing faith. Mystery of God discusses Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition as the source of the faith of the Church. The students examine the Creed as a statement of beliefs. Morality: Life in Christ reminds the students that each person is created in God’s image. The principles of Catholic morality and the social teachings of the Catholic Church help our young teens make their daily, important life choices. Church and Sacraments unfolds the mystery of the Church as the students discover how believers take on the responsibility of continuing Jesus’ work on Earth. As the sacraments are studied, teachers stress that they bind us together as a faith community. Jesus in the New Testament explores the life and message of Jesus as explained in the Gospels, emphasizing the importance of praying and understanding the Scriptures. Students are also introduced to the writings of St. Paul, other New Testament letters, and the book of Revelation. Church History introduces the students to the major themes, events, and people that have helped build the Church. Every Christian participates in the journey of faith that began with Jesus and the Apostles; we are all guided by the Holy Spirit.
One important feature of our Religion curriculum across all grade levels is the presence and participation of our supporting parish’s priests as not only visitors but also teachers to our students. Preparation for the reception of the sacraments, living out the Gospels, and concrete ways to lead a moral, Catholic life are only a few of the topics covered by our priests in the classrooms.