St. Patrick Catholic School

122 West Street, Portland, MI   (517) 647-7551

Reflections by Randy Hodge

Growing as Witnesses of Jesus

Posted on August 28, 2018 at 7:25 AM

As a Catholic school, the most important piece of our mission is “We Pray!” It speaks to our Catholic faith and the faith life of our students as well as our entire school community. There are many new courses and initiative in the works here at St. Patrick regarding our theology curriculum and campus ministry programs.

We have hired Mr. Dan Rockey as our high school theology teacher. We will continue to use the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) curriculum that Catholic high schools across the nation use. The focus for our high school theology classes in order of semesters throughout their high school career include:

• Course I – How Do We Know About God

• Course II – Who is Jesus Christ

• Course III – The Mission of Jesus Christ

• Course IV – Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church

• Course V – Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ

• Course VI – Life in Jesus Christ

The first six courses are mandatory in this order and throughout the first six semesters of a student’s high school career in Catholic school. During a student’s senior year, there are several electives to choose from. Most Reverend David Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, has selected these electives for our diocesan high schools. They are:

• Course VII – History of the Catholic Church

• Course VIII – Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society

The high school will use the Didache (DID-uh-kay) series of textbooks. Each textbook has been found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the USCCB curriculum. The Didache Series presents the life and doctrine of the Catholic Church in the context of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and draws from Sacred Scripture, the lives of saints, and the doctors and fathers of the Church.

Along with the Didache textbook series, high school students will read and focus on one of the Gospels throughout each year of high school. They also will have faith-based books they will read each semester throughout their high school careers.

We are also adjusting our campus ministry structure. Mr. George Rutherford will oversee and coordinate all campus ministry activities. By attending St. Patrick High School, all students will be members of our high school campus ministry program. The whole student body is being challenged to submit ideas, and plan, lead and participate in these activities so they are offered an opportunity to encounter Christ.

Mr. Paul Osbourne will teach our seventh and eighth grade religion classes. Students in grades K – 8 will use the Sophia Institute textbook series titled “Spirit of Truth.” This series is beneficial and unique for several reasons:

• It keeps students engaged with lesson plans which include sacred art reflections, stories of the saints, games, roleplays, and critical thinking questions.

• Delivers a meaningful encounter with our Faith by covering the breadth of the entire Catechism and is designed to connect with students of diverse backgrounds and differing familiarity with the Catholic faith.

• Emphasizes the importance of our students' personal spiritual journeys.

• It provides our staff with ongoing support throughout the school year.

We are very excited about the changes to our school’s theology program and look forward to giving students the best possible education in their faith. We will continue to challenge all our students to not only be knowledgeable in their faith but to be living witnesses as disciples of Jesus Christ as they strive to endeavor to become saints.


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