The importance of Catholic formation
Welcome to the Religious Education program at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. Since the parents are the first teachers, or catechists, we need your parental cooperation. A fervent sacramental and prayer life are fundamental to the growth of faith. Help us to plant and nurture the seeds of faith for each of your children. Our goal is to draw near to God by instruction and sharing God’s Word.
Registration is currently open for religious education classes. Classes are offered for children in first through eighth grade. Eighth grade is required for the full year. Classes are held in the school on Monday evenings from 6:15 to 7:30 pm. The current year tuition is on the registration forms provided on this page.
We are looking for catechists to teach classes, and aides to assist in the classrooms. Volunteers are provided with training and materials, and parent volunteers receive discount or free tuition. Let us know if you are interested in sharing your faith as a catechist or aide!
Families who wish to enroll their children in our program are first required to be registered parishioners. If your child was not baptized at Sacred Heart, an authentic Baptismal Certificate (with the visible seal present) is required to be on file. Please contact the parish of your child’s Baptism and request an additional copy. This form should be turned into the Religious Education office with your registration form.
At least two years of religious education are required before First Communion (grade 2) and Confirmation (grade 8), so new students in these grades in school may need to be placed in the previous grade for religious education.
The Faith and Life Series is committed to the faithful transmission of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church provide the content of the lessons in this series. We are both proud and happy to have this program for your children’s catechesis. The lesson plans themselves are designed to be guides in teaching even the most complex truths of the faith for every age/grade level.
Grade 1 – Our Heavenly Father
The first grade program is a simple introduction to Bible stories and the basic teachings of the Catholic Faith. The first six chapters are centered on the Book of Genesis, being Creation, God’s gift of love and care for us on Earth. References from The Catechism of the Catholic Church focus on God as Father and Provider. The Book of Exodus follows as the basis for the next unit of study, The Ten Commandments. The promise of the Savior, Jesus, unfolds as stories about the prophets are told. The major unit of study then becomes the story of Mary’s acceptance to be the Mother of the Divine Son of God. The Nativity story is beautifully presented as God the Father’s greatest gift to us – Jesus, Our Savior. New Testament stories about Jesus’ teachings and miracles develop faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In the concluding lessons students will learn that the Holy Trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united as a family.
Grade 2 – Jesus Our Life
The second grade program focuses on the heart of catechesis, the Person of Jesus. God chose to reveal Himself in Jesus, the Christ. He is the Anointed One who fulfilled the prophecies of salvation history. Through the teachings from New Testament stories about Jesus of Nazareth, students will discover that the Triune God is all-knowing, all-caring, and all-loving. Lessons focus on the special gift of God’s life, the soul, which is the invisible life that lives forever. The soul allows us to love and to freely choose both good and bad. The understanding of the Ten Commandments and the Two Great Commandments are presented as the basis of Sacramental preparation, namely, the Sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion. Students will learn that Holy Communion is Jesus as the Bread of Life, food for the soul. Woven into the lessons of study for these Sacraments, students will learn to love God and to rely on His loving mercy and forgiveness. The continued reception of these two Sacraments will strengthen and enrich their faith and God’s children on their journey in a relationship with God.
Grade 3 – Our Life With Jesus
The third grade program defines God’s love for man. Man is made in the image of God. God made each person unique, out of love, and gave him free will. Students will learn that by the use of reason we can see the perfections and attributes of God. New Testament references and the Basic Catechism of the Catholic Church are cited in order to develop understanding of God’s nature and man’s purpose to know, to love, and to serve God. Lessons center on worship and praise for Almighty God through the four forms of prayer and the Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist. The importance of the Mass is emphasized in that it is the perfect prayer because Jesus Himself is the perfect sacrifice and the seal of our covenant with God. The concluding lessons describe the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church, and our life in His Church through the sacraments as the signs of God’s grace and love.
Grade 4 – Jesus our Guide
The fourth grade program is presented in two parts — Biblical history before the time of Jesus, and the time of the New Testament. The first section of study references Creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the ancestors of the Israelites – more specifically Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses; and the reign of Israelite Kings. As this unit of study ends, the next part continues with the Kingship of Jesus Christ as the King of Kings. His life among His people is shown by His ministry and mission to accomplish God the Father’s will and work on earth. Lessons are focused upon the Ten Commandments as a code of love for God and others. The Passion of Jesus serves to teach students that Christ’s death meant redemption and salvation. The presence of Jesus is with us now in the Mass where He offers Himself; Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Grade 5 – Credo: I Believe
The fifth grade program provides a strong base for the development of faith because it is centered on belief in God as inscribed in the very title of the book. The first twelve chapters contain lessons that focus on faith as a supernatural gift from God. Faith allows us to believe the truths which God has revealed. Students will learn that God has revealed Himself through Creation, Scripture, Tradition, and perfectly in the person of Jesus Christ. They will learn that the Apostles Creed summarizes the tenets of our faith as revealed by Jesus Christ to His apostles. Chapters 13 through 30 emphasize Jesus is the model and example in the moral life of truth and obedience. The mystery of the Incarnation, God becoming man, is discerned and devotion to Mary is presented. The grace, revelation, and understanding of God the Holy Spirit are themes interwoven into the second part of the fifth grade program.
Grade 6 – Following Christ
The sixth grade program presents systematic instruction of the Ten Commandments. Each 0f the Ten Commandments is dissected and discussed in detail in chapters one through sixteen. The lessons are presented in the light of relationship with God and neighbor. The material illustrates the obligations and responsibilities that are laden in observing God’s laws. Respect for authority on both divine and human levels is accentuated. Students will better understand the significance and sanctity of the Mass using the content of the last part of this program. They will learn that reverence of all things holy is a requisite when encountering Christ in the Church.
Grade 7 – The Life of Grace
The seventh grade program encompasses the relationship between faith and reason. Saint Thomas Aquinas’ proofs for God’s existence are expounded. They will learn that faith and science work together. By completing the lessons on knowing God through creation, they will understand God as the Divine Creator and man as the highest level of creation. Man’s soul can only be created by the Triune Godhead. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are used to demonstrate God’s plan for salvation through the Paschal Mystery. Prefigures of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross are cross-referenced between Old and New Testament stories. The symbolism of the Church as the Body of Christ depicts the Church as both a human and divine institution. The Church is an institution because there is both structure and organization to this community of believers. She is guided by laws, has a set of beliefs and doctrine, a holy book (The Bible), and a historical tradition. Within the scope of the seventh grade program, the crowning glory of study will be the preparation for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Grade 8 – Our Life in the Church
The eighth grade program focuses on Christ’s abiding presence in the Church. Jesus founded the Church, and He is present in it, through it and with it throughout all ages of time. Initial lessons describe the birth of the Church and Pentecost, the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The hierarchy and the marks of the Church as one, holy Catholic, and apostolic are explained. The nature of the Church is examined through the imagery found in the New Testament. Students will learn that the deposit of Faith from Jesus and His Apostles continues to gradually unfold throughout all time. The growth of the Church’s understanding of the meaning of the truths of Christ is called the development of doctrine. The Nicene Creed’s truths, the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church as well as the Councils of the Church are highlighted topics of learning. Students will learn that virtue is an abiding disposition of the soul to do good. The moral, theological and cardinal virtues come from God and direct us to God. Please note that Sacramental life will be bestowed on the Confirmands in the fall of the school year.