CURRICULUM SUMMARY FOR PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
Preschool-Age 3, RCL: Stories of God’s Love
This program is especially designed for three year olds. This activity-rich text provides experiences for the child to explore the Bible and the stories that God has given us so that we know how much He loves us and how He wants us to live. Prayer experiences foster and nurture the young child in prayer. Activities focus on development of faith through language, visual, motor and listening skills,and games. Scripture and theme-based stories, songs, poems, chants, finger-plays, and movement activities present life and faith themes.
Preschool-Age 4, RCL: Stories of God’s Love
This program is especially designed for four and five year old children to learn about Jesus. The activities in this program offer themes about caring in our families, for our families, for others, and for God’s world. With stories, songs, activities, and games, the children are exposed to the life and stories of Jesus and the place he fills in a Christian life. The children are brought to an understanding of how much Jesus loves each of us especially them.
Kindergarten, RCL: Stories of God’s Love
The children explore the wonderful world God made, and how God made people to be like Him and to love Him and others. God shows His love through others and how when we pray, we are talking to God. God wants us to care for His world. They learn that Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Mary and how all Christians are called to follow Christ. The children learn about the Church as a family created by God and how all creation is called to live by the Law of Love. They are introduced to the words and actions of the Sacraments and how they show the wonders of God.
CURRICULUM SUMMARY FOR ELEMENTARY GRADES
Grades 1-5, RCL: Be My Disciples Series
Every lesson in the Be My Disciples series has faith concepts, Sacred Scripture, Disciple power, faith vocabulary, faith filled people (Saints), statements of what Catholics Believe, how the Church follows Jesus, Prayer, Catechism of the Catholic Church, and statements of belief from the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults. There are 8 chapters on “We Believe”, 8 chapters on “We Worship”, 8 chapters on “We Live” plus many extra chapters on special occasions in the Church, ie. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc. These areas follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In the First Grade, the children are introduced to the Bible as God’s Word and how much God loves us. God, as our Father and Creator, Jesus, the Son of God, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus are also part of the introduction. How Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church supports our journey in faith is covered. In our Catholic family, we pray, go to Mass, and learn about the first Christians. Prayers memorized are the Sign of the Cross, the Hail Mary, and the Our Father.
In the Second Grade, the children are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Everything they do focuses on the basics of both. The first half of the program focuses on Reconciliation and Bible stories referring to sin, forgiveness, and God’s love for us. The children learn the Act of Contrition. In the second half of the program, the children will learn about the Mass, the prayers of the Mass, Bible stories about the Eucharist and how much Jesus’ love for us makes us better people. They also study about how the Mass is God’s way of keeping us living in His love.
Celebrating Our Faith: Reconciliation and Eucharist are the additional books we use for the sacramental preparation programs. These books are for parents and catechists to work together to prepare the children to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time. There are also sessions for the parents for each sacrament with Msgr. Gaalaas on an adult understanding of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
In the Third Grade, The Church as the holy People of God called to live holy lives are a people of prayer. The Communion of Saints, gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Church Year, and the Sacraments encourage our worship and faithfulness. They also study God’s Laws of Love, the Great Commandment, and the Creed as well as how to live our faith and pray as Jesus did.
In the Fourth Grade, the children study about the people of God and how learning about the Bible, the gift of faith, the mystery of God and His promises inspires us to more closely follow Him. They also learn about Jesus and His death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit coming on Pentecost. The children learn more about the liturgy and worshipping God. They also study the Sacraments and how we are to respond to God’s call to us to be like Him. The Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments are a big part of this year of study.
The Fifth Grades study Divine revelation and how God makes Himself known to us. The Holy Trinity is another mystery of the faith that we can begin to accept along with the greatness of the Lord. The Paschal Mystery is taught to the children with a greater understanding of celebrating the Liturgy. The Sacraments along with more information about making moral decisions and living the Covenant is also taught. As part of this year the students are introduced to living a just and truthful life through prayer and knowledge.
CURRICULUM FOR MIDDLE AND SENIOR HIGH PROGRAM
In the Sixth Grade, the students continue exploring the mystery of the Church and God. They concentrate more on the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the Law of Love, making moral choices, and how our conscience help us to judge whether an act is good or evil. They also study the Lord’s Prayer and how it teaches us to live the Gospel. Other forms of prayer such as vocal prayer, prayers of meditation, and contemplation are part of the year’s study.
Seventh Grade, RCL: Christ Reveals God’s Mystery & Christ in the New Testament
The first topic studied is Revelation—how God is revealed to His people, how we know God through Scripture, and Faith and Tradition. Seventh graders are taught how to use the Bible and to understand the New Testament. Incarnation, Jesus as a model of wisdom, His relationships, Our Savior and how the Church is One in Christ are topics that are studied. Also studied are the Church as a community of disciples, Catholic, the Body of Christ, the source of life, Apostolic and made up of the Christian Faithful.
Eighth Grade, RCL: Life in Christ Jesus Christ in the Liturgy
The eighth grade will study Morality—freedom and responsibility, valuing life, being virtuous, honoring God and family members, and everyone’s dignity. They will also review the Sacraments of the church. Their last topic of study will be the Kingdom of God and how we are called to be a part of God’s World.
Ninth Grade, RCL: Understanding the Catechism: Creed & Journey Through the Old Testament
This course deals with the most fundamental and significant of all life-truths. The students will cover topics including the meaning of faith, professing Christian faith, prayer and celebrating the Christian mysteries, and living as a Christian. They will also study the Old Testament Scriptures and the main themes addressed in it.
Tenth Grade, RCL: Understanding the Catechism: Morality & Journey Through the New Testament
This course is about moral decision making—about applying Christian principles toward the resolution of ethical dilemmas in real life in the real world. While individuals face different specific issues and decisions, everyone confronts these basic questions: How do I decide what is morally right or wrong—especially in a complex situation? On what should I base such decisions? What can help me act according to those decisions? The New Testament will also be a part of their year of study.
Eleventh Grade: Sacrament of Confirmation
The entire eleventh grade year of Religious Education is devoted to a systematic study of faith and the Catholic teaching of that faith. Our text is The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth which is the youth version of The New Catechism. The candidates will also be expected to participate in 2 retreats, do Christian service for the community and the parish, and through prayer and discernment of how the Catholic Christian faith is present in their lives make a choice to be confirmed.
Twelfth Grade: Living as a Christian
This program focuses on the personal, social, and faith tasks confronting young adults, and nurtures the attitudes and skills required by young people to live as Christians after they leave high school. There are many opportunities for prayer and reflection as well as time to share with others.