Religious Education

 

St Theresa Rectory

Religious Education/CCD registration

40 St. Theresa Avenue

West Roxbury, MA  02132

PLEASE NOTE:  

GRADE 1 STUDENTS NEED TO REGISTER FOR FIRST COMMUNION

GRADE 9 STUDENTS NEED TO REGISTER FOR CONFIRMATION 

THESE ARE BOTH 2 YEAR PROGRAMS! 

 

If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the rectory at 617-325-1300, or 

Ellen Klein at eklein001@gmail.com or 617-325-1300 X-128 for Grades 7-10 

 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The Religious Education program at Saint Theresa Parish provides formal instruction for students in Grade 1 through Grade 10.  Students enrolled in public schools or in nonsectarian private schools should attend weekly Religious Education classes.

Classes for Grade 1 through Grade 6 meet on Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. in St. Theresa’s School.  Families are encouraged to attend the 9:00 Mass and bring the children to class after the Mass.  Children in Grade 2 who attend a Catholic School other than Saint Theresa’s and are receiving the Sacraments at Saint Theresa’s must register and attend some classes prior to reception of the Sacraments.

Classes for Grades 7-10 meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 P.M. in the school.  

First Communion and Confirmation are both two-year programs.  Students must register for each Sacrament in Grade1 and Grade 9 respectively. For more information regarding the Religious Education Program, please call (617) 325-1300.

Please contact Sister Maire-Julie Seguin at rmj2@yahoo.ca or 617-325-1300 X-125 for Grades 1-6 and

Ellen Klein at eklein001@gmail.com or 617-325-1300 X-128 for Grades 7-10

 

Our Mission

Baptism ceremonies end with a prayer of blessing for parents which contains these words:

… they will be the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith.  May they always be the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

St. Theresa Parish supports parents as the primary educators of their children and takes seriously the obligation to assist them in the faith formation of their young children and teens.  Our overarching goal in religious education is summed up very simply:  To teach as Jesus taught.  Jesus is at the heart of all religious education.

Three basic objectives undergird the curriculum of each grade:

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to bring every student closer to Jesus,

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to guide our students in the formation of values and a moral  code in harmony with  our Catholic Christian heritage,

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to pass along the rich tradition of the Catholic faith.

We are preparing students for  discipleship and citizenship.  It is our founded hope that parents and parish share a common goal: our young people will become people who give witness to their Catholic Christian faith.  Participation at weekly Mass and prayer in the home are integral to the spiritual growth of children and teenagers.  The information and formation they receive from our program supplements what they see and do within the family.  Both dimensions of religious education -family life and parish program of instruction - will be with them forever.  Faith will be the context in which they live their lives.  It will be their consolation in bad times, their strength in difficult times, their source of praise and thanksgiving in joyful times.  Their lives will model the virtues of faith, hope and love and their lives will be healthier and happier because of this.

Our Philosophy of Religious Education

 

The context for our teaching is one of appreciation for different learning styles and  needs of  the students.   Our volunteer teachers are ready and willing to work with parents to provide a learning environment that will be comfortable for students who may need attention in a particular area.  We view our ministry as a mandate to model Christian virtues of  faith, hope, love, and respect in dealing with all members of the religious education community: faculty, support staff, and families.

This is our Mission and our Philosophy.  May God be with us and help us, parents and parish, as we make this a reality.  

 

Guidelines and Behavior Code

 

The following guidelines are presented so that parents, students, teachers and staff will have an understanding of the policies which help the religious education program run smoothly.ATTENDANCE:  Weekly attendance, with students arriving ON TIME is essential to the students’ religious education and  spiritual growth.  An entire year of religious education instruction amounts to only 24 hours of class time.  They are with us just one day out of 365!   Every class is important.  If your child has to miss class for a serious reason,  please call the Religious Education Office 617(469-2898) and leave the message on voicemail.    If we haven't heard from you,  you will receive a call from us asking why your child is absent from class. You can save yourself and our office this inconvenience if you call us when absence is unavoidable. Please assist your teen in structuring her/his after school activities and part time job schedule so that there is no conflict with our weekly religious ed. commitment.  

We ask your assistance with Sunday morning sports commitments for our lower school students.  All grades 1 - 6  religious education classes in West Roxbury meet on Sunday mornings.  If parents in solidarity make this known to coaches and solicit their cooperation, no family would be in the position of having to choose between football or soccer or hockey or baseball and Sunday School.  Sunday is the Lord’s day.  There should be room enough in the day for just one hour of  faith instruction.

PARTICIPATION: Because our time together is so brief, we depend on the cooperation of each student and the cooperation of each family to assist in making the most of each class hour.   Again, students are expected to come on time.   It is disruptive to class flow and disrespectful of the teacher and other students if a student is habitually late.  We all recognize the fact that circumstances beyond a student's/parents' control occasionally may affect a student's promptness. We hope that this is a rare occurrence. Students coming directly to class from a school activity may have a problem arriving on time for a number of weeks. They must speak to the Director and teacher to inform them of the situation ahead of time.

Pick Up and Drop Off:  Our parking lot is a busy place.  Rarely is religious education the only activity taking place: on Sunday mornings, we have Mass traffic, on Tuesday evenings other events and meetings may be scheduled simultaneously with class.  There are no words strong enough to emphasize the caution drivers must exercise when dropping off or picking up students for religious education class.  It would be helpful to all if parents could carpool.  The Office is willing to facilitate by providing parents with names of families in their general neighborhood who may be able to share the chauffeur duties.

 

If you are late picking up your child - either Sunday morning or Tuesday evening- an adult from the program will wait with your child.    Please check the regular door the students use for religious ed. and if there is no one there, just ring the front doorbell of the Parish House.  We ask that you be aware of the time.  Please note that on Sunday mornings, the 10:30 Mass is rarely over before 11:30.  If you are picking up your child from Sunday School at 11, this would not be a good Mass to attend.

Mindful of our Mission to prepare students for discipleship and citizenship, we strive to foster behavior that will promote a more civilized society.  Everything that goes on at religious education class, before, during, and after the class hour must be rooted in the basic principle of respect. An atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and students, and among students in a class, is the linchpin upon which learning revolves All students must be respectful of Parish property, most notably the School building which we share with the children and teachers in the Parish School.   We are committed to providing every student who wants instruction with a place in our program.   However,  we must also weigh the needs and demands of one student in a class against the needs of the class as a whole.   If a student, in any grade, is unwilling or unable to act respectfully toward others or is disrespectful of parish property, we will notify the parents.   If unacceptable behavior continues, the student will be admitted to class only if accompanied by a parent for the class hour, or the parent will be invited to instruct the child at home. The Religious Education Office will provide teaching materials and support the parent in this task.

Our junior high and high school students come to class after a long and busy school day. So too, our teachers come to class after a long and busy day of work  inside and outside their homes.  Our Sunday teachers give up their morning of rest.   All of our teachers are extremely dedicated and most generously volunteer their time. Teachers deserve to be treated with respect and appreciated for their effort.

CANCELLATION OF CLASSES: The parish bulletin is our megaphone! All cancellations, announcements, and changes in schedule are made through the bulletin or are in the announcements read at weekend Mass.  We expect that the dates contained in this calendar are firm.   Please make sure to take a bulletin home with you each weekend in case a date or activity is changed or canceled. Cancellations due to weather will be on the voicemail message at the Religious Education Office and we will try to have them on WHDH and WRKO. Please do not call the rectory to check on Religious Education Classes. Neither the telephone system nor the parish secretary is able to handle the volume of calls that comes in regarding weather cancellation.   

PROBLEMS??? QUESTIONS??? Please call the office if we can be of any assistance.

 

BEHAVIOR CODE

 

Mindful of our Mission to prepare students for discipleship and citizenship, we strive to foster behavior that will promote a more civilized society.  Everything that goes on at religious education class, before, during, and after class must be rooted in the basic principle of respect. An atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and students, and among students in a class, is the linchpin upon which learning revolves All students must be respectful of Parish property, most notably the School building which we share with the children and teachers in the Parish School.   We are committed to providing every student who wants instruction with a place in our program.  However we must also weigh the needs and demands of one student in a class against the needs of the class as a whole. If a student, in any grade, is unwilling or unable to act respectfully toward others or is disrespectful of parish property, we will notify the parents. If unacceptable behavior continues, the student will be admitted to class only if accompanied by a parent for the class hour, or the parent will be invited to instruct the child at home. The Religious Education Office will provide teaching materials and support the parent in this task.

Parents and students are asked to sign the Behavior Code and return it to the Religious Education Office. The signed copies are kept on file as an indication of our partnership and mutual cooperation in the religious formation of the child.  It takes an entire Parish to raise a child in the faith!

 

Grade by Grade Curriculum

 

Here is a general outline of the curriculum for each grade as well as the prayers that each student is expected to know by the end of the year.   The prayer plan is a cumulative one - once learned, learned forever - new prayers are introduced each year and previously learned prayers will be reinforced.  

 

Grade 1 students are introduced to Jesus as their special friend. Through Jesus they learn about our loving God.  This year they will hear Bible stories.  Prayers: Our Father, Glory Be to the Father, Grace before Meals

 

Grade 2 students learn about God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Jesus’ gift of Himself in the Eucharist.  By studying the Ten Commandments, adapted for their age and grade, they begin to learn the difference between what is a sin and what is a mistake or accident.  Prayers: Act of Contrition. Introduce the Rosary.

 

Grade 3 students learn about the Catholic Church.   They talk about belonging: to a family, a Church,  and a Parish, St. Theresa of Avila.  They also talk about how the Parish prays together at weekly Mass.  Prayers:  Morning Offering, Glory Be to the Father.

 

Grade 4 students learn about Creation and God’s Covenant.  They review the Commandments and learn about the liturgical life of the Church, liturgical seasons and colors.  They also spend  weeks studying the Mass as a whole and the parts of the Mass.  Prayers: The Memorare, Apostles’ Creed

 

Grade 5 students explore the faith of the Christian community, professed in the Creed, celebrated in the Sacraments, and lived out in Christian witness.  They will look at the Nicene Creed, adapted for their age and understanding, and will be introduced to the phrase Kingdom of God.  Grade 5 studies the Sacraments and sacramentals, and emphasizes the obligation of all Catholic Christians - even fifth graders - to be active participants in the Christian community.  Prayer: Prayer to the Holy Spirit, Angelus.

 

Grade 6 students explore the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament.  This is the Scripture that Jesus studied and prayed. Here they will see the roots of our Catholic faith.  Sixth graders, preparing for the big adjustment to junior high, are introduced to different forms of prayer, including meditation.  Prayers: Beatitudes

 

Grade 7 focuses on Jesus Christ - his life, his teaching, his continuing presence in the Church.   This year offers the students an opportunity to really study the New Testament.  Students look at Jesus through the eyes of history, through Scripture, through the Church and sacraments, and through their own experience. Seventh graders are ready to take on greater responsibilities and the curriculum this year emphasizes the responsibilities that come with being a follower of Jesus.  They are encouraged to make their relationship with Jesus and with the Church an intrinsic part of their journey through life.

 

Grade 8 curriculum focuses on the Church and offers a detailed look at how the followers of Jesus approach the ultimate questions of life.  The text focuses on the world of  an eighth grader - the challenges and questions, the joys and sorrows - from a Catholic perspective.  This is our last opportunity before Confirmation to study the rich and at times tumultuous history of the Church.  This is a year of both faith and history.   With the dual goals of formation and information, grade eight is a very important part of developing  Catholic literacy in our students.   We introduce them to the Church of the past, help them to understand better the Church of today, and prepare them to take their places as members of the Church of this new Millennium.

 

Grade 9 curriculum is about moral decision making -  applying Catholic Christian principles to ethical dilemmas  This material is key to the well being - moral, spiritual, psychological, even the physical well being - of our teens.  We will deal with questions such as How do I decide what is morally right or wrong? On what should I base my decisions? What can help me act according to those decisions?

Ninth graders learn skills that will be with them for life.  In addition to ethics, sexual morality is also part of  the moral decision making curriculum.   Students cannot base moral decisions on principles they do not know, do not understand, or of which they are not convinced.  And, they need experience in applying moral principles to real-life situations.  The text relies heavily on a case study approach which allows the students to participate vicariously in real experiences.  Neither parents nor Church can make moral decisions for our children; we can only teach, guide and pray that they will internalize the values and principles that we present to them.   The text we use is Deciding from Harcourt Religion Publishers.

 

Grade 10 spends the year preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation.  Students at this age are trying to find their way from childhood to adulthood.  We try to treat them as the young, “rookie” adults they are.  The text helps students struggle and grapple with adult faith issues as they grow to embrace that faith in which they will be confirmed.  Building on language and experiences that teens understand, the text brings students to an awareness that faith is woven into our life experiences.  In making this connection, it is our hope that students will develop or deepen their personal relationship with Jesus.  Confirmation is about discipleship - choosing to follow Jesus.  Students are reminded that the decision to be confirmed is theirs, a decision made in faith and prayer with their parents.  Confirmation is not something “to get out of the way” - a response we often hear when we ask Why are you in this program?   We encourage students who really  do not want to be with us - and whose attitude reflects this - to discuss with parents or guardians the possibility of delaying Confirmation.  This is our last year of formal, classroom instruction.  We try very hard to make this year spiritually productive, informative, and fun for the students.      

 

 

Adult Faith Formation

Please call the parish office for specific dates of classes, and vacation and holy day/holiday schedule.  Please call Carol O'Brien at 617-325-1300.


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