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Goals of the Program

Religious education gives students the information and the tools that they need to realize and respond to God’s love for them. Our program at St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena guides students into closer relationship with God and our Catholic community by preparing them for the Sacraments of Penance, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. We want to teach the children of this worshipping community to come to know God, learn to love God, and to live a life in response to God’s love!

At St. Mary–St. Catherine of Siena we recognize parents as the first teachers of their children in beliefs and practices of our Catholic Faith. Our Religious Education Program is designed to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children. The program provides formal classroom instruction in the doctrines of our faith, and provides an environment which enables children to apply these teachings to their lives. Equally important to this instruction are our goals of helping children and families to worship, sharing and fostering community and motivating children to service.

Parents’ participation in all aspects of our program is essential to its purpose and success. Children learn best by example. We ask that you accord your children’s religious classes the importance they deserve. By working together, parish and family, our faith will fill the hearts of our children! For more information, e-mail agaroutte@stmarystcatherine.org.

Kindergarten– This year, our youngest students will learn about God, our Church, and what it means to be a Catholic. Through learning, celebrating and sharing together about the gifts God gives to us, the students will have an introduction into God’s love for them, and will be given instruction on how to use these gifts to thank God for all of the love we receive

1st Grade– During this time together, our first graders will learn about the person of Jesus. The students will explore how Jesus grew up in a family, had friends, and loved God. They will witness the way Christ lived as an example for how we all should live. Later in the year, we will begin to prepare the students for their first reconciliation and first communion the following year by teaching them about the Church. Jesus sent out the Holy Spirit which allows our Church to grow. First graders will learn that serving the Church is a special way of following Christ.

2nd Grade– This is a very important year in our program because it is where we prepare students for 2 special sacraments. Reconciliation and 1st communion are wonderful ways that our students become more active in our worshipping community, and begin to participate more fully alive as one body in the Church. The program focuses on Jesus participation in these two sacraments, and how we are called to love and serve just like Christ.

3rd grade– Third grade students will learn about how Jesus gave us the Church, and that they are called to be active members of it. As members of the Church, we pray and celebrate together in many ways, and during this section of our program the students will learn and experience these ways first hand. They also will be reminded about the importance of prayer in our lives, and they will be given the tools they need to learn to pray on their own.

4th grade– During this important year, the students will learn about God’s law as they explore the Ten Commandments. The students will discuss sin, breaking rules and laws, and what the consequences are for ourselves and for God. They will be reminded that they are called to be disciples of Christ, and live their lives according to God’s law, being reassured always of God’s love for them.

5th grade– The 5th grade students will be reminded of how important it is to build their relationship with God through prayer and practice. They will begin to go deeper with their understanding of the sacraments, exploring each one and thinking about the effect these ways of meeting Christ might have on them. As they walk with Jesus through the sacraments, they are reminded of the importance of their presence and participation in the Church, as we celebrate our Catholic lives together.

6th, 7th and 8th grade– This is a very exciting three year program where the middle school students work together to bring together all they have learned about our faith, and put it to work in a real way. These students will devise and put into action a service project which will be beneficial to the people of God. They will discuss in what ways the world needs our help, and use their knowledge of the laws, values, and spiritual practices of Catholicism to build their service project to be completed at the end of the year.

Confirmation Preparation for Grades 9 and 10– The Confirmation Preparation Program is a two year program in collaboration with St. Francis de Sales.  Grade 9 classes are held at St. Francis de Sales Parish.  Grade 10 classes occur at St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parish. For more information, please contact Alexander Garoutte at agaroutte@stmarystcatherine.org.