Religion Department Philosophy and Goals
Through a combination of intellectual pursuit and personal growth opportunities, the St. Monica Catholic High School Religious Studies Department, in concert with the Campus Ministry program, strives to form students into mature faithful young men and women.
The Religious Studies Department supports the school’s commitment to producing graduates who “embody the Gospel Message by:
- Possessing the foundation to mature in his/her personal relationship with God
- Knowing and appreciating the teachings and traditions of the Catholic faith and respecting other religions
- Promoting a community of faith through prayer, worship and action”
Intellectually, we recognize that adolescents should and do make their own decisions, and therefore the department members dedicate themselves to molding well-informed conscience by presenting a systematic approach to the MESSAGE of the Gospels. Through its adherence to the curriculum set forth by the USCCB, the department provides a Christ-centered curriculum, beginning with Sacred Scripture and with continuing through the historical development of basic Church teachings and arriving at more current interpretations and applications of this message, the department stresses critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.
At the affective level, the department recognized each student’s experience and image of God as legitimate and by developing a SUPPORTIVE, SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY in the classroom, the department helps students express and refine their images of and beliefs in God. Regular prayer experiences, liturgies and opportunities for reconciliation nurture this essential communal element.
Finally, well-informed and socially developed persons of faith live out their faith in the world around them. This building up of God’s people is accomplished through active MINISTRY. The integration of Gospel values into their daily lives through their participation in Christian Service enables the students to grow into mature, well rounded, and other-centered adults whose self-esteem and integrity are based on knowledge of their values and the consistent practice of these values.
These three essential elements: MESSAGE, COMMUNITY, and MINISTRY provide the philosophical pillars from which the Religious Studies Department operates to provide the students of St. Monica Catholic High School with a meaningful and rich learning experience.
Religious Studies Department Goals & Objectives
- To lead the student to an understanding of the nature and dynamic of Church
- To provide the student with an understanding of the major themes of the Hebrew Scriptures
- To provide the student with an understanding of the person of Jesus as presented in the Christian Scriptures
- To provide the student with the historical-critical tools that will allow him/her to discover the truths and values presented by Jesus and the people of Israel in Scripture
- To present a contemporary understanding of the sacraments and their historical development, as well as allow the student to experience these sacraments through an understanding of the Eucharistic Liturgy, and provide them with meaningful experiences that will deepen this understanding
- To give the student an experience of Church, an understanding of its historical development, and an understanding of its contemporary relationship with society
- To foster Christian values, especially values that will be useful in the decision making of adolescents
- To present the major doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church
- To provide insights from the Christian tradition, the social sciences, and literature about the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of young adulthood and each of the four lifestyle paths
- To help students develop a strong conceptual framework for looking at justice issues.
- To provide the student with a dynamic experience of a living Christian community
- To encourage the student to take an active part in the development/forming of community
- To encourage the student to develop the characteristics of Christian living in relation to a community (i.e. honesty, openness, mutual respect, sincerity)
- To provide the student with experiences of a faith community, especially as expressed in the Eucharistic liturgy and shared prayer
- To help the student to learn to accept each individual with his/her sensitivities, feelings, emotions, needs, values, even though these may differ widely from his/her own
- To provide the student with experiences of day retreats, overnight retreats, prayer services, and communal penance services
- To lead the student to be concerned for and to develop a sense of responsibility for those in his/her community
- To aid students in developing relationships among the individual and self, his/her family, friends, God and the Earth
- To create a safe and supportive Christian community which fosters the faith development and spiritual growth of students in accordance with the school philosophy
- To call forth the talents, charisma and generosity of students willing to work in various aspects of campus ministry including liturgy, music, retreats, services and other programs.
- To lead students to reach beyond himself/herself to a world in need
- To lead the student to see faith as an active response to God in this life and at this time
- To provide the student with an understanding of what service is all about as a part of our Christian faith life
- To encourage the student to participate voluntarily in projects as stated in the guidelines for Christian Service
- To provide students with information and background on local service organizations and issues of local and global concerns
- To minister to individual students or student groups as needs arise.