Religious education is an essential and integral part of the life and culture of a Catholic school. Through it, students are invited to develop the knowledge, beliefs, skills, values and attitudes needed to build a relationship with God and community through the person of Jesus Christ. Religious education shares the same goals and objectives set forth for all good education; that is, the growth and development of the whole person in all his or her dimensions - physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. (1)
Religious education (within the context of a Catholic school) has four essential characteristics.( 2)
- It is Trinitarian . It recognizes God as the creator of all things who gives us Jesus. It is Jesus who reveals God to us, and in turn reveals God’s Spirit, through whom we understand our faith.
- It is based on Sacred Scripture through which we hear the mystery of God revealed, the call to be in relationship with God and each other, and we learn how to pray.
- It is based on the life experience of the students through which they are invited to discern signs of God in their daily lives.
- It is presented within the tradition of the Catholic faith community which, based on Church teachings, sacramental and liturgical life, provides students with experiences of faith, prayer, love and justice. (3)
This Religious Education program was written by the Catholic Religious Education teachers in response to the needs of students in Alberta Catholic high schools today. The program “Alberta Youth Search for Meaning” is approved by the Bishops of Alberta and is in compliance with the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The curriculum strives to engage students in the search for meaning through three major themes: belonging, believing and relating. The program further addresses the study of specific topics through four “windows of authenticity”: truth, goodness, the spiritual and religious community. (4)
Note: Every student registered at Catholic Central is required to take one religious education course during the year. Successful completion of Religious Education 35 is required to attend Graduation Ceremonies at CCHS.
1 - 2008 2009 Catholic School Version Curriculum Handbook for Parents p 7
2 - Panel by K. Goble found outside of Our Chapel of St. Joseph during Advent.
3 - 2008 2009 Catholic School Version Curriculum Handbook for Parents p 7
4 - Ibid 8
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 15 COURSE
3 credits Gr. 10 students - No prerequisite
The overall theme of Religious Education 15 is "Belonging". This course is intended to help our students understand what it means to be part of something outside ourselves and, in recognizing that, to move forward on our journey towards being "fully alive". During the course, students will be given the opportunity to question and to challenge the values held currently and which will eventually become the convictions that govern their future lives. Developing a faith life, a relationship with God, is central to that on-going journey of self-discovery. For each of us, it is a work in progress.
As we work together in that search for understanding of how we belong – in community with one another and with our God – we will look at many ideas, including these:
- Belonging is a basic human need
- Belonging in the Catholic Church
- Christianity (Limited to Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, and Blackfoot Christianity)
- Christian Morality
This course will be taken in Grade 10 in conjunction with Information Processing
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 25 COURSE
3 credits Grade 11 students - Prerequisite: Religious Education 15 - 50%
The overall theme of Religious Education 25 is essentially based on "believing". It is often said that "What you believe, you become." In the course, we begin by asking ourselves such questions as:
- What do I believe in – in terms of both the secular and spiritual realm?
- What are the experiences that give rise to religious beliefs and practices?
- What do I do to express my religious beliefs?
For Christians, Sacred Scriptures are the foundation for our belief. The Holy Bible is the most read book in the world. Every day over a half million bibles are published in virtually every language on earth. The RS25 course will help students develop a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures as we discuss the historical origins and literary structure of the Bible, key events and core narratives of both the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament (the Christian Scriptures). From this knowledge we will explore the World Religions belief systems of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 35 COURSE
5 credits Grade 12 students - Prerequisite: Religious Education 25 - 50% or Religious Meanings 20 – 50 %
The overall theme of Religious Education 35 is essentially based on "becoming" and "relating" in both the secular and spiritual realms. In the course, we begin by asking some very compelling questions.
It is a complex and personally engaging study of how we become who we are. The sacraments are the effective signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, which make us holy, build the Body of Christ, and give praise and worship to God. In RE35 students will deepen their understanding of the meaning of sacramental awareness and of how participation in the sacraments is so central to our spiritual growth. The course provides a particular focus on the sacraments of Reconciliation and Marriage.
In Religious Education 35, as the program does at all grade levels, we will continue to explore the nature of religious diversity in an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding. In this course we will discuss the belief systems of some of the various religions not recognized as Christian by the mainline Christian churches, with a particular focus on Blackfoot and Cree traditional spirituality, Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientology.
The purpose of the community service component - Faith in Action - is to encourage students to use their talents and abilities to help others. The program is designed to fit individual situations and release time is provided during the Religious Education 35 course to accommodate scheduling of volunteer hours. Hundreds of students from Catholic Central High School have contributed substantially to the benefit of our community through the program and have expressed high praise and gratitude for the experience it provided for them. "Faith in Action" is living proof that the words of St. Francis of Assisi remain so true: "It is in giving that we receive".
- "What is my place in the moral ecology that links us all?"
- "What is my personal philosophy?"
- "What is conscience?"
- "How do I develop as an ethical and moral person?"
- "How does the Christian way of life influence relationships in the world?"
RELIGIOUS MEANINGS 20 COURSE
Grade 11 students – Prerequisite: Religious Education 15 - 80%
Religious Meanings 20 follows a similar outline as RE 25. It differs by exploring Christian Spirituality through the lives of other Christians who were searching for meaning in life like St. Benedict, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Theresa of Lisieux, Mother Theresa and found it! Student will discover the richness of Sacred Scriptures through the lives of contemporary Christians who have found meaning in life for we have much to learn from the words and works of Pope John Paul II, Jean Vanier, From this knowledge students will explore the main beliefs of other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam and look into the spirituality of each as reflected in Christianity.