Chairperson: Sr. Barbara Ann Kolonoski, A.S.C.
To express Church teaching authentically and completely, The Catechism of the Catholic Church will be used as a source book throughout all of our religion courses. The Religious Studies curriculum follows the most recent guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age, which was developed by the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the USCCB and approved by the full body in November 2007.
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of Sacred Scripture. It is through the study of the Old and New Testaments that students will grow in knowledge of the story of our Salvation while being introduced to Jesus, His Life, His words, and His deeds as the definitive Revelation of God. Students will be engaged in the learning process with media options while having opportunities to live out the lessons they have learned.
The primary focus of this course is on the mission of Jesus Christ as it is presented in the Gospel and through the teachings of the Church. The strong Christological emphasis leads students to a deeper understanding of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, and continues to build on the Scriptural introduction from the first semester course. The course is designed to utilize the life experiences of adolescents and to encourage them to become active followers of Jesus.
The course focuses students on the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ. “The Paschal Mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection stands at the center of the Good News… (Catechism of the Catholic Church #571).” Students will examine the life of Jesus and what led to His suffering and death. This course guides the learner towards a deeper understanding of our need for redemption and how Jesus is the fulfillment of this redemption.Students will experience an extensive understanding of Christology and make insightful connections to their own lives by self-reflection.
The purpose of this course is to help the students understand that in and through the Church they encounter the living Jesus Christ. They will be introduced to the fact that the Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and is sustained by Him through the Holy Spirit. The students will come to know that the Church is the living Body of Christ today. This Body has both divine and human elements. In this course, students will learn not so much about events in the life of the Church but about the sacred nature of the Church.
In this course, students will study the seven sacraments in detail and learn about how the sacraments are the definitive way they may encounter Christ as he remains present in the Church and the world. They will have the opportunity for intellectual inquiry and will participate actively and regularly in the sacramental life of the Church.
In this course, students will study the Catholic Church’s teachings about matters of ethics and morality. They will study and discuss concepts of conscience and law and develop decision-making skills to make sound moral judgments. Major ethical issues of the 21st century will be explored: cloning, stem cell research, euthanasia, abortion and capital punishment.
In today’s world we are constantly encountering new cultures and becoming increasingly aware that our world is made up of people with very different, and sometimes not so different, religious beliefs from our own. The Second Vatican Council states that “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in the world religions and also has a high regard for their conduct and way of life.” The goal of this course then is to present an introduction to the main beliefs and practices of the world’s major religious traditions. It includes examining the main festivals, symbols, holy places, and sacred writings of the major faiths. Special emphasis will be given to Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Christianity and the life and teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
The first part of this course is designed to enable students to explore various aspects of their emotional, psychological, and spiritual development as they prepare to accept the invitation by God to pursue a Christian way of life. In the second part of the course, the four vocations (single, married, religious, priesthood) are discussed. Students are asked to focus on the realities of these vocations and what they have learned about themselves so that they may come to a mature and informed understanding of which vocation God may be asking each one to follow.
This second-semester course introduces seniors to the Church's social teachings about human rights and needs in an interdependent world. The study of social justice as seen through the eyes of faith challenges students to search for insights about the causes of injustice and to formulate responses to social issues according to the principles of the dignity of the human person, human rights and responsibilities, preferential option for the poor, stewardship, the dignity of work, and the call to family, community and participation.
As the U.S. biships state in Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: "We need to ensure that every Catholic understands how the Gospel and church teaching call us to choose life, serve the least among us, to hunger and thirst for justice, and to be peacemakers. The sharing of our social tradition is a defining measure of Catholic education and formation."