CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES and SACRAMENTS
- All religious education books are in accordance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory for Catechesis.
- The objectives of each grade are outlined in detail in the children’s workbook. Each grade also incorporates the Liturgical Seasons, the Mass, Scripture and the age-appropriate life experiences of the child.
- Sacramental Preparation for Reconciliation and First Eucharist occur at Grade Level 2. Parental involvement is essential.
- Sacramental Preparation for Confirmation begins in Grade 9 and Confirmation is conferred in the Spring of Grade 10.
- Music is an integral part of the curriculum in Grades K-3.
Objectives for each Grade Level:
- The overall theme for this age group is Love and Creation:
- God loves each of us just like our Moms and Dads love us.
- God created the whole world because he loves us so.
- God created all living things, all people, each of us.
- God gave us Jesus his Son because he so loved the world.
- He gave us Jesus to be close to us.
- Concepts: Love, God Our Creator, Being Sorry, Reverence
- (introduced) For the Bible and Celebration (Thanksgiving, Advent Christmas, Lent, Mary, New Beginnings, Mass)
- Prayers: Sign of the Cross
- Our Father
- Hail Mary
- Grace before Meals
Grade Level One:
- This level serves as remote preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, as well providing a basis for understanding of Community, belonging and the Mass.
- Concepts: Basic orientation toward the Sunday Worship experience and prayer. We are part of Jesus’ family through the Catholic Church. In our family, we gather together, eat meals together (like the Eucharist) and celebrate together (Liturgy). Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to be with us always, in Baptism. The children learn through interactive stories and music.
- Prayers to know by heart: Sign of the Cross Hail Mary
- Our Father Glory Be
- Grace before Meals
- Additionally: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Mary, Saints
Grade Level Two:
- Sacramental Preparation with the family for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. There will be two parent meetings, which require that at least one parent attend, for both First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Additionally, the curriculum includes belonging to the Church, being welcomed to the Sacraments in the context of the Liturgy. The Mass will be taught throughout the year.
- Concepts: The gift of God’s forgiveness and the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.
- The presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
- Reverence in Church.
- At Mass, we celebrate the life, death and Resurrection
- (Paschal Mystery) of Jesus Christ.
- Sacrament as an encounter with Jesus
- Prayers to know by heart: Sign of the Cross Our Father, Glory Be Grace before Meals ,The Act of Contrition, Hail Mary
Grade Level Three:
- This year the children learn of two great stories; the birth of our Lord and his Passion by participating in the Christmas Pageant, as well as The Stations of The Cross, where they present their own art work and written interpretation to Jesus’ Way of the Cross. Jesus’ triumph over pain, suffering and death will be stressed to the children.
- Concepts: The Church is presented in our belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Membership in the Church is not conditioned on race, nationality, gender or status.
- Mission as service to all member of the human race.
- Social justice is introduced.
- Prayers to know: Same as Grade Level 2, plus an introduction to The Apostles’ Creed.
Grade Level Four:
- Theme for this level concentrates on the Old Testament as a basis for our moral development -through the 10 Commandments -and God’s Covenant with his people. Jesus taught us that the 10 Commandments could be summed up with the Great Commandment, “Love God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself” and the New Commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12)
- This moral development is connected to Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament, through the Beatitudes.
- Lives of the Saints are studied as examples of Christians who lead exemplary lives.
- The children are taught the Rosary and the Holy Spirit as Third Person of The Trinity is also developed.
- All the previous prayers should be known by heart, as well as the 10 Commandments.
Grade Level Five:
- The Seven Sacraments are the area of concentration for this level. Creation is recalled reminding us that God created all things, and humanity in his own image. We remember that Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift to humans.
- The Sacraments are an encounter with Christ, which are made visible through sacred signs (word,water, Chrism, laying on of hands, etc) and celebration,(The Eucharistic Liturgy). The students will know the three Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) the Sacraments of Healing, (Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick) and the Sacraments of Service, (Matrimony and Holy Orders).
- They will continue the discussion of our call to social justice and their understanding of the Mass and moral conscience.
Grade Level Six:
- The children study the Old Testament in depth at this level, beginning with the story of Abraham and Sarah, the Exodus, Prophets, the Maccabean revolt and how these events in our Salvation History provide us with an understanding of the teachings about the Kingdom of God in the New Testament.
- The students will connect the Passover events with Jesus’ death, Resurrection and Ascension, and our Eucharistic Celebration.
- Additionally, by studying the Events of Moses and the Israelites, the students will understand the concepts of sacrifice and promise,(covenant), hope and faithfulness, trust and prayer.
Grade Level Seven:
- This level begins the remote preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The curriculum revolves around three specific points: Jesus, in the New Testament, The Pascal Mystery (life, death and resurrection of the Lord) and the Sacraments.
- At this point in their faith development, the focus moves to knowing Jesus as a person by learning about his life, culture humanity, and ministry, thus identifying Jesus as an example by which we can live.
- The Sacraments are also stressed as visible signs of Jesus’ presence, the Church as Sacrament and Jesus as the primordial sacrament.
Grade Level Eight:
- Level Eight continues the understanding as Jesus’ example of faith even when our culture values the opposite of what Christianity values.
- The first half of the year deals specifically with Morality-what it means, what our Church values in our behavior and decision making. The ability and strength to recognize what may be socially acceptable may not be in keeping with the values of the Catholic Church and what God wants for us is highlighted.
- The second half of the year is a concentration of learning about preparation for the Living Stations of the Cross. This program, lead in prayer, reflection and performance for the parish by the 8th grade, is an integral part of the formation which prepares the teens to begin their candidacy for Confirmation in Grade 9 .
- Throughout the entire year our Church’s mission, therefore our personal mission to work for social justice issues in our own community and whenever possible throughout the world, is also stressed.
Confirmation: Grade 9 & 10 (Confirmation I & II respectively)
Our program follows the Sacramental Guidelines established by the Archdiocese of Hartford. The Pastoral Guidelines for the Instruction Programs says:
“Each parish is to have at least a two year Confirmation program encompassing the following dimensions:
- Confirmation as celebrating the Paschal Mystery.
- Confirmation as sign of initiation into adult faith.
- Confirmation as a gift of hope and challenge to believers and community
- Confirmation as a sign of messianic community express-d in service and mission.
- Confirmation as affirmation of faith community
- These objectives are achieved over the two-year period. It is through the community established within the class that this sacramental preparation, thus the sacrament itself, becomes meaningful for our young adults.
- The retreats, classes, service and small group sharing each bring a special, spiritual dimension to the preparation, thus, regular attendance is essential for this experience.
- There are two parent meetings which are very important to support the efforts of the students and catechists. The sponsors are welcome to attend all parent meetings. The parents are required to attend.
- The students are required to spend at least 25 hours in service to the Community-either Church or civic is acceptable. The point of this requirement is to introduce the teens to service as a way of life as Christians. Ideally, this service doesn’t end after Confirmation but continues as they become fully initiated adults in the Catholic Church.
- They are also required to write a composition on the Saint whose name they have chosen as a model of faith. Required to enroll in Confirmation I (Grade 9) is the completion and participation in the Living Stations Program in Grade 8.