As disciples of Jesus Christ, we in the St. Francis Religion Department are called to continue His mission in the Church by proclaiming the Gospel to our students. Rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition and the charism of St. Francis of Assisi, the department seeks to make the kingdom of God present through the intellectual and spiritual cultivation of faith among our students. Through the study of theology and the religious traditions of the Catholic faith, our students should leave our faith community at St. Francis: knowing who they are as a Catholic women and men; prepared to bear witness to their faith; eager to continue their pursuit of truth and justice; and desiring to serve those in need. As religion teachers, we hope to evangelize our students with the Gospel in order to send them forth as disciples of Jesus Christ into the world. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school-year, the department is implementing the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ High School Curriculum at the freshman and sophomore level.
Graduation requirement: Classes of 2013, 2014, 2015: 3 credits Class of 2016: 3.5 credits
Semester 1: Scripture
The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Through their study of the Bible they will come to encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. They will learn about the Bible, and its value to people throughout the world. They will become familiar with the major sections of the Bible and the books included in each section. Particular attention is given to the Gospels, where they may grow to know and love Jesus Christ more personally.
Semester 2: Jesus Christ
Students will be introduced to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living Word of God and Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Students will understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Revelation to us from God. In learning about who Jesus is, the students will also learn who He calls them to be.
Semester 1: The Paschal Mystery
The purpose of this course is to help students understand all that God has done through Jesus. The students will discover how God wants us to share eternal happiness, which is accomplished through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Students will realize that they share in this redemption and be challenged to integrate this into their everyday lives.
Semester 2: The Church as the Body of Christ
The purpose of this course is to help students understand that in and through the Church they encounter the living Christ. They will discover that the Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit. The students will come to know that the Church is the living Body of Christ today. This Body has both divine and human elements, and the students will identify themselves as a part of the Body of Christ.
RELIGION III: PEACE AND JUSTICE
This course supports the American bishops’ call for “a renewed commitment to integrate and to share the riches of the Church’s social teaching in Catholic education and formation at every level.” This course will expose students to the essential principles of Catholic social justice so they know what the virtue of justice entails. As people of faith, students will articulate how these principles promote justice, reflect on the connection between their Christian faith, worship, prayer, and justice, and can begin to see how individual and societal responses to injustices can effect change and make the world a better place. Through this course, students will come to understand their baptismal commitment to respond counter-culturally to issues of justice and peace.
Note to Seniors: One of the following courses is a requirement for graduation and must be taken Senior year.
CHRISTIAN HISTORY & HERITAGE
This course is devoted to exploring the history of Catholic Christianity and discovering how our heritage of faith is lived from day to day. The Christian faith has always challenged its adherents to live lives of integrity and fidelity to the Gospel call of Jesus Christ. The course focuses on this struggle for integrity by examining the major events and movements of our faith, from its origins to the present day. With research into the past and extensive discussion of the issues facing the church today, we will work to gain insight about how we might live our faith more fully in the future.
The goal of this course is for high school seniors to integrate their religious education into a young adult Christian spirituality. The course provides a doctrinal review, exploration of Catholic belief, and is devoted to exploring the issues that affect our senior’s spiritual journey and vocational call from God. By understanding faith with our heart and mind, the student will be equipped to begin college with a faith life that is his/her own, and the confidence to explain his/her faith to others. This course serves as a blueprint for fostering a lifelong commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
HONORS WORLD RELIGIONS
This course responds to the Vatican II document “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra Aetate) calling for a mutual understanding between Catholics and other religious traditions. In this course, the student will develop an understanding and appreciation of the five major religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism (as well as Confucianism and Taoism). The student will investigate each religion’s founder, basic history, beliefs, actions, sacred places and times. Utilizing relevant literature and other media, students will explore more thoroughly the origins, development and interrelationship of the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam through the period of the Crusades.