Religious Education – School Age

Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

Mission Statement

Embracing the conviction that religious formation is a lifelong, holistic and developmental process that happens in families and parish communities, the St. Margaret Mary total parish religious education program is dedicated to understanding and responding to the faith formation of its members at all stages of their spiritual journey.

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A listing of the doctrines of the Catholic Tradition grade by grade should enable all of us to work toward stronger faith development for our children.

What follows is only a guide for you, the parent.

FIRST GRADE

First grade students learn about God as our Creator, Jesus as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God. The people of God are the Church. They are exposed for the first time to the sacraments and specifically the Sacrament of Baptism; Reconciliation and Eucharist are introduced. As Christians we are called to care and share God’s gifts of creation, to be like Him and to do what He would do. The bible is introduced to children as a collection of many books written by people chosen by God.

Pro-Life Unit: The love of a family toward a baby is beautiful. Social Justice Unit: One World! One Home! One Family! Formal Prayers: the Sign of the Cross, the Guardian Angel Prayer, Glory Be, The Lord’s Prayer, and the Hail Mary are memorized. Other prayers are available in the text. The children participate in the children’s liturgies.

SECOND GRADE

This year, children will be given more detail of the basic teachings about the sacramental life of the Catholic Church and will discover what it means to belong to the Christian Community. Unit One and Two will present teachings of Genesis, the trinity,and the beginning of the church. Units Three and Four are specific on the Sacrament of Eucharist and the Mass.

Pro-Life Unit: Each of us is special. Social Justice Unit: Building Christian Community. Formal prayers: Review Grade 1 prayers, Act of Contrition, Grace Before and After Meals, and A Morning Offering memorized.Children’s Liturgy: First Reconciliation and First Eucharist celebrated. Other prayers are available in the text.

THIRD GRADE

The focus of Grade 3 is the Church and the kind of community the Church is called to be. The mission, the message, the prayer and the actions of God’s special family will be explored.

Pro-Life Unit: Each of us is different and each is valuable. Social Justice Unit: The Contrast Between the Rich and the Poor. Formal Prayers to be memorized: Grades 1 and 2 prayers, Apostles’ Creed, Hail Holy Queen, the Fatima Prayer and the Rosary Mysteries. The sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are celebrated.

FOURTH GRADE

This year the fourth grade student will learn about the Church’s rich tradition of moral example and teaching. This tradition will provide motivation and direction for the child’s moral growth. They will learn about the great commandment of love, the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments.

Pro-Life Unit: We were once very tiny; we learn how we grow. Social Justice Unit: Respect for Other Religions. Formal Prayers/Practices:Act of Contrition, The Apostles’ Creed, The Ten Commandments, The Angelus, and The Stations of the Cross Response are memorized. Children’s Liturgy celebrated: Reconciliation and Eucharist.

FIFTH GRADE

The fifth grade students will study scripture, God’s call, how we respond to his call, the Incarnation, the life of grace, the seven sacraments and the signs of hope.

Pro-Life Unit: “Handicapped” is just a word. Social Justice Unit: The Power of the Gospel. Formal Prayers/Practices: Act of Contrition, Pius Invocation, the Seven Sacraments; The Memorarae, and the Holy Days of Obligation are memorized.

SIXTH GRADE

This year the students will study the roots of our faith found in the Hebrew Scriptures. God is presented as the One who creates out of love and who cares deeply about the world. Jesus is seen as the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, Moses and the prophets. In His life, death and resurrection, Jesus is seen as proclaiming a new covenant, the coming to the Kingdom of God.

Pro-Life Unit: There are many champions for life. Social Justice Unit:Christian Citizenship. Formal Prayers to be memorized: The Memorarae, Hail Holy Queen, and the Prayers for the Dead. Practices to be memorized are: Cardinal and Theological Virtues and the Precepts of the Church.

SEVENTH GRADE

Students begin confirmation preparation, if they have not already been confirmed. They study the units of Morality, Jesus Christ and Sacraments. Lives of the Saints and service to the community are emphasized.

Small Faith Groups begin Second Semester that meet once a month with parent facilitators to plan, implement and reflect on chosen service projects for the community.

Pro-Life Unit: In pregnancy it is a baby, not a glob of cells! Social Justice Unit: World Poverty. Formal prayers: Act of Contrition, Apostles’ Creed, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, and Receiving Holy Communion. Create own prayers. Children’s Liturgy: Reconciliation and Eucharist celebrated.

EIGHTH GRADE

Continuing preparation for Confirmation, students will develop a relationship with God and learn we are each called to recognize his power and celebrate his love for us. They study Revelation, Church History, and The Holy Spirit. Through volunteer service and small group sessions, the confirmands are led to affirm their Baptism and the mission of the Church.

Pro-Life Unit: The facts of what an abortion is and does; and, sexuality is a gift from God, and that by respecting that gift, they can enjoy life to its fullest. Social Justice Unit: World Hunger. Formal prayers: Apostles’ Creed, Act of Contrition, Come Holy Spirit are reviewed, and other prayers are found in their books. Reconciliation and Eucharist are celebrated.

SMALL FAITH GROUPS

Students learn about their faith best by sharing with other Christians, both peers and elders in the parish community, and by doing, service. During Confirmation preparation, the 7th and 8th graders join a small faith group. Each group decides on service and faith building activities to do. We are proud of our parish families who have supported this portion of the young persons’ preparation! They have been courageous and generous in opening their homes and their hearts as facilitators of small faith groups of 8-9 students per group, and by seeing to it that their young person is faithful in their attendance of these monthly meetings.