In Kindergarten, the introduction of many religious concepts is very important as a basis to continue throughout the grades. Early in the year, we learn about Creation, which is our theme for social justice. We learn about all the good things God has made and begin to see how important it is to thank God for those things. Kindergartners start to realize they are a part of a class and school community and begin to see our class as an important part of our church community.
In First Grade, the children learn what Jesus taught us about the love God has for us. We learn how we gather in church to worship God and celebrate the sacraments. Our students pray to God every day in many different ways, both alone and with others. Prayer is also integrated by having the children learn the four basic Catholic prayers: The Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Glory Be, and Hail Mary. The Social Justice theme for First Grade is Peace. The children will learn what peace is and how to be a peacemaker.
Second Grade is a wonderful time in a student’s life at Bishop Leibold, for each embarks on an amazing journey with Jesus. In class, the students gain a much deeper and better understanding of exactly what goes on during Mass, and what each part means. We are so blessed to have a priest and deacon become an active part of our student’s faith journey. The students have many opportunities to visit the Church, guided by our priest or deacon, to help them see and better understand all the wonderful items on and around the altar area. The students receive a personal trip to the sacristy to explore what goes on to prepare Mass. The students learn about and then receive their second sacrament, Reconciliation. The highlight of our year comes in spring as we prepare for their First Communion.
The Third Grade continues their religious formation through the study of the sacraments and a more in-depth study of the Mass and the life of Jesus, Mary, and disciples in the early church. Studies begin with the history of the early Church. We study the life of Jesus: his early years, his teachings, parables, his death and subsequent Resurrection and Ascension. As the year progresses, the focus of study begins to evaluate the students’ role in their church and parish. The students learn of the establishment of the Catholic Church and “The Four Marks” -- one, holy, catholic and apostolic -- and the role of their parish in the worldwide church community. Students complete further study on the seven sacraments and the aspects of respect and reverence for the Eucharist as well as for the Mass itself. Students will know and understand the parts of the Mass and have the opportunity to plan and participate in the Mass each month.
Fourth Grade religious instruction revolves around the internalization of our Catholic faith. What is the Liturgical year? Why and how do we incorporate the Corporal Works of Mercy, the Spiritual Works of Mercy, and the Beatitudes into our daily lives? What do the Ten Commandments mean and how do they guide us? We do so via study and deep discussion. Also by presenting the Jesse Tree as a prayer service for the East Campus students. We celebrate The Feast of the Guardian Angels through study, prayer, and by planting tulip bulbs on Campus. We make real advent wreaths to be used in our homes. We welcome the Virgin Mary into our hearts by learning about and making Rosaries. Finally, we encourage each other to carry Christ in our hearts where ever we go and to whomever, we meet.
Fifth Graders will gain an understanding of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church as instituted by Jesus Christ to give us each a share of eternal life with God. They will learn the elements, symbols, and rites of each of the sacraments and should come to a greater appreciation of these beautiful gifts from God that help us to draw closer to Him. Students will also come to understand the Church as a community of believers united by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit on its journey to God the Father. We will explore the roles of all of the members of the Church, the laity, religious, and clergy. We will also focus on vocations, especially vocations to the priesthood or religious life, especially during Vocation Awareness Week in January.
Sixth Grade religious studies focus on the truths of the Catholic faith found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The children are introduced to the Bible, the written word of God, beginning with The Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures), there discover God’s covenant relationship with the Hebrew people. Major topics of the New Testament (Christian Scriptures) are explained in the context of the Liturgical Year cycle. Students learn about the liturgical seasons and religious holidays. They also learn the stories of many saints and of the richness of our many Catholic devotions. We will also focus on vocations, especially vocations to the priesthood or religious life, throughout the year and especially during Vocation Awareness Week in January.
Seventh Grade religion classes focus on living our faith as disciples of Jesus. Our goal in seventh-grade religion is for our students to be able to answer the basic question of our faith, “Who is God?” We center our teaching on Jesus’ life, his teachings, and the sacraments he instituted. Our program presents Jesus’ call to each person to become his disciple and the ways in which his teachings, his sacraments, and his Church nourish people for discipleship. We begin with the concept of who God is by focusing on The Creed and Divine Revelation, and then learn about Jesus by studying the gospels and Church teaching. We look to the present and examine how Jesus Christ is alive in our Church today by doing an intense study of the Sacraments and the liturgy, especially looking at the changes
The Eighth Grade religion course focuses on two very broad topics: Church History and Morality. In this Church History course, students learn how the world of the Roman Empire at the time of Christ’s resurrection lent itself to the phenomenal growth of Christianity. Students move through the periods in which Christians were perceived as a threat and persecuted, then embraced and recognized, only to be challenged by Barbarian invasions, aided by monastic evangelism, and subsequently struck by a schism within the Church. We address the failure of the Crusades, the Avignon papacy, and the Renaissance Church. We study both the Protestant and the Counter Reformations and look at the influence of Catholicism in the New World. While studying the history of the Church, contemporary issues facing the Church will not be ignored; in fact, The Catechism of the Catholic Church is frequently referenced. The subject of morality has been a theme of religion class in all previous grade levels at Bishop Leibold School. As we study morality, we learn about the beliefs, values, virtues, rules, and principles we need to know to do good in our actions and to be good in our life -- to become just, faith-filled, honest persons of goodness and character.
Our Faith Education at Bishop Leibold School
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
This verse from Matthew guides and directs our mission at Bishop Leibold School, for Jesus inspires and guides every dimension of our school. We believe in Christ’s presence in our daily school life. Our philosophy of education, our curriculum, our community life, and expectations of ourselves and one another are centered on Catholic Faith.
Daily prayer, weekly Mass and service to others are important expressions of our Catholic experience at Bishop Leibold School. Students have religion class every day and are taught by teachers who have been fully certified as catechists by the Archdiocese. Praying the rosary, studying the lives of the saints, May Crowning, "Living" Stations of the Cross, and religious symbols throughout the campuses create a Christ-like environment. Our teachers work closely with parents and the parishes help to ensure students are adequately prepared for reception of the sacraments.
Our faith community of administrators, students, parents, faculty and staff actively promote and model the Gospel message. We strive to become better Catholics by recognizing the individual talents and dignity of each other. Serving one another through prayer, study and action are attributes at BLS that allows one to become the best person they can become.