Rationale

Matthew 28:19-20

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. And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.

 

The Christian faith is grounded in the love and grace of God, experienced through Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Christian life of discipleship is our response to God’s love and grace. It is how we live out our understanding of who we are in our relationships to God, one another and to our world.

A disciple is a “learner”. Both teachers and students become disciples of Jesus Christ when they deepen their relationship with him.  At every age, discipleship is a conscious decision on one’s behalf.  It means asking over and over, “What is it that I believe?  Why do I believe?  How does this belief impact my life and the lives of others?”

Catholic Church teachings bring about a deeper understanding of discipleship and what it means to follow and imitate Jesus. Learning how to be a disciple in the modern world by being a servant to humanity, growing in self-knowledge, seeking union with Christ, showing concern for the poor, struggling to build peace, dialoging with people of other faiths or philosophical systems of thought, and believing in God’s love…all are addressed in the courses our students are offered.

Discipleship focuses on actively following in the footsteps of Jesus. As Christian disciples, we are called to be enthusiastic participants in God’s activity in the world with our fellow Catholics as well as believers of other religions. Because of what God has done for all of us, we arrange our lives in ways to be Christ’s physical presence in our families, workplaces, communities, and the world. It is about loving God as Jesus commanded with all of our heart, soul and mind to the extent that we are “in love” with God and want every minute of our day to be filled with God’s loving presence.  There are many ways we can deepen our knowledge and love of God and Catholic Schools as a whole and Catholic classrooms and teachers individually are called to assist students in using the tools of prayer, worship, Bible study and rich classroom dialogue.

Fundamentally then, a Christian disciple is someone who lives by Gospel values. The core stories of Scripture are the foundational pieces of our faith.  Belief in the Exodus event and the death and resurrection of Jesus are defining characteristics of Catholic Christians.  The dogmatic truths and doctrinal teaching found in these events form the central focus of our teaching from which all other elements of the Catholic life flow, e.g. morality, liturgy, prayer, and spirituality.
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Students will examine the culture in which they are maturing, and reflect on Christ’s invitation to transform it. They will be encouraged to demonstrate through word and action the teaching of Christ: that a disciple’s life is a life lived for others and in service of Christ and his Church. Through the study of various print and visual texts, as well as discussion and reflection, the course provides opportunity for students to more fully explore their relationships with God, others and self as presented in their own and other cultures and from a Catholic perspective.

 

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Students will closely examine the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  They will deepen their understanding of the joy and sacrifice of discipleship by considering the invitation to seek the Truth in all things, and make decisions based on love of God, self and neighbour. In this course, students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their learning, through a variety of print, visual and oral media, and deepen their understanding of the Old Testament, each of the four Gospels as four distinct accounts of the message of Jesus and the role of Paul in the early years of Church development and history.

 

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Students will explore their creativity in the ways they choose to communicate what they have learned and their response to the call to discipleship.  They will explore ethical and moral guides for living and learn that the major life decisions of a disciple of Christ must flow from a living relationship of love with the Lord and the wisdom acquired through that relationship. As true disciples, students will strive to live in the world conscious that their choices should be rooted in their relationship with Christ and fidelity to his call. They will focus on making moral and ethical decisions based on Truth.

 

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