In the Old Testament God formed a community with the Israelites. The Israelites were the chosen people who lived a covenant relationship with God.
God created people to be social and have a need for one another. For this reason people live in various types of communities.
The Catholic Church is a universal community under the pope who represents Jesus on earth. The universal Catholic community believes in Jesus Christ and His place in the Blessed Trinity.
11, 59, 63, 65, 81b, 121b, 140, 175, 179b
11, 12, 21, 121b, 121e, 140
832, 833, 836
The apostles were chosen by Jesus to lead and serve His people. He chose Peter to be their leader, who was the first Pope.
41a, 60–66, 91a, 91b, 91, 92, 282
BLMs: 20, 21
Song: “Here I Am, God”
Reflection: Jesus Calls Peter
946, 828, 2683
The bishops are successors of the apostles. Holy Orders is the Church's Sacrament of anointing leaders—bishops, priests, and deacons. These leaders continue Jesus' work of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.
62, 91b, 282, 287
Catholics locally belong to a parish community where they come together to worship God and be fed spiritually.
EC4, 11, 74, 139, 143, 179b, 290
Every parish has a pastor who is a priest. The name of our pastor is __________________. He helps us to learn about and worship God in the celebration of the Mass.
Your class is a community who comes together to learn about Christ. Each person can follow the way of Christ by loving and being kind to all members of the class and not excluding anyone.
74, 90, 290
11, 20, 22, 23, 25, 33, 49, 139
BLMs: 18, 19
Song: “Song of Love”
The family is a special community within the Church. The father and mother are equal before God. They have different but complementary roles. Children are a blessing from God. The family is an image of the Trinitarian communion.
The Missionary life is rooted in each person’s baptismal call to serve other people. This missionary spirit is based in the reality that each person can offer service within their parish community by participating in activities that help other people.
Prayer is an important part of the missionary call. When the Church offers prayers at Church on behalf of the missions we are living out this call. St. Thérèse of Liseux is the patroness of the missions because of her prayers for the missions around the world.
45, 66, 81, 121, 124, 164, 170
45, 65, 66, 81, 82, 121, 124, 164, 170, 291
Some missionaries go to foreign countries to preach the Gospel and care for the poor. We must remember them in our prayers and acts of charity.
46, 66, 121, 124
In God’s Image F
Each person reflects the image of God. God, our Creator, made each person to become like Him by sharing in His truth, goodness, and beauty though His life of grace. He sent His Son, Jesus, to live on earth for 33 years to show how to become God-like. Each person has special dignity. God wants each person to love like He loves.
Everyone has a vocation from God to become a loving person, whether in marriage and family life, the priesthood, religious life, or single life.
EC1–3, 14, 93, 147a, 147–154, 179a, 296
BLMs: 49, 50
Understanding the Catholic Church F
Structure—Parish: Review the elements of a parish.
A pastor is a priest and the leader of a parish. Our pastor’s name is _______________.
Each parish has a special name. The name of our parish is ________________.
Families belong to a parish. Each of them is a parishioner.
Lay ministers help the priest in a special way to carry out the duties of a parish within the community.
We receive our sacraments at our parish.
EC4, 63, 74, 90, 93–95, 117, 146, 289, 290, 293
Diocese: Many parishes make up a diocese. We are part of the Diocese of Fort Wayne–South Bend. A diocese is a collection of local churches led by a bishop. The name of our bishop is _____________________.
90, 93–95, 97, 117, 282, 285, 290
Tradition—Vocation: Each person is called to live a life of holiness. Some people are called to become a priest, nun, sister, or brother. Others are called to dedicate themselves to a husband or wife in marriage or to being single.
The Marks of the Church are four qualities that define the essential elements of the Church. These elements explain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
95, 97, 282, 283, 286, 288, 290
St. Mother Theodore Guérin
St. Thomas the Apostle
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
St. Martin de Porres
Traditions and Devotions F
Marian Devotions Make it a practice to pray a decade of the rosary together in class. Have a May Crowning ceremony. Gather the students to sing Marian hymns and place a crown of flowers on a statue of Mary.
81a, 107d, 110–114, 116, 241, 288, 293
BLMs: 36, 37, 38, 39
FindingGod.com: Blessed by God, We Pray Mary’s Prayer, Praying the Rosary
Song: “Holy is Your Name”
Hymns: When we sing a hymn we pray to God in a special way. Choose a hymn the children know and let them sing it.
Plan a liturgical prayer service for a particular feast. Teach the children to choose a reading from Scripture related to the feast. Help them formulate prayers of petition. Practice simple Mass responses.
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. It is when we prepare for Jesus’ coming. The liturgical color is purple. Create Classroom Advent Wreath to prepare for Christ. This tradition carries many symbols: the circle of the wreath represents God who is eternal, the evergreen represents Christ who is always living and gives us eternal life, the holly berries represent drops of Christ’s saving blood, the candles represent the light of the world (Jesus) coming closer as we light each additional candle, the three violet candles represent repentance and preparation for the Birth of Christ, the rose candle represents Gaudete Sunday, a celebration of the Sunday halfway to Christmas. Learn Traditional Catholic Hymns of waiting for, and celebrating, the Birth of Christ.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ on earth. The liturgical color is white. Prepare a classroom nativity or crèche. The nativity was first arranged by St. Francis of Assisi. Let the students be grateful for the gift of Christ in their lives and all the good things God has given them. Ask them to bring in a gift of canned goods for Christ. Once the canned food is collected it can be given to the local food bank.
143, 144, 207–210, 201, 283
Lent is the time of thinking about the sufferings of Christ on earth. The liturgical color is purple. The liturgical symbols of Lent are the crucifix, the crown of thorns, and the nail. As a class, participate in a reconciliation service. Make sacrifices by fasting from favorite treats and/or doing very special deeds.
202, 211–214, 288
BLMs: 68, 69
Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection. It is the most important feast of the liturgical year. The liturgical color is white. The very special symbol of Easter is the paschal candle. Recognize the entire season, beginning with the Resurrection, the Ascension 40 days later, and ending after 50 days with Pentecost.
67b–d, 144, 202, 219–226, 282, 285, 291, 295
BLMs: 70, 71
To celebrate All Soul’s Day have a special prayer service praying for family members who have died.
All Saints Day celebrates the lives of the saints. Have the children portray or tell stories of their favorite saints.