Religious Education at St. Peter's Parish
The Religious Education Program used in St. Peter’s Parish is Born in the Spirit (Grades 1-6) and We Are Strong Together (Grades 7-9). These catechetical programs, which are based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) and approved by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, were developed by the National Office of Religious Education in Ottawa. This series and supplemental materials are in wide use throughout the Canadian Catholic Church in both parishes and schools. This program was introduced to the parish in 2010.
The theme for Years 1-3 is the Trinity and the children are introduced to God, the Father, Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit with a focus on learning their basic prayers. Years 4-6 introduce the children to the concept of Church, developing a relationship with Jesus and experiencing the Catholic way of life with a focus on the Ten Commandments. Years 7-8 explore many of these themes in more depth with a focus on the Apostles’ Creed which is studied more intensely. Year 9 teaches the Beatitudes in depth and looks at many of the issues that youth aged 14-15 face in today’s world in trying to live their Catholic faith. The series follows the main Catechism very closely in developing these themes but presents them at a level easily understood by the children.
Children are prepared for Reconciliation (Confession) and Eucharist (Communion) in Grade 2. The books used are – We Prepare for Reconciliation and We Share in the Eucharist (both by Novalis Publishing). The sessions based on these books are held in the spring of their Year 2 program.
Confirmation candidates follow a six session program called Alive in the Spirit (Novalis Publishing). The focus of this program is on the elements of the Rite of Confirmation, their liturgical meaning and how they relate to the spiritual development of the candidates. The last Sacrament of Initiation into the Catholic faith, Confirmation is held after the students finish their Year 9 program. With the graces received from this sacrament, these young people will be strengthened in their faith and able to serve their Christian community.
Born in the Spirit (National Office of Religious Education, Ottawa, CCCB)
We Are Strong Together (National Office of Religious Education, Ottawa, CCCB)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (Office of the Vatican, 1994, English Edition)
New Jerusalem Bible, Standard Edition (Doubleday, New York, 1998)
Faith of the Catholic Church, A Summary by Rt. Rev. David Konstant, Archbishop of Leeds, England, 2002, 23rd Publications; (a short summary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church)
We Share in the Eucharist, Françoise Darcy-Berube and John-Paul Berube, Novalis Publishing, Toronto
We Prepare for Reconciliation, Françoise Darcy-Berube and John-Paul Berube, Novalis Publishing, Toronto
Alive in the Spirit, Margaret Bick and Catherine Ecker, Novalis Publishing, Toronto
Adult Faith Development
Adult Catholics are always encouraged to learn more about their faith throughout their lives. This may be accomplished by attending Bible study sessions, short courses or workshops where available and by reading materials such as books, magazines or newspapers. Many resources today are online and easily accessible.
A good source of Canadian Catholic news is the Catholic Register. Check it out at:
Another Canadian source is Salt and Light TV. Check it out online at:
For religious education materials and adult spirituality resources, the Emmaus Centre at the Diocesan Pastoral Office, now located at 47 Convent Street, Sydney Mines is available to all Catholics in the diocese. Check it out at:
Also check out programs and workshops at St. Joseph’s Renewal Centre, Mabou.
Cursillo and Challenge weekends, Ignatian retreats, and short courses on the Catholic faith have been an initiative and ministry of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame in our local area for many years.
Check it out at:
A good source for religious education and books on Catholic spirituality is Novalis Publishing. Check it out at:
For more information, contact the Religious Education Coordinator or the Pastor.