Religious Education Classes
Religious Education classes will meet approximately 20 times from September through April. Although most of these meetings are class sessions, special speakers, activities, and liturgical experiences are also incorporated into the curriculum. The middle school religious education textbook is entitled The Catholic Connections handbook. The main topics covered by grade level are explained below:
• GOD, REVELATION, AND FAITH
These sessions will help young adolescents know and understand the Scriptures and Tradition as sources of God’s revelation. Young adolescents will begin to understand how God is revealed to us. The core activities in these sessions will cover basic teachings about God, the Holy Trinity, and God’s plan for salvation, and the Old Testament Scriptures.
• JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
Throughout these sessions the participants will come to know the many faces of Jesus and will be challenged to rely on Jesus as our Savior, a role model, a teacher, a caregiver, and a guide. The participants will have the opportunity to enter into a deeper understanding and relationship with our Lord, from Jesus’ humble earthly beginnings, his glorious Resurrection, and the Holy Spirit as God’s gift to the Church and to us.
• THE CHURCH:
Throughout these sessions the participants will explore how the Holy Spirit moves in God’s people and will discover concrete ways that the Holy Spirit is present in the Church today. The young people will look at how God’s Spirit was present in the lives of the Apostles, examine various models that help us to understand the meaning of Church, and look at how all the baptized participate in the mission of Christ to make disciples of all nations.
• LITURGY AND SACRAMENTS
These sessions are designed to help young people better understand and more fully participate in the Church’s life-giving Sacraments. The sessions cover basic teachings about each of the Seven Sacraments. The participants will begin with an overview of the Church’s Seven Sacraments and then explore the Sacraments in more detail. The importance of the central place of the Eucharist in Catholic life will also be emphasized. Teaching on the Mass is supplemented with Altarations: The Mystery of the Mass Revealed.
• THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH
Throughout these sessions, the participants will explore how the Holy Spirit moves the God’s people and will discover concrete ways that the Holy Spirit is present in the world today. They will examine how the gift of God’s grace is made possible by the Spirit and what it means to be invited to participate in God’s life.
• CHRISTIAN MORALITY AND JUSTICE
This course will help the participants to learn about the moral principles embodied in the Ten Commandments. Young people will have the opportunity to apply Christian moral principles to various real-life situations. They will also be encouraged to use these principles in their own daily lives as they examine their own experiences and consider many of the moral dilemmas young people face.