Ms. Christine Magowan —Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher /Middle School Religion
All students at St. Pius X Regional Academy participate in daily religious studies of the Roman Catholic faith. The goal of our study of faith though is not only to gain knowledge and understanding but, equally important, to use that knowledge for personal growth in holiness which all are called to live out in unity to bring the message of Jesus’ ministry “to the ends of the earth”, in love and service to all. In addition to the “traditional” curriculum, all students in grades 6-8 are expected to complete a minimum of 10 hours of community service outreach per year. This participation in a variety of self-selected community service projects is meant to foster a more meaningful reflection of true discipleship that we, as Christians, are called to follow in Jesus Christ. The students gain a deeper understanding of service to others as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, alive and active within them.
Community Service becomes a natural extension of both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Some examples of opportunities explored by students in the past have included serving as youth leaders in Vacation Bible School, hosting bakes sales/running a lemonade stand to raise money to benefit a wide variety of local charities, filling “Boxes of Joy” in conjunction with Cross Catholic Outreach to send shoeboxes filled with items that are distributed to the poor and needy both here and overseas, assisting at the yearly Christmas Bazaar, which also benefits our school!
Religion Class begins daily with prayer intentions and recitation of a decade of the Rosary. Special intentions are offered for the the particular prayer leader, general class intentions and for our petitions in our school wide “prayer box”. Throughout the year, students also serve as prayer leaders during school mass and prayer services.
Religion class in Grade 6 “takes it to the next level”. The students journey of faith begins “in the beginning” with Genesis and takes them through to the early foundations of the Church. Along the way, the students learn not just the facts, but like the patriarchs and prophet they study, they are guided into understanding that true faith must be living, dynamic expression of prayer and action. The seeds of faith begin to grow into strong, solid roots.
We LIve Our Faith-As Disciples of Christ is not just the title of the series used for Grade 7, it is what we are called to do each and every day. At this level of study the focus centers on the life of Jesus, His teaching and the Sacraments He instituted. Jesus calls each person to become His disciples and we explore the ways in which His teachings, the sacraments and the Church nourish us on the journey. The roots established in earlier studies are now burgeoning into sturdy, solid growth.
Grade 8 focuses on recognizing the reality of being an active member of the Church community. Students are challenged to grow spiritually through a more mature understanding of Catholic social teaching and action. The seeds of faith have been nurtured. Firm roots have been established. Strong, healthy plants have grown. Now is the time for them to bear abundant fruit. The course curriculum leads students through early Church up to the present day. In studying the past, students gain a deeper appreciation of the present and that perspective leads to their preparation as active members of the Church now and in the future.