Teaching, learning and sharing the Catholic faith is ongoing throughout each and every day and school year. We have daily class and school prayer, weekly school Mass for Lower & Middle School students, along with a monthly All School Mass for Kindergarten through Upper School students. All students also participate in grade level and school wide service learning projects which are all integrated with the rest of the curriculum. Every grade level includes a faith dimension (personal faith and Catholic teachings) in addition to a literary/historical dimension (the Bible or Church history/literature.)
- Pre-K2 – Bible Stories & Saints
- Pre-K3, Pre-K4, & Kindergarten – Bible Characters & Traits
- 1st Grade – God Loves Us
- 2nd Grade – Jesus Shares God’s Life
- 3rd Grade – We Are the Church
- 4th Grade – God’s Law Guides Us
- 5th Grade – We Meet Jesus in the Sacraments
- 6th Grade – We Are God’s People
- 7th Grade – Jesus: The Way, the Truth and the Life
- 8th Grade – The Church Then and Now
- 9th Grade
- 10th Grade
- 11th Grade
- 12th Grade
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students study the history of the Church with an emphasis on the Images, Models and Marks of the Church, 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.
Introduction to Catholicism
This class serves to provide a foundational understand of the Catholic faith by examining the major pillars of Catholicism and the theological and philosophical tenets on which it stands. The course examines the structures of theistic, Christian, and Catholic apologetics, that form the basis of Catholic teaching as well as the philosophical arguments for the faith's fundamental beliefs. Students will explore at a high level the ideas of the great philosophers and thinkers who have laid the groundwork of Catholic theology through socratic dialogues and by engaging with the primary texts. This course serves to provide the groundwork for students to more deeply investigate the beliefs, teachings, and practices of Catholicism and the logical foundations of Western Philosophy on which it is built.
Sacred Scripture and Church History
In the ancient words of St. Jerome, “to be ignorant of Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ.” This course is designed to present Sacred Scripture to students in continuity with the Sacred Tradition of the Church, by studying it through the lens of the Magisterium and the Church Fathers. Similarly, this course will also present to students a condensed history of the Catholic Church, in order to better understand the present state of the Church. Church history will be broken down into four areas of study – early Church history (33-600 AD), Medieval history (600-1300), the Modern Era (1300-1800s AD), and present day (1800s-present).
Philosophy and Apologetics
In the encyclical Fides et Ratio, St. John Paul II states that “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” This course will provide a philosophy of truth and logic that will serve as a basis for apologetics. In this social climate, having a foundation of reasoning and logic is crucial to both forming strong opinions and honing the ability to articulate those opinions. Using the works of great philosophers such as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, that foundation will be formed in the first semester, preparing students with the capability of tacking issues in the second semester such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, and moral relativism.
IB World Religions
This one-year course* is part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme curriculum. It fulfills the Diploma Programme requirement for a group 3 course, individuals and societies. It may also fulfill the IB Group 6 category. As described in the IB world religions subject brief, the world religions course “is a systematic, analytical yet empathetic study of the variety of beliefs and practices encountered in nine main religions of the world. The course seeks to promote an awareness of religious issues in the contemporary world by requiring the study of a diverse range of religions.”
The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, an introduction to world religions, students will study six world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahá'. In the second part, students will study two religions in-depth: Buddhism and Islam. Throughout the year, students will participate in field trips in the Atlanta metro area to visit religious sites, faith centers, and museums.
Building off of Philosophy and Apologetics, this course will continue to use philosophy as a backdrop to learning theology. After learning what it means to gain happiness in the philosophical sense, students will be introduced to concepts such a conscience, freedom, and virtue. This curriculum will culminate in an in-depth study of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. The goal here is for students to not only learn the foundations of moral theology, but see how it is necessary to live a good and holy life, especially in light of the family.