Religion classes are aligned to the curriculum standards of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and may be accessed HERE.
In 1912 the pastor of Ascension Church asked the Ursuline Sisters of Springfield to staff the new parish school. They brought with them a heritage of education with honor and love. When the sisters left the school in 1985, they passed their strong heritage to a devoted lay staff who have continued teaching and nurturing each child to develop his or her individual talents and to grow in faith and service to others.
Students in Grade 2 also use the "Gold Book" (We Celebrate the Eucharist, Silver-Burdett) for parent-child preparation for First Communion. In the preparation for First Communion, the child's first opportunity for reconciliation comes in the form of the Peace Service.
Students in Grade 4 have another opportunity to formally celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is open to students after the age of 12. Enrollment for the sacrament preparation sessions happens in the Fall of each year and the sacrament is celebrated the following October.
Each class begins with daily prayer and intercessions by the students. Traditionally, the pastor teaches the Religion class about once a month. Early in the 6th grade students build on their knowledge of the Old Testament, understanding that the Passover and Covenant of the Jewish people are the central events of our ancestors in faith.
Classes are prepared for the liturgies and prayer services at Ascension. Students are encouraged to put their faith into action through service. Family Life in grade 6 focuses on respect for all life, pregnancy and childbirth.
In seventh grade, we concentrate on creed and prayer. We explore prayer as a means to have a true relationship with Christ. We focus on His humanity because it is in this way that we can really relate to Him. We study the book of Isaiah and discuss the Messianic references in relation to what we read in the New Testament. We do this so the students can come to a better understanding of their relationship to Christ and in so doing, prepare for Confirmation.
In Family Life, we concentrate on family relationships, communication, peer pressure, values, and consequences of actions. The students are at the age where issues such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, and social pressure come into play. By discussing these things frankly in class, we point out the dangers of some of these actions, and the more positive choices they can make. Taking pride in themselves, and in who they will become, will make their choices that much easier.
We learn that human beings have always used symbols that can be seen, heard, tasted, smelled and felt to help us connect and strengthen our relationship with God. The Catholic Church has gathered symbols from many sources and they have become a part of our worship of God.
We will know that when we gather to worship, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always present, empowering us to give praise to God, our Creator, for all of His marvelous deeds. The most wonderful gift of God is Jesus, His death for us, and His Resurrection, which we celebrate in the seven sacraments.
The eighth grade class also begins with daily prayer, led by the students. They are invited to add their own intentions. Our pastor visits with us about once a month. He further discusses many of the topics we are learning about in class.
Most of the eighth graders will be confirmed in October. We encourage them to continue to do service for others. They are committing themselves to a lifetime of service, not just a certain number of hours. Please encourage your young person to continue to be a help to others just as Jesus was.
In accordance with Archdiocesan policy for schools and religious education programs, parents are required to present a Baptismal Certificate at the time of registration. Children not baptized in the Catholic faith do not participate in sacramental preparation for Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation. It is the responsibility of the parent(s) to inform the child of this policy at the earliest opportunity. The school/religious education staff will support the family with any resources that may be helpful in understanding this policy. Those children who have not been baptized or have been baptized in another faith tradition who themselves, or in agreement with their families, choose to explore the Catholic faith have an opportunity to join an Inquirers Group. No one’s journey can be compared to another’s; recognizing that God’s call to each is most individual. Each person’s journey is unique. Therefore, the period of Inquiry is the first step in an open-ended process that may lead to Baptism in the Catholic faith if the individual chooses to pursue it. Those younger than seven years of age are to be baptized according to the Rite of Infant Baptism. Those seven years of age or older are to be initiated through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in accordance with the Church’s Code of Canon Law.
Parents interested in information regarding this process may contact the principal, Director of Religious Education or the Pastoral Associate of the Parish. All sacramental preparation is conducted through meetings scheduled outside regular class time.