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Through experiences both in and out of the classroom, the Religion Department works cooperatively to educate and encourage the student to know, love, and serve God, to follow Jesus, to love others as Jesus loves us, and to empower others to do the same. Three basic goals stand out:

            a. to educate students regarding the twin pillars of the Church of Jesus: Scripture and Tradition;

            b. to educate students in the academic and intellectual aspects / realities of the past and present Church ( with emphasis on teaching and beliefs);

            c. to nurture in the students a strong Christian spirituality and a life giving faith.

By virtue of our human dignity and of the gifts of Baptism and Free Will, in order to have respect for life and all its forms, the department believes that each student must learn to take responsibility for his/her own faith development, becoming an informed critic of his/her own choices and social milieu.

Students are required to take four years of religion. The current sequence of classes is:  9th Grade - Sacred Scripture: Old Testament and Sacred Scripture: New Testament; 10th Grade - History of the Catholic Church and Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society; 11th Grade - Responding to the Call of Jesus Christ and Christian Morality and Conscience Formation; 12th Grade - Ecumenical and Interreligious Issues and an elective.



Grade 9            0.50 Credit                    First Semester

This course provides an overview of the Old Testament, its major themes and how they relate to the lives of the students. The students will be introduced to the basic principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible. The course will also provide the background for understanding the concepts of fidelity to covenant, Salvation History, the unity of both Testaments, and the application of Scripture to living a moral, Christ-centered life.



Grade 9            0.50 Credit                    Second Semester

This course provides an overview of the New Testament by exploring the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, a selection from the Epistles and the Book of Revelation. Students learn the essential teachings of Jesus, the elements of Christian living, and the importance or prayer and community worship. The Sacraments and growth of the Church are considered.



Grade 10           0.50 Credit                    First Semester

The purpose of this course is to supply the students with a general knowledge of the Church’s history from Apostolic times to the present. They will be introduced to the Church founded by Christ through the Apostles and sustained by Him throughout history through the Holy Spirit. The students will come to know that the Church is the living Body of Christ today and, as such, has both Divine and human elements. In this course, students will learn about the Church’s 2000 years of history and about how the Church is led and governed by the successors of the Apostles.



Grade 10                                   0.50 Credit                    Second Semester

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the Church’s social teachings. In this course, students are to learn how Christ’s concern for others, especially the poor and needy, is present today in the Church’s social teaching and mission. The Service Project is completed during this course. Completion of the Service Project is a graduation requirement. Failure to complete the Service Project will result in assignment to a mandatory, structured summer school program scheduled by the administration.



Grade 11           0.50 Credit                    First Semester

This course will help students to understand and express the vocations of life: how Christ calls each of us to live a life of holiness.  The course will be structured around single life, married life, consecrated life, and priestly life.  Students will learn what it means to live life for the benefit of others and the value in considering a vocation in service to the Christian community. 



Grade 11                                   0.50 Credit                    Second Semester

As Christians, we are challenged daily to embrace the dignity of the human person created in the image and likeness of God. We are called to reflect fully that image by living a virtuous life conformed to Christ. The course will teach the foundations of Christian morality using the Beatitudes and the Decalogue as the key guides in making moral decisions. Topics included in this course are the formation of conscience, the reality and nature of grace, the effects of personal and social sin, the dignity of human sexuality through the study of the Theology of the Body, and the sanctity of all life.


642 DEATH AND DYING   (Level 2)

Grade 12 Elective                      0.50 Credit                    One Semester                          

Death is an aspect of the gift of human life that is often feared and avoided in our culture.  This course will help the students to focus on the significance of their daily life choices and to examine issues and concerns such as gerontology, illness, suffering, grief and euthanasia, faith teaching on extended life, the seamless garment, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and the funeral liturgy. Jesus’ own experience of death and His Resurrection will be examined. Students who elect this course must have the maturity to address these issues through class participation and projects. Guest speakers will make presentations on a variety of thanatology topics.



Grade 12 Required                   0.50 Credit                    One Semester

The purpose of this required course is to help the students understand the manner in which the Catholic Church relates to non-Catholic Christians as well as to other religions of the world. Building on the foundational truth that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and entrusted to her the fullness of God's Revelation, the course is intended to help students to recognize the ways in which important spiritual truths can also be found in non-Catholic Christian churches and ecclesial communities, as well as in non-Christian religions. It is also intended to help students recognize the ways in which other systems of belief and practice differ from the Catholic faith. The richness of the Vatican II documents, the Decree on Ecumenism and the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions will help guide the students in this course.


653 ACTS (A CHANCE TO SERVE)   (Level 2)

Grade 12 Elective                      0.50 Credit                    One Semester

This course is designed to train leaders for service both within and beyond the school community. It will challenge students to discover talents and develop skills to be used for a lifetime of service in church and civic communities. The meaning of ministry and service as well as a study of contemporary Christian leaders and the Church’s social teaching will be considered throughout the course. Skills of communication, leadership and faith sharing will be developed. Leadership activities in the school and community, including talks to other classes and on retreats, social action projects, and liturgical planning will be included. Students participate in an outdoor adventure /recreation program course in June.

Prerequisite: Departmental approval and teacher interview required.


658 CHRISTIAN ETHICS   (Level 2)

Grade 12 Elective                      0.50 Credit                    One Semester

This course provides an opportunity for the students to confront and analyze, from a perspective of Christian morality, classical theories of ethics, and the complex issues facing young adults today. Issues of personal and social ethics on such topics as sexuality, abortion, euthanasia, poverty, and hunger are discussed and researched.  Current Papal documents are required readings.



Grade 12                                   1 Credit

The concept of the Honors Institute for Leadership in Life (HILL) Class is to consider various issues from both a theological and a sociological, historical, and economic perspective. The class meets two periods per day and students receive two (2) credits. Students will participate in seminars with church and civic leaders. Topics include the global economy, international relations, and leadership in society and the church of the 21st century. Students will read and review books and articles by experts in such fields as theology, sociology, business, and the arts. Students will participate in an outdoor adventure/leadership program in August. Students are selected through a process which includes an interview. The past academic performance of the student is an important consideration.

Prerequisite:  Departmental approval and teacher interview required.

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  • West Hartford, CT 06117
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