Religious Education

Our faith is at the centre of everything that we do at St. Mary’s. We are committed to our faith community, fostering an environment where we educate the whole person and encourage everyone to reach their full potential.

At St Mary’s, Religious Education promotes the message of Jesus and develops children’s understandings of living as a person of faith within the family, school, parish and the wider community. It permeates all aspects of the curriculum and school activities.

Program

The Religious Education program incorporates the Religious Education Frameworks (developed by the Catholic Education Office), which are supported by the To Know, Worship and Love texts (produced by the Archdiocese of Melbourne). The program aims to help children grow in relationship with God and supports the family as the primary educators in faith, building on the experiences of each child and integrating the dimensions of Religious Knowledge and Understanding; – Religious Reasoning and; – Responding and Personal & Communal Engagement.

Sacramental Program

The seven Sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1210)

 

All other preparation is secondary to that obligation of worshipping together each week with the Christian family, gathered together around the altar of God. Bringing your children to Mass regularly is an essential part of fulfilling the promises you made at your child’s baptism, to bring them up within the life of the Church.

God’s love and presence are made real and celebrated in the Sacraments. Important times and experiences in our lives are celebrated and enlivened by God’s presence. Each Sacrament signifies, in a particular way, the transforming love of God and the new life which Jesus Christ brings.

St. Mary’s school and parish is ready to assist you in the joyous responsibility of preparing your children for the Sacraments and, to this end, your children will be involved in the regular sacramental preparation programs that are an integral part of our school curriculum.

St Mary’s celebrates the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation) in Year 3, the Sacrament of Eucharist in Year 4 and the Sacrament of Confirmation in Year 6. Each Sacrament is planned and organised in collaboration with the Parish Priest, Principal, parish community, Religious Education Leader and class teachers.

An important aspect of the school’s Religious Education program is the support from families and the parish community, in preparing the children receiving the Sacraments. Parent meetings for each of the Sacraments aim to develop adult faith and provide parents and children with an opportunity to discuss the Sacrament. The Parish Priest, the Religious Education Leader and class teachers facilitate these meetings and are available to support and assist each child and their family as they prepare for Sacraments.

St Mary’s Parish has developed a Catechetical Sacramental Program for Catholic children not attending our school. This program ensures that the children are properly prepared for their Sacrament and are then invited to join the main parish celebration.

Special details regarding arrangements for these important celebrations are made available during the year and at special parent / student information.

Prayer and Liturgy

Prayer and liturgy are important aspects of the Religious Education program and all members of the school community participate in these regularly. Grade levels participate regularly in Parish Mass on a Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Liturgies and prayer services are planned according to the Church calendar, feast days, special school events or supporting a Religious Education unit. The To Know, Worship and Love texts include prayer and traditional rituals for the students to follow.

Children are encouraged to participate and lead prayers in classrooms during liturgical celebrations and at the Parish Mass. All classrooms have a prayer table, bibles and display religious icons and artefacts. There are prayerful displays in classrooms and around the school. The feast day for St Mary’s is December 8 (The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary).