St. Bernard s High School Religion Department

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1 St. Bernard s High School Religion Department Melissa Lesieur Maryann Raymond 45 Harvard Street, Fitchburg, MA stb.echalk.com

2 Current Four (4) Year Religious Studies Progression Freshmen First Semester: The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture Second Semester: Who is Jesus Christ? Sophomores: First Semester: The Mission of Jesus Christ Second Semester: Jesus Christ s Mission Continues in the World Today (the Church) Juniors First Semester: Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ Second Semester: Life in Jesus Christ Seniors: STB will offer two of the following Electives: Sacred Scripture History of the Catholic Church Living as Disciples of Jesus Christ in Society Responding to the Call of Jesus Christ Ecumenical and Interreligious Issues *All Religion Courses are Level One (1) and students receive One (1) Credit for the year. These courses are designed within the frameworks of the National Curriculum established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

3 Religion Courses The Religion Department of St. Bernard s Central Catholic High School nourishes students with methodological academic instruction, opportunities to answer the call to serve in society, and by providing a living example of the Christian life. It is through these domains that the department offers an integral element of the Catholic school environment. Requirements: Students must take religion classes each year and attend the retreat provided by the school; exception: transfer students must pass the religion courses taken for each year they are enrolled at St. Bernard s as well as attend the school provided retreat. Freshmen CORE COURSE #1: The Revelation of Jesus in Scripture The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge of and appreciation of Scripture. In the course, they will learn how the Bible came to be, how to read and interpret the Bible, and what its value is to people throughout the world. The course points out the importance of using Sacred Scripture as a source of spiritual growth, with emphasis on the Liturgy of the Hours; Scripture in the Mass and other liturgies; Lectio Divina; and the Psalms and the Our Father. The course includes an overview of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with a particular emphasis on the Gospels and the person of Jesus, and concludes with an examination of the challenges associated with reading and interpreting the Scriptures. CORE COURSE #2: Who is Jesus Christ? The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, and the second person of the Blessed Trinity. The course intends to help students to understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation to us from God. The course looks at what it means to say that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. In looking at what Jesus Christ reveals to us about himself, students will also see what includes an examination of some of the challenges that humans are confronted with in the face of suffering.

4 Sophomores CORE COURSE #3: The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery) The Purpose of this course is to help students to understand all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Students will learn about God s plan for us to share eternal happiness with God, and that this plan is accomplished through the Redemption that Christ won for us. Topics include creation, original sin, the promise of a Messiah, and redemption through the Paschal Mystery. Students will learn the importance of prayer in the life of a believer and the centrality of Scripture as a source and guide for one s prayer life. Also included are moral implications for living as a disciple of Jesus and the challenges that go along with discipleship. CORE COURSE #4: Jesus Christ s Mission Continues in the World Today (The Church) The purpose of the course is to help students to understand that it is in and through the Church that they encounter the living Christ, that Christ established the Church for the purpose of continuing his presence and his work. The course stresses that the Church, the Body of Christ, was founded by Christ through the apostles and is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit. Topics include the various vocations through which one exercises membership in the Church; the teaching office of the Church; biblical images of the Church; the four marks of the Church; the challenges inherent in living as a faithful member of the Church in the world today. Although both the human and divine elements of the Church are addressed, this course focuses on the sacred nature of the Church, not on events in the life of the Church. Juniors CORE COURSE #5: Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ The purpose of this course is to help students to understand that they can encounter Christ today in a full and real way in and through the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. After an exploration of the sacramental nature of the Church, each of the seven sacraments is examined individually with a look at the history of the sacrament, its essential elements, the effects of the sacrament, requirements for reception, the minister of the sacrament, and the implications for appropriating and living the sacrament. The course also includes and examination of the various challenges to worship and sacraments and strives to impress upon the students that sacraments are the primary means through which they can encounter Christ throughout their lives.

5 CORE COURSE #6: Life in Jesus Christ The purpose of this course is to help students to understand that it is only through Jesus Christ that they can fully live out God s plan for their lives. Included is a study of natural moral law, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the role of the Magisterium. The course looks at the universal call to holiness as disciples of Jesus Christ; sin; grace; virtue; gifts of the Holy Spirit; formation of conscience; the importance of sacraments as sources of strength. Also included is an exploration of the many challenges to living a moral life. Seniors OPTIONAL COURSE A: Sacred Scripture The purpose of this elective course is to provide an overview of Sacred Scripture, including an introduction to the basic principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible. The course intends to highlight the religious significance of Scripture and to give students a sense of the unity of the narrative, the divine plan of salvation, and the presence of God s action in this written record of his Revelation. The course includes an examination of the Pentateuch; the Book of Joshua and the era of the Judges; the Historical Books; the Wisdom Books; the Prophets. Also included is an overview of the New Testament with an examination of each of the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the New Testament letters, and the Book of Revelation. The course concludes with a look at the challenges associated with reading and interpreting Scripture, and the importance of both Scripture and Tradition as sources of God s Revelation. OPTIONAL COURSE B: History of the Catholic Church The purpose of this course is to supply the students with a general knowledge of the history of the Church from apostolic times to the present, and may serve to supplement material taught in Core Course #4 (Jesus Christ s Mission Continues in the World Today). The course emphasizes that Christ established the Church in order to continue his saving presence and work- that the Church was founded by Christ through the apostles, and is sustained throughout history by the Holy Spirit. The course looks at each of the periods of the history of the Church- from apostolic times to the 21 st century, and examines the challenges that have faced the Church throughout the centuries.

6 OPTIONAL COURSE C: Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the Church s Social Teaching. Included are an exploration of God s plan for his people; the Social Teaching of the Church as presented in Scripture, encyclicals, and pastoral letters; major themes of Catholic social teaching; sin and its social implications as it relates to the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. The course presents the challenges that are implicit in living as a disciple in today s society, and intends to impress upon students that the same concern for the poor and needy that was so central to Jesus ministry is present today in the Church s social teaching and mission. OPTIONAL COURSE D: Living the Call of Jesus Christ The purpose of this course is to present students with a look at the various vocations of life and to help them to discern how Christ calls them to live. After an introductory segment in the universal call to holiness and the personal call that each person receives to a particular state in life, the course focuses on a study of the sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders. The course includes a look at the challenges to living out both the universal call to holiness and the particular vocation to which each has been called. OPTIONAL COURSE E: Ecumenical and Interreligious Issues The purpose of this course is to help students to understand the manner in which the Catholic Church relates to non-catholic Christians as well as to other religions of the world. The course builds on the foundational truth that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and entrusted to her fullness of God s Revelation. It intends to help students to recognize the ways in which important spiritual truths can also be found in non-catholic Christian churches and in non-christian religions, and to help them to see the ways in which other belief systems and practices differ from the Catholic faith. Topics include Revelation and the Catholic Church; ecclesiology of communion; ecumenism; the Schism with Eastern Churches; the relationship of the Catholic Church to the Jewish people; the Catholic Church and the Muslim people; interreligious dialogue. The course also addresses the challenges that exist with regard to dialogue with other Christians and non-christians.

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