Children are introduced to simple faith concepts including God is our loving Father and creator of all things and Jesus is our Savior. Children celebrate God’s love and goodness in Bible stories and activities. Children are introduced to spontaneous prayer as well as five fundamental prayers: the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Grace before Meals, and Angel of God.
Children learn that God loves them and that they are to love God and one another. This level also presents and develops other faith concepts, including silence, obedience, the Church as family, reverence for the Bible, being sorry, and God as the giver of life. Children continue to pray spontaneously as well as using traditional prayers, which include the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Grace before Meals, and Angel of God.
1st Grade – God Loves Us
The first grade program will lay the foundation for the children’s spiritual growth and development by enhancing their knowledge of the Catholic faith. This level teaches important faith concepts, including salvation, love, Baptism, the Holy Trinity, and the importance of Scripture. Children practice fundamental prayers, including the Sign of the Cross, Glory Be, Our Father, Hail Mary, Angel of God, and The Way of the Cross.
2nd Grade – Jesus Shares God’s Life
The structure and meaning of the Mass are emphasized throughout the year as students prepare for two sacraments, Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. The catechesis helps children respond joyfully to God’s call to give themselves in love to God and others. This level also introduces children to the Church as the body of Christ and to Mary as Mother of the Church. Prayers include Morning Offering; Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love (short forms); Act of Contrition; Meal Prayers; Come, Holy Spirit (short form).
3rd Grade – We Are the Church
At this level children learn the main truths that Catholics believe and express in the Apostles’ Creed. Children are called to the faith community and learn the ways Jesus is present to us during the Mass. The study and re-telling of Bible stories, especially those related to the mysteries of the rosary, continue. Children grow in their understanding of vocation, healing, and our response to God. Prayers include Morning Offering; Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love (short forms); Apostles’ Creed; Rosary; and Act of Contrition.
4th Grade – God’s Law Guides Us
Children are introduced to the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes as guides for living. Catechists teach children that, as followers of Jesus, we must know these teachings and live them. This level also focuses on kinds of prayer, parts of the Bible, reconciliation, and the communion of saints. Prayers include Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love; Angelus; Hail, Holy Queen; Come, Holy Spirit; and The Way of the Cross.
5th Grade – We Meet Jesus in the Sacraments
Students deepen their understanding of celebration and worship through the Eucharistic liturgy. The Eucharist is presented as a gift from God through which to share divine life. Lessons include liturgical prayer and guide children to respond to God’s presence through prayer and loving service to others. The text focuses on the sacramental system and the paschal mystery. Prayers include Come, Holy Spirit; Queen of Heaven; prayers of the Mass; and Psalms.
6th Grade – We Are God’s People
Students learn about God’s saving love as revealed in sacred Scripture, particularly in the Old Testament. This study of salvation history helps students gain a deeper appreciation of the person of Jesus Christ and his continued presence in the Church. Lessons also explore the book of Psalms, the concept of “sacred,” roots of the sacraments, symbols, and the perfection of God. New prayers include psalms and the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
7th Grade – Jesus: The Way, the Truth and the Life
Students learn about the teachings and mission of Jesus. They gain deeper understanding of the paschal mystery and ways to live the message of the Gospels. Students will see Christ as our way to the Father and grow in understanding and love of Jesus. This level, which explores journaling, also discusses respect for justice and the RCIA program. Prayers include Prayer to St. Michael, Act of Contrition (Rite of Reconciliation), Acts of Faith, Hope and Love, Prayer of St. Francis, and the Nicene Creed.
8th Grade – The Church Then and Now
Students study the history of the Church with an emphasis on the Acts of the Apostles and grow in an awareness of the mystery of the Church and its mission. Students are invited to value their union with Christ in the Church and to live according to Christ’s teachings. Lessons focus on the Liturgy of the Hours, reflective prayer, respect for life, the life of the Church, and the presence and action of the Holy Spirit.