For Grades 1 – 5:
The text used is the Sadlier Publishing Coming to Faith Series. This series helps children to explore their Catholic faith, develop morally, and grow in religious understanding and practice. The curriculum carefully blends age appropriate child development with faith and moral development. Just as the child learns incrementally in school, so the child must learn about faith. The texts introduce topics that are more challenging as the child moves up in grade level.
The textbooks are all designed the same way – there are five movements to each chapter. Movement one is “Our Life” and the children are invited to think about and name a personal or faith experience related to the theme of the lesson. Movement two is “Sharing Life” where the children are encouraged to think, share, or talk with God, one another, and/or the catechist about the life or faith experiences they named in the first movement. Movement three, “Our Catholic Faith”, presents the Catholic Church’s vision based on Scripture, Doctrine, Liturgy, and Faith stories of our Church. Movement four, “Coming to Faith”, offers activities and questions to help the children learn, understand and relate our faith to their lives. Movement five, “Practicing Faith”, challenges the children to decide how to live the Catholic faith today in their homes and parish. At the end of every chapter for every grade level there is a section called “Faith Alive, at Home and in the Parish.” These pages are for you, the parent/guardian, to work on with your child. They give you an opportunity to spend time with your child sharing faith.
The following is a list of the textbooks:
Grade 1: Coming to God
Grade 2: Coming to Jesus
Grade 3: Coming to the Church
Grade 4: Coming to God’s Love
Grade 5: Coming to God’s Life
Middle School Program (Grades 6-8):
Faith formation is the ongoing need of this age group. Much of the wisdom of our faith, the “basics”, is already present through their previous religious education as well as in the life experiences of these learners. Understanding the restless nature of our young teens, the Discovering Program from St. Mary’s Press offers a variety of topics in short six week segments, workbooks for each segment as opposed to one textbook for the year, and lessons which utilize active learning techniques. Throughout each course, the lessons are grounded in faith stories taken from Scripture.
In addition, there are special lessons for special times of the year – Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc. Every meeting includes time for prayer.
Realizing that these early adolescents are beginning the struggle to separate from authority while learning to make their own decisions, we want them to know that we recognize and value the changes that are happening to them. The Middle School Program is designed to assist them during this early part of the journey to adulthood.
This year we will be introducing the topic of “Growing Sexually” in all grades of our Middle School Program. While the public schools offer a neutral, clinical instruction, we will endeavor to provide the factual information about sexuality while fostering healthy attitudes regarding the sacredness of one’s body, the development of loving relationships, and the knowledge that God created life to be holy and loving. This will be done in a six-week segment and parents will be given an opportunity to view the material and ask questions prior to beginning the topic.
In addition to the “Growing Sexually” component, each grade will explore two other themes throughout the year:
Grade 6: Becoming Friends and Praying
Grade 7: Understanding Myself and Meeting Jesus
Grade 8: Learning to Communicate and Being Catholic