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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
Specific involvement
Know that “Gospel” means “Good News.”  The Gospels are four accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • Use videos and music to re-enforce the Gospel messages.  Become familiar with contemporary Christian artists and play them in your car.  Keep videos and music in your home that exemplify the Gospel messages.
Know that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are similar, and, therefore, called the synoptic gospels while the Gospel of John has a different, more reflective style and contains some additional stories.
  • Talk about the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Ask your child to explain them to you. Compare and contrast the Synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John.  Discuss the value in both.
Understand that the gospels are not biographies of Jesus, but are more like different portraits of him.  Even though each gospel writer chose different stories to emphasize, all the gospels have the same message: Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God, who revealed the Father’s love for us and saved us.
  • Be mindful that we recognize Scripture as oral tradition.  Just as you would recollect different facts from your past Christmas with your child so did the different Gospel writers.
Know that Jesus’ whole life and ministry took place in the area of Palestine, also called the Holy Land, and be able to identify important sites mentioned in the gospels, i.e., Nazareth, Galilee, Jerusalem, etc.
  • Buy a map of the Holy Land—ancient and modern.  Spend time studying all the places Jesus visited by walking with his apostles.  View a video of the Holy Land.
Realize that prayerful and attentive Scripture reading, especially of the New Testament, has the power to transform us and to assist us in the struggle to live the faithful Christian life.
  • Impress upon your child that the Bible is the Word of God—and Jesus is the living Word.  To learn about Jesus and to be able to use His Word to help us in this world, we need to know him.  We get to know him by spending time with him in prayer and by reading his messages to us in his Word—the Bible.
Understand that the question that Jesus asks Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" must be answered by every Christian to develop a mature faith.
  • Have your child describe who they are with various adjectives or a self-portrait.  Do the same for Jesus and base the descriptions on His parables and miracles as found in the Gospels.

Know the basic elements of the Gospel message:

  1. The Father’s love is manifested in the good of creation.
  2. We have been separated from God's plan for us because of sin.
  3. Jesus is the bridge back to the Father.
  4. Following in the way of Jesus and participating in the sacraments he made available in the Church will lead us to Salvation.
  • Take a walk or drive with your child and talk about God’s creation. What makes it unique?  How does it show His love for us—His children?
  • Discuss mercy and forgiveness in relationships at home, school, among friends.  What divides us from each other?  What unites and heals us?
  • Discuss the importance of bridges in our lives.  Why do we need them?  What purpose do they serve?  Build bridges as craft projects or take a ride and look at different bridges in the area.  What do they all have in common?  Why is Jesus our bridge to the Father?
  • Refer to the Bible for passages on Baptism, Marriage, Forgiveness, Ordination, Healing, Pentecost, Eucharist and talk about how they show a special connection to God’s Kingdom and how we are touched by His grace in these sacraments.
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 the House.  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 grow in relationship with each one of the persons of the blessed Trinity.
  • Display an image of Mary in your home and pray to her.
  • Recite the Creed as a family.
Specific involvement
Describe the Paschal Mystery as the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus.

Know the four reasons for the Incarnation:

  1. So that Jesus could save us by reconciling us to God the Father.
  2. So that we could know God's love for us.
  3. To be a model for holiness.
  4. To make us partakers of the Divine nature.
  • Reflect with the family about the reasons of the Incarnation.
  • Reflect on what happens in Baptism.
  • Point out the scripture reference that says: you cannot know the Father unless you know me.
  • Have your child make a poster or mobile of what holiness means to your child.  Discuss this with the family and display it in a special place to remind everyone that we are all called to holiness.
  • What is Jesus’ nature?  Discuss his ability to love, forgive, heal, and obey His Father’s will.  Praise your child when he/she uses His model in his/her life.  Take time to talk to them about how loving they were, or how difficult it was to forgive a hurt.  Remind your child that he/she is doing what Jesus would do in the same situation.
Know that the persons of the Holy Trinity are distinct, yet equal in nature and divinity.
Understand that through our Baptism, we are called and sent forth to continue Jesus' ministry in the world.
  • Celebrate as a family: participate with your child at a youth service project at your parish.
Explain the role of the apostles before and after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
  • Talk about the transformation of the apostles from their behavior in the Garden of Gethsemane (frightened, cowardly) and their boldness after Pentecost.  How were they changed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives?
Identify the unique origin and fullness of the Catholic Church rooted in Jesus' commissioning of Peter as head of the apostles and unifier of the Church.
Know that Christian faith is a personal response, through grace, to Jesus' invitation and requires a relationship with him to grow and mature.
  • Show your child that you are connected to your own personal faith, growth and sign up for a Scripture study program in your parish.
Know that after death we will be judged by the Lord according to our deeds and adherence to the Gospel.
Identify some of the key differences between the Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations.
  • Encourage discussion with children and adults of other denominations.  Bring any concerns or questions to your religion class or parish priest.
Explain that Mary is the Virgin Mother of Jesus and remained as such her whole life, so that with her whole being she was "Handmaiden of the Lord."
  • Talk about the qualities of Mary and how she is the Mother of the Church. Talk about Mary’s faith and obedience to the God’s will for her life.  What were the blessings and consequences of her obedience?  Read about other women of faith in the Bible—Hannah, Ruth, Esther.
Know that saints who died for their faith are called martyrs.
  • Talk about the Martyrs. Have an All Saints Day celebration with family and friends.  Dress up and portray a saint of interest.  Stay in character during the celebration and role play according to information on the Saints’ lives.
Identify the Church as the People of God.
  • Read the Fairfield County Catholic together and talk about the work and news about the Catholic Church.  Connect it to Jesus’ teachings and what it means to be His disciples or People of God. 


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 during the Penitential Rite (within the Introductory Rite at Mass) we acknowledge our sins and ask for God's mercy.
  • Encourage forgiveness in the home, school, etc. by referring to Jesus’ message about forgiving the same offense seventy times seven times.  What are the costs and the benefits of following Jesus’ message?
Know that the Lectionary is the official book of sacramental readings, arranged in a three-year cycle, used during the Liturgy of the Word.
  • Consider becoming a lector as a role model for your child.
Know that within the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we offer thanks and praise with Jesus to the Father.
  • On your way to Mass agree on one thing to give thanks for as a family.
Participate actively and reverently in the celebration of the Mass through proper gestures, responses, and songs.
  • Model appropriate full and active participation at Mass. 
List, understand, and define the signs and symbols of the Funeral Rite, e.g., pall, paschal candle, incense, and sprinkling of holy water.
  • Do not hesitate in taking your child to funerals and wakes of friends and relatives. 
Express that the Mass of Christian Burial (Funeral Liturgy) celebrates the triumph of Christ's victory of life over death.


Know that in the sacrament of Holy Orders, the three degrees of ordination are: deacon, priest, and bishop.
  • If possible, attend the ordination of a priest or deacon.
Know that sacraments are special encounters with Jesus at key points in our journey of life, and that Jesus continues to care for us through the sacraments.
  • Commit yourself to participate fully in the Eucharist and in Reconciliation. 
Know that human life is changed at death but not ended, and that our bodies will rise again.
  • Pray for the members of your family and friends who have died.  Ask that their hearts be open to receive God’s love. 
Understand that the Liturgical Year begins with the First Week of Advent.



III. Curriculum pillar: Life in Christ

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
1. Community & Service   General involvement
Specific involvement
Know that as Mary brought Jesus into the world at the Nativity, and we bring Christ to the world through service.
  • Share your view of Mary and how you can be like her.
Know that the pope and the bishops are the authentic teachers endowed with the authority of Christ to guard and preach the faith to believers and to guide us to put it into practice.

Know the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and identify how they are examples of putting faith into action.

Discuss the difficulties and challenges in today’s culture for bringing hope and love to the suffering.
  • Visit the elderly or volunteer to help those in need during the holiday season or anytime throughout the year.
Identify men and women who have responded to God's call to holiness through their service to others.
  • Discuss the life of a saint who helped the poor or needy.
Understand that it is only with the gift of Christ's grace and practice of the Theological and Cardinal Virtues, that they become true witnesses of Christ.
  • Pray that each member of your family be open to God’s grace.  Ask for the ability to be a good Christian witness. 

Live responsibly as stewards of God’s creation, respecting life, themselves, and their environment by willingly sharing their time and God-given talents with the school, parish, and community.

  • Look up one of the Church missionary organizations on the Internet.  Read about what they do.  How can you be a missionary right in your own place in life?
  • Create a small garden in flower pots and have members of the family care for their own special garden.  Find ways to conserve water, electricity, fuel and practice conservation.
Work together for peace and justice by cooperatively choosing and completing a service project.
  • Volunteer for parish/town events.
2. Christian Morality   General involvement
Specific involvement
Identify Jesus as God as well as truly human in all ways but sin, and follow his example of obedience to God’s will.
  • View videos such as “Jesus of Nazareth” and/or read Scriptures that depict Jesus’ human qualities. Discuss emotions He displayed such as love, compassion, pain, betrayal, disappointment, laughter…
Know that we should respect others and ourselves because of the presence of Christ in each one of us.
  • List three things that Jesus did that spoke to you.  Commit yourself to 3 things that you will do to emulate those qualities.
  •  Look at pictures of the Temple in Jerusalem and discuss God’s presence in the Ark of the Covenant in Old Testament times.  Discuss Pentecost and the infilling of the Holy Spirit as God’s presence within us and how we are filled with that presence at Baptism.
  • Try to realize what it truly means to have Christ in us and to recognize Him in other Christians.  This realization should change the way we view ourselves and others and the way we respect ourselves and others.
Understand that good moral decision-making is possible with the assistance of God's grace and is based on the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and teachings of the Church.
  • Role-play situations that involve reference to the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, and teachings of the Church.  Watch television together and make note of Godly decisions versus secular decisions.
Name and discuss the meaning of the theological virtues (faith, hope, charity) and the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance).

Understand that Christ's invitation to "…take up your cross and follow Me." (Mt. 16:24) demands rejecting destructive secular values and acting in truth and integrity.

  • Share a time when you had a "cross to bear" and how you used your faith to help you get through it.  Discuss the meaning of the cross but also the glory of Resurrection and the hope that we have in Christ when we accept our cross in this life.
Understand and recognize that the Church has the authority to provide moral teaching and direction through the Magisterium: The pope and the bishops in communion with him.
Practice an examination of conscience by reflecting on their spiritual, personal, and social responsibilities.
  • Participate in Advent and Lenten Penance services. 
Know that prayer, grace, and self-discipline help to overcome temptation.
  • Focus on the Jesus as a model of prayer.  In the desert He prayed and fasted in order to overcome temptation.  Discuss the concept of the Word as a two-edge sword that cuts on both sides and is our weapon against temptation. 
Understand that sexuality is a gift and that its expression is reserved for those who are married, so that they can have children and show their love for one another.


IV. Curriculum pillar: Christian Prayer

Content pillar Skills/Diocesan Content Standards Suggested Family Involvement
    General involvement
Specific involvement
Understand that Jesus is our role model of prayer.
  • Examine examples of how Jesus acted in different circumstances in his life.
Explain the meaning of the seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer and understand that this is a compilation of the Gospel message.
Discuss how trust in God is the basis for prayers of petition.
  • Write petitions with your child.
Understand and practice the Church’s Advent tradition of the waiting and longing for the coming of the Lord.
  • Create an Advent wreath and prayer service for lighting the candle in the home at every meal during the Advent season.
Understand and practice the Church's Lenten tradition of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in preparation for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery.
  • Privately choose names of family members from a hat and pray for that person during Lent.  At the end of Lent, let the family member know that you were praying for him/her and what form that prayer took.
Identify the Beatitudes and understand them as the pattern of the Christian way of life.
Reflect more deeply on their spiritual relationship with the Lord.
  • Buy your children Christian music and listen to it with them.
Learn that the rosary is the epitome of the Gospel expressing devotion to Jesus through Mary.
Explain and appreciate the role of Eucharistic spirituality and devotion, such as Eucharistic Adoration, Eucharistic Benediction, and visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Tell your children the words Jesus said to his apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane when he asked the apostles if they could not stay awake and pray with him.  Visit the Blessed Sacrament during Lent as part of family Lenten prayer.
Understand the importance of weekly participation in the Sunday Mass as the foundation of Catholic spirituality and prayer.
  • Remind the children of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper when he asked his disciples to remember him by eating His Body and drinking His Blood.  Refer to him as the Bread of Life and develop the concept of the importance of spiritual food in our lives.


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