Religion Curriculum in Elementary Schools and Parish Schools of Religion (PSR)
Religious education is meant to provide a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive and systematic presentation of Catholic beliefs so that students will be knowledgeable about their faith, grow in intimacy with Jesus, and integrate these beliefs and traditions into their personal lives to bring forth the Kingdom of God in the world. Each Catholic elementary school and Parish School of Religion (PSR) develops its religion curriculum based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the General and National Directories for Catechesis, and the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Standard. The Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Standard provides a benchmark against which the religion curriculum should be compared. It includes quality characteristics and goals that specify the desired knowledge, Christian life-skills, and values to be achieved. The curriculum standard addresses the following domains: Triune God, Jesus, Church, Worship and Prayer, Sacraments, Scripture, Doctrine, Morality, Bringing Forth the Kingdom of God, and Evangelization.
Opportunities for celebrating the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist are provided for children/youth as an integral part of their religious education. Parents are also encouraged to bring their family to celebrate the sacraments on a regular basis. The normal time for children to receive the Sacrament of Penance for the first time is the first semester of the second grade. The celebration of First Communion should be in the second semester of second grade. The established time for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Archdiocese is seventh/eighth grade. Parents, catechists and parish priests all share responsibility for preparing children for reverent and informed participation in the sacraments.
The Religious Education Department also evaluates the many elementary religion textbooks/series that are published to determine if their content and methodology are complete and age-appropriate. While only those textbooks/series may be used that have been approved by the Archdiocese and found in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, each school or parish must also consider the particular needs of its children/youth and catechists before selecting a specific textbook series.
The following is a link to EWDG (Exploring the World, Discovering God), a site that furnishes free, supplementary lesson plans that interface faith and science for Pre-K to Grade 8.
Note: Click on the Catholic lesson plans.
For more information contact:
Miss Kathy Schoen
Catholic Education Office
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119