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I. Curriculum pillar: Profession of the Faith

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
1. Sacred Scripture   General involvement
  • Have a Bible in your house, and help your child become familiar with it. Read it at bedtime.
  • Read the Bible together as a family.  Ask each member to share in spirit of prayer what the Lord is telling them.
  • Read the Gospel together before you go to Mass.
  • Comment after Mass about the homily and the readings.
  • Invite your child to act out Scripture stories.
  • Watch with your child movies about the Bible
  • Have your child go to Vacation Bible School at your parish or nearby parish.
Specific involvement
Understand Salvation history as God’s loving plan for our redemption through the Old Testament, fulfilled by Christ, and carried out through the Church today.
  • Create a Bible timeline showing major events in the Old Testament leading up to Christ’s birth and through the formation of the Church in Acts of the Apostles.
Know that it is important to know the Old Testament because Jesus read, studied, and prayed with it.
  • Select one of the first three Gospels and take note of the times that Jesus makes reference to the Old Testament.
Grasp that the Old Testament helps us to understand Jesus and his promises as well as understand our Jewish heritage.
  • Research Judaism and learn what parts of the Bible Jewish people study.  Brainstorm about what Jesus was taught about his religion and what parts of the Bible he knew.
  • Read through one of the Gospels and take note of the references and footnotes that refer to the Old Testament and look them up.
Be familiar with the types of books that make up the Old Testament; the Law, the Historical Books, the Wisdom Books, and the Prophetic Books; and be able to briefly describe them.
  • Share with your child some stories from the Old Testament.
Know that the creation stories in Genesis are not intended to teach literal scientific fact, but the truth about our origins; that God is the source and the Creator of everything.
  • Read through the creation story in Genesis and make up a prayer thanking God for creating the world.
Know that the Bible is the Word of God because it is inspired; that is, God guided the authors of Scripture to write those truths he wanted to teach in the authors' own words.
  • Choose a story in the Bible and in your own words explain the message that God wanted us to know through that story.
Understand that a covenant is a sacred agreement God makes with us and to which he is always faithful.  The first covenant was made with our first parents, Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:15-17), then with Noah (Gen. 9:8-11), Abraham (Gen. 17:3-13), and Moses (Ex. 24:3-8).  Today our covenant with God is in Christ through our Baptism.
  • Make a chart of the covenants that God has made with His people.  What are the promises that Jesus made to us before he ascended into heaven?
Be familiar with some of the principle Old Testament Scripture passages that speak of the Messiah who would save the Israelites: the Messiah who is Jesus (Is. 9:5, Zec. 9:9, Ez. 34:23, Mi. 5:1).
  • Look up these Bible passages and explain how they were fulfilled in the person of Jesus.
Identify some of the principal Old Testament prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Amos) and their message to God's people.
  • Create a game with the Old Testament prophets and their messages.  See if the members of your family can match the prophet with the promise.
Understand that the Jewish people celebrate Passover to remember the night when their houses were “passed over” by the angel of death and were released from slavery.
Understand that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples the night before he died and gave it new meaning; Jesus himself was the new Passover Lamb whose sacrifice saved the world, through which we are set free from sin and death.
  • Read the Passover story in the Old Testament and explain why Jesus would celebrate this meal with his disciples.  Why was Jesus the new Passover lamb and what does that mean for us?  Look up what the word sacrifice means; how was Jesus a sacrifice?
2. Creed   General involvement
  • Review with your child what he/she learned in his/her religion class.
  • Have a Catechism of the Catholic Church in your home. Make sure you are educated about the Faith so you can answer questions for your child. Have your child see you reading the Bible, the Catechism, or some other spiritual work.
  • Encourage your child to start a relationship with each one of the persons of the Blessed Trinity.
  • Have an image of Mary in your home and pray to her.
  • Recite the Creed as a family.
Specific involvement
Understand that God sent his Son Jesus as our Savior because of his great love for us.
  • Brainstorm about what loving someone means and talk about what your parents do for you because they love you. Talk about what they share with you.
Recognize that faith is a gift from God, strengthened through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Think about three examples of when someone helped you to do something that you could not do by yourself. Talk about a gift that you received which helped you to do something.
Know that we are called to struggle to overcome evil throughout our lives.
Understand that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
  • Do some research as to who wrote the different books in the Bible.  Think about how you have received answers to your prayers, discuss the various ways that God ‘speaks’ to us.
Relate that Jesus is God's Word made Flesh.
Understand that God has been faithful to us throughout history.
  • Find three examples in the Old Testament of people disobeying God and find out God’s response to them i.e. Adam and Eve.
Tell that the Creed is our statement of belief as Christians.
Know that our Christian heritage is rooted in many signs and symbols of the Old Testament.
  • Find symbols, signs, and rituals in the Old Testament that are mentioned in the Gospels.
Identify Mary as the "Mother of the Church."
  • Talk to your child about the qualities of Mary and how she is the Mother of the Church.
Recognize the holiness and fidelity of the great figures of the Old Testament.
  • Comment on the faithfulness of God to us throughout history and the holiness and fidelity of the great figures of the Old Testament.


II. Curriculum pillar: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
1.Worship & Sacraments   General involvement
Specific involvement
Know that the Order of the Mass includes: Introductory Rite, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rite.
  • Look through the missal in Church, identify the different parts of the Mass and which prayers are said during which part.
Know that listening to the Words of Scripture attentively and receiving the Eucharist reverently during Mass helps us to become more Christ-like.
  • Research the history of the Catholic Mass and identify its roots in the Gospels.
Explain the link between the Jewish Passover, the Last Supper, and the Celebration of the Mass.
  • Read the account of the Last Supper in the Gospels, research the history of the Passover meal and what it signifies.  How does our Mass resemble those events?  What are the common elements?
Explain the difference between sacraments and sacramentals.
Know that the Church’s liturgy has retained certain integral elements of the worship in the Old Covenant and adopted: reading the Old Testament, praying the Psalms, and above all, recalling the events of salvation history.
  • Make a small booklet at home of various psalms using the Bible.
Recognize that the struggles and the triumphs of our ancestors in faith helped to deepen their relationship with God.
  • Find an example of a saint who had a difficult life.  Retell their story and relate how they drew closer to God in the midst of their problems.
Understand that the Jesse Tree is an example of Advent tradition that helps us to recall important persons and events in Scripture before the birth of Christ.      
Identify the Feast of the Epiphany of Jesus as the public manifestation of Jesus as the Promised One for Israel and the Gentiles.      
Explain why Easter is the most important Christian feast and discuss some of the symbols associated with it  (Paschal candle, lamb, Easter lily, etc.).
  • Discuss “New Life” symbols with your child.
Understand that the Paschal Mystery is celebrated at every Mass.
  • Identify the parts of the Mass where we celebrate Christ’s Life, Death, and Resurrection.  What are the words that the priest and the assembly say?
Know that it is a serious obligation for Catholics to attend Mass every Sunday.


III. Curriculum pillar: Life in Christ

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
1. Community & Service   General involvement
Specific involvement
Demonstrate respect and cooperation for leadership within a community group.
  • Discuss the important qualities of a good leader.
Demonstrate respect for those being served because Christ resides in all people.
  • Choose a way each family member can bring Christ to those they interact with every day.

Recognize the works of leadership and service of Old Testament figures.

  • Read the story of Moses and discuss what made him a leader and the qualities he possessed.  Discuss with your child about his trust in God and his mission.
Discuss ways in which individuals, families, and parish communities can more fully live out Jesus' mandate to welcome the stranger.
  • Brainstorm about who might be strangers in your families, classrooms, church, etc.  How can you reach out to them?  Pray for someone every day for one week.
Examine how love and justice are lived through the observance of the Ten Commandments.
Participate in prudent community service activities supporting life issues and care for the environment.
  • Contact your Church and ask for opportunities to serve the community.  If there are none currently available, commit to pray for those who do this kind of service.
Recognize the importance of respecting the dignity of all people, especially the physically and emotionally challenged.
  • Each time you encounter a handicapped person offer a prayer for that person.
Research the contribution of Christian art and music to the Church and the world.
  • As a family, visit a religious exhibit in a museum or Church.
Discuss how the diverse cultural experiences of our faith strengthen and enrich our Universal Church.
  • Look up one of the Church missionary organizations on the Internet.  Read about what they do.  How can you be a missionary in your life?
Identify sin and selfishness as the cause of local, national, and global injustice.
  • Discuss the consequences of sin.
2. Christian Morality   General involvement
Specific involvement
Articulate the role of the Old Testament prophets, and their message of God’s justice and mercy in the formation of God’s chosen people.
  • Brainstorm about the importance of setting up laws to govern a new land and why they are necessary. Think about the Ten Commandments and how they protected the Israelite people.
Recognize the Old Testament Hebrew experiences of faithfulness, sin, and reconciliation reflect the Christian moral life today.
  • Find some examples in the Old Testament of people disobeying God and then reconciling with Him.  How does God respond?
Recognize an occasion of sin as any person, place, or object, which may lead them to sin and away from the call to a life of holiness.
  • Encourage your child to write a prayer asking for God’s help in making good choices.
Recognize that conversion is turning away from sin and toward life in Christ.

Recognize that the obedience of the Old Testament leaders can guide them in making their own moral decisions.

  • Write some rules which help you make the right decisions.  Discuss the consequences of breaking those rules with your child.
Know that God and His goodness always prevail over sin and evil.
  • Discuss that God is over all things and that the devil is a fallen angel, not on the level of God.  Read how Jesus was tempted in the Gospels and how he was able to resist temptation.  Create a family prayer asking for strength in the face of temptation.
Know that they can call upon the Holy Spirit to help them to do what is right, even in difficult times.
Identify that many aspects of popular culture, including some magazines, video games, television, music, and the Internet, etc., are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Ten Commandments.
  • Discuss television programs and how they pertain to your child’s life.
Demonstrate that, by their words and actions, they respect life and the basic human rights of all people for the fulfillment of God's Kingdom.
  • Brainstorm about how powerful words are and recall times in your lives when someone’s words hurt you and times when someone’s kind words helped you to love yourself more.  Make an effort this week to build up the Kingdom of God by offering acts of kindness.
Learn that habits of selfishness and moral weakness lead to sin.
  • Make a chart comparing how exercise and good eating habits lead to a healthy body and how prayer and righteous acts lead one closer to God.
Understand that they are to be chaste and pure in thoughts, words, and actions, both with self and with others.


IV. Curriculum pillar: Christian Prayer

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
    General involvement
Specific involvement
Discuss the importance of perseverance in prayer to overcome difficulties.
  • Read the Book of Job together and discuss how Job stayed faithful in the face of all of his trials.
Recognize saints as witnesses of faith whose example they can emulate (CCC 2683).
Know that the Psalms, rooted in the Judaic community, were prayed by Christ and are used today as personal and communal prayer.
  • Pick a favorite psalm, share why it is a favorite and pray it together.
Know that God’s covenant with us, beginning with Abraham, calls each person to a life of prayer in communion with him and continues with each person in prayer to renew them in God's likeness.
  • Discuss how prayer is a relationship.  Talk about the qualities of relationship, e.g. spending time together, talking and listening, sharing together, etc.  Try to develop that kind of friendship with God through prayer.
Name and explain the Mysteries of the Rosary (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious).
Understand and practice the Church’s traditions of Lenten devotions and penance.
  • Encourage each member of your family to offer a Lenten sacrifice and then do something together as a family this Lent.
Deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Rosary and other Marian Devotions.
  • Read the Gospel account of Jesus giving his Mother Mary to all of us.  Understand that Mary leads us to Jesus.  Offer a prayer for your own mother.
List and explain the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.


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