PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION
Also known as PSR, the Parish School of Religion is a religious formation program that serves families with children kindergarten age through 8th grade that attend public schools. We seek to educate children in the faith and to form lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ to build up the life of the Church. In doing so, we assist parents in their role as primary educators of the faith by handing on the teachings of the faith through weekly catechesis. Catechesis is systematic instruction in the Catholic faith and the teachings of the Church; it is the handing-on of Christ’s message to his people. Simply put, catechesis serves to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that believing they might have life in His name, and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ. A dedicated team of parishioners volunteer their time as catechists for our PSR program to hand on the faith to our children. Our PSR classes are held from middle August until early May on Wednesday evenings from 6:15 – 7:30.
Our PSR program at St. Theodore includes weekly classroom instruction for 1st-8th grades taught be a dedicated and faithful team of catechists. Classes are typically small in size allowing for sharing, trips over to church, and discussion. We follow the same curriculum and standards as our full time school classes and utilize the Faith and Life series from Ignatius Press. The overall goal of all religious instruction is aimed at each child encountering the person of Jesus Christ and developing their lifelong relationship with them. In the younger grades they focus on the love and mercy of God the Father, the Holy Trinity, and the lives of Mary and the saints. As they go through the program further they learn more about Christ’s Church and how the teachings of the Church further one’s personal faith and understanding.
Beginning with the 2023-2024 year we will again be offering kindergarten enrollment as part of our Wednesday evening PSR program in a limited capacity. This program will be structured differently than our usual classroom setting. Utilizing our beautiful atrium space in the preschool building on our campus, the kindergarten PSR program will utilize the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) method of religious instruction for young children. CGS incorporates principles of the Montessori method to provide hands-on presentations of Scripture and liturgy for young children in a sacred and beautiful environment (the atrium) to foster a child’s innate sense of wonder and awe and develop their personal relationship with God. Due to the nature of CGS being a controlled environment with very specific methods and materials, and catechist availability, we will only be able to accept a limited number of kindergarten students this year. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Parents should fill out the standard registration packet which includes a space to indicate grade for 23-24, or contact Katie Maxwell with any questions.
Each environment plays an essential role in preparing a child to receive the sacraments: the home, the parish, and religion classes. The role of parents is irreplaceable, as parents are entrusted as the primary educators of their children and serve as first and foremost models of the faith. Therefore, all sacramental preparation begins in the home. Through religion classes, students receive necessary religious instruction and come to know the basic doctrines of the Catholic faith and the person of Jesus Christ. Finally, the parish prepares its candidates for fruitful reception of the Sacraments, by promoting prayer and participation in the life, mission, and work of the Church.
First Reconciliation & First Communion
The sacrament of First Reconciliation takes place during the second grade year. Preparation for Reconciliation is centered around understanding God’s mercy and forgiveness as students prepare to confess their sins and receive absolution. Students wishing to receive these Sacraments in their second grade year must be enrolled the year prior as well, beginning in first grade.
First Communion takes place toward the end of the second grade year, after Reconciliation. Students will become familiar with the order of the Mass and basics of prayer as they prepare to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. As the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of the Catholic faith, adequate preparation is necessary, which begins in first grade. If your child is entering second grade and has not had prior religious instruction, please contact Mrs. Katie Maxwell to determine if they can be placed in the second grade sacramental program.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is received toward the end of the eighth grade year. It is not a graduation or a completion, rather, a strengthening of faith and a sending forth to proclaim and defend the Kingdom of God. Preparation for Confirmation is ongoing from the time First Communion is received until the eighth grade year. Other than completing the religion curriculum, elements of preparation include choosing a sponsor, choosing the name of a recognized saint, Christian service, and participation in a retreat. If your child is entering 8th grade desiring Confirmation and has missed the previous year or more of religious instruction, please contact Mrs. Katie Maxwell to determine if they can be placed in the eighth grade Confirmation program.