Instruction in the Catholic Faith
The religion curriculum presents the beauty, logic, and saving truth of the Catholic Faith by the study of the following: Holy Scripture and Catholic doctrine, the seven Sacraments and the history of the Church, the primacy of St. Peter and the role of the Magisterium, papal encyclicals and the Fathers of the Church, the teaching of the Church Councils, the lives of the Saints. Daily prayer is integrated into the schedule. Emphasis is placed on familiarity with Scripture and the Catechism as well as on understanding and memorizing the truths of the faith. This coincides with the words of the Holy Father in Catechesis Tradendae where he states,
"A certain memorization of the words of Jesus, of important Bible passages, of the Ten Commandments, of the formulas of profession of faith, of the liturgical texts, of the essential prayers, of key doctrinal ideas, etc., far from being opposed to the dignity of the young Christians, or constituting an obstacle to personal dialogue with the Lord, is a real need . . . Faith and piety do not grow in the desert places of a memory-less catechesis. What is essential is that the texts that are memorized must at the same time be taken in and gradually understood in depth, in order to become a source of Christian life on the personal level and the community level."
Primary, Grammar, and Middle School students memorize select Bible passages and the questions & answers from the Baltimore Catechism, using book No. 1 in grades 1-3, No. 2 in grades 4-6, and No. 3 in middle school. The explanations given in the No. 3 are designed for students in the logic stage. Teachers use the No. 4 to expound on the lessons in the student books.
Bible Study & Church History
Primary students read Bible stories from a Catholic Picture Bible and memorize key Bible verses which they write in their copy books. Grammar students use Memoria Press's Christian Studies Guides along with the Golden Children's Bible for an indepth study of both the Old and New Testaments over the course of three years. The study includes memory work, vocabulary, and comprehension. Sixth graders read the Bronze Bow, giving a historical picture of the time and place Jesus lived and preached. A study of the Acts of the Apostles continues the story of our heritage with the birth of the Church. In Middle School, students will read about ancient Israel again while they revisit Ancient Greece and Rome. They will also study Church history through the Middle Ages and into modern times.
The curriculum is designed to develop Bible literacy, a knowledge of Church history, and a strong faith and Chritian consciousness. To achieve these goals, students follow their study of the Bible, Church history, and Church teachings with a courses in Philosophy and Apologetics in high school.
Building faith and a Christian consciousness
Formal education develops the ability of students to use reason and critical thinking, tools which are frequently turned against the faith to attack and undermine it. Modern education, by its nature, tends to produce a strongly scientific and skeptical frame of mind. The Christian school has a responsibility to teach its young that while the intellectual tools he has acquired through his education can be used to attack the Faith, they can also be used to defend it, that while the Christian Faith may be above reason, it is not contrary to reason, that belief is a choice that is intellectually respectable, and that many of the greatest minds, both scientific and literary, in every age, including our own, have been believing orthodox Christians. We believe that history and reason support the truth of our Faith. All time is dated from the birth of Jesus Christ, the central figure in human history. The integrated curriculum helps students understand why this is true.