Religious Education Mission
Mission: To Form Disciples of Christ
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
What is a disciple?
Being a Rabbi in the time of Jesus was a distinguished position that most children aspired to and where one received respect. The rabbis would pick their disciples by hand from the most educated children around. At the time of the choosing, the rabbi would say one of two things to the boy. He could say “Go ply your father’s trade”, which essentially means, “you don’t have what it takes to be like me”, or he would say, “Come follow me”, and the boy would become his disciple. The goal was for the boy and to know the rabbi so completely that he would become like him beginning to think as he does to the extent that, if someone were to ask the rabbi a question about the faith, the disciple could answer it for him in the way that the rabbi would answer it. (Source sited below)
In this same way, Jesus, our rabbi, has called us to come follow him, so that we may become like Him, know His thoughts, and make his heart and actions our own. We do this so that we may help with the salvation of the world, which Jesus has accomplished and has called us to participate in. This is our vocation. Inseparable from the universal call to holiness is Gods command to “Go… and make disciples of all nations…”
How do we plan to make disciples?
First we help the parents.
Parents are the primary educators of the Faith and their children are their first disciples. These facts remain true regardless of a parent’s preparedness or ability to act on these calls. Unfortunately, due possibly to no fault of their own, many parents are ill-equipped to be their children’s primary educators. Although this is a typical occurrence, it is nonetheless an issue that needs to be resolved.
Your belief and life in the faith are more important to your children’s education and faith than anything we can do for them here at St. Joan of Arc. We often find that after teaching children the truths of the faith, they return to their parents, who do not believe what we had taught them, and instead of living out what they learned from the Catechists, the children believe the message from the parents. This is not only detrimental to the souls of the children and the parents, but it is also wasteful to undo what the catechist have taught teach their children. We, therefore, find educating the parents in the faith to be a more pivotal component of our mission than the actual education of the children.
For this reason, we require that from every family one parent take a yearlong class before their children can receive their sacraments. We only require one yearlong class to be taken for all of the family’s children, and we only require that one parent take this class. This requirement is a minimum requirement and, alone, is not adequate enough for the continuation of your faith. We encourage all parents to take these classes as much as they are able since they are oftentimes immensely beneficial. We also highly encourage each parent and family find activities and prayer times at home, and in other parts of the parish and community.
Then we help the students.
In order to make disciples of our students (including parents), we evangelize, catechize, and help them to receive the sacraments more fully and more often.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Who is he? What did He do? How can we get to know Him and form a relationship with Him?
Our goal is to introduce our students to Jesus Christ as a person who can be known and loved, and to help them enter into, and remain in, a relationship with Him. We do this primarily through our own examples as catechists, revealing Christ within ourselves, as well as through practical tools such as prayer, sacraments, and study.
“Teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
Through teaching, study, and example we assist the students in mastering the essential doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Faith so that they might come to know and love God and his Church more fully throughout the rest of their lives.
“Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
As our physical body depends on certain things for survival, so too does our soul depend on similar sacramental graces for its survival. God has given us the Sacraments so that we can have the healthiest and most prepared soul. Therefore we treat these invisible realities with as much seriousness as we treat the physical necessity for food, medicine, and love, and we teach our students to do the same.
Through our teaching and preparation we assist the students in preparing to receive the sacraments as fully and with as much understanding as they can.