"For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:8). This prelude to Jesus’ teaching on the Golden Rule is the basis of everything that occurs within the St. Pius X Catholic High School Theology Department.
From the moment students enter our classroom doors, our department strives to reach all students in the various stages of their faith journeys as they ask questions about life and ultimate meaning and seek truth in our world today. The department pursues these goals by:
- Grounding all teaching in Catholic doctrine according to the Magisterium
- Calling students to continual conversion and a deeper relationship with the Lord
- Encouraging students to develop and nourish an active sacramental life by offering opportunities for reception of the Eucharist and Reconciliation
- Fostering classroom environments that encourage questioning and a continual search for truth, so that students are able to integrate their faith life into their overall life as members of the St. Pius X Community and into the world at large
- Exploring the faiths and beliefs of major world religions so that students have the opportunity to compare and contrast what the Church teaches with alternative worldviews, thereby inviting them to conclude that the Gospel is the truest and surest path to joy and salvation.
- Recognize that the chief role of Catholic religious education is to cultivate and encourage the spiritual development of students who are, according to Christian anthropology, “loved by God, with a mission on earth, and a destiny that is immortal;” bearing this in mind, the Department cultivates in academic, spiritual, and service-oriented ways the virtues of self-respect, self-love, and of love for others - a love that is universal.
- Bearing in mind that the Lord Jesus came to live among us to show us the Father’s love, the Theology Department teaches all curriculum with a focus on following the Lord’s command to “love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34).”
- Grounded in the Lord’s command to “love one another,” the Theology Department strives to cultivate the basic elements of a Christian social ethic, based on the following key components:
- The human person, who is the central focus of the social order
- Justice, which is the recognition of the rights of each individual
- Honesty, which is the basic condition for all human relationships
- Freedom, which is the basic right of each individual and of society
- The justice to which all men and women have a right as children of God
- The Theology Department also strives to cultivate among students an awareness of the reality that the goods of the earth are gifts of God, and are not the privilege of some individuals or groups while others are deprived of them.
- The Theology Department encourages each student to develop a willingness to embrace life, and also his or her own unique vocation, as a fulfilment of God's will.
- The Theology Department seeks to help students “discover the real value of the Sacraments,” namely through:
- Demonstrating that the Sacraments “accompany the believer on his or her journey through life,” and “make the mystery of Christ present” in their lives
- Helping students understand “that Jesus Christ is always truly present in the Sacraments which he has instituted,” especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Guiding students to encounter these religious experiences not as “something externally imposed,” but as “a free and loving response to the God who first loved us”
The Department’s ultimate goal is to foster a deep devotional life rooted in the Sacraments and so create the habit of receiving them for “all the years that follow.”
All quotes are taken from The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Congregation for Catholic Education.
The Theology Department invites students to continual conversion and active participation in the Catholic community by providing a learning environment in which they are taught a rigorous academic curriculum coupled with spiritual development practices.
9th Grade: Starting in their freshman year, students are invited and encouraged to develop an understanding of the gifts of worship, sacraments, and traditions that form the basis of our Catholic Identity, in order to cultivate an educated and faithful morality.
10th Grade: In their second year of study, Sophomores are led through the study of scripture, reflecting on the meaning of God’s word from both exegetical and theological perspectives. Discussions center around the applicability of Divine Revelation to students’ lives.
11th Grade: As Juniors, students encounter our Catholic history in order to develop a sense of pride in, and responsibility for, our Catholic heritage, particularly in relation to its role in the development of society today. As students engage the timeline of Christian history, the curriculum intersperses an exploration of four major world religions (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), encouraging students to come to an empathetic understanding for the motivations of faith, while garnering a greater appreciation for and understanding of their own tradition
12th Grade: Seeking to prepare and equip students to live out their faith beyond Saint Pius X, the Senior Theology courses examine both the reasonableness of Christianity through the application of logic and philosophy, as well as the role of Catholic Social Teaching today, particularly in the realms of politics, economics, and culture. Reflecting upon Christ’s call in their lives, students are encouraged to respond, through their particular vocation, to the needs facing our contemporary world.