The Mission of the Religious Education staff for the North American Martyrs parish community is committed to supporting all its members in their life-long journey of faith. We seek to create an atmosphere of formation and learning – one that is motivated by a strong desire to be in relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The parish Religious Education program requires the support of the family to be successful. Parents are the first and primary teachers of their children. The way a family learns and lives out the Gospel teachings, establishes and encourages Christian values, instills prayer and worship practices, and involves itself in the faith community are irreplaceable modeling practices for children.
By registering a child for religious education classes, parents are reaffirming the baptismal commitment to pass on their faith to future generations. Accomplishing this requires the combined effort, belief and support of all — families, catechists, and parish community.
The parish Religious Education program provides systematic learning,
sacramental preparation classes, and yearly opportunities for adult education.
This enables all members of our faith community to broaden their knowledge
of Catholic Christian beliefs, receive life-giving grace through sacramental
participation, and enrich their lifelong spiritual growth.
Systematic Learning is that part of the parish program that focuses on intentional learning – the “academic” part of religious education.
The systematic learning for grades 1-6 follows a model drawn up in our diocese and first tested at Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Worcester. This Loreto Model is designed to begin in the parish school of religion during the summer over a
one-week full day span (approximately 35 hours) and continues throughout the remainder of the year with Gathering Day sessions. The pastoral staff decides
the number and content of the sessions during the remainder of the year.
The core curriculum for the systematic learning for grades 1-6 of the Loreto Model consists of a three-year cycle of repeated themes:
- YEAR 1 – CREED
- YEAR 2 – CHURCH TRADITION/WORSHIP
- YEAR 3 – SCRIPTURE
Students are grouped in a cluster of three grade levels (1-3, 4-6). After students have completed the Creed, Church Tradition/Worship, and Scripture curriculum on the primary level (1-3), these themes are repeated with content appropriate for the intermediate level (4-6) of learning.
The systematic learning for Grades 7/8 and 9/10 includes Sunday evening classes and an annual retreat. These sessions will cover such topics as Meeting Jesus, Prayer, Making Decisions, Seeking Justice, The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture, Who is Jesus?, Paschal Mystery: The Mission of Jesus Christ, and The Church: Christ’s Mission Continues in the World Today. The systematic learning for grades 7-10 are conducted in an assembly style group setting.
The 7/8 program also includes a component called “Exercise Your Faith” designed to develop and nurture a life of prayer and service in our young people. They are asked to choose activities from three categories entitled “Soul-Stretching,” “Parish Pull-Ups,” and “Community Crunches.” The 9/10 program also includes a ministry component designed to encourage the students to commit to a ministry on a monthly basis that helps them to connect the faith they profess with how they live their lives.
If absolutely necessary, a home study option is available for all systematic learning. However, we strongly recommend class attendance for all our children. Learning in a group setting with an adult catechist is optimum for creating community while encouraging and accepting diversity.