Religion/Family Life Programs

Roman Catholic Separate School Boards were originally created to allow Catholic parents the choice of providing an education for their children that would fit into their vision of life as revealed by the Gospel. By entering into a partnership with the parish and the school, parents could ensure that their child would experience education permeated with religious values which would prepare them for their journey of Faith through life.

Catholic schools are to be authentic communities of the Catholic Faith where teachers share their Faith through daily prayer and witness to the Gospel values. The school is a caring community of the Church where the dignity of each person is recognized, where social justice is encouraged within and by the Church, and where students are challenged to become "fully alive". It is often the primary place where young people experience the Church as a community shaped by faith, hope and love.

Over the years, the principles of the Catholic Faith were taught with the support of Catechisms and a variety of textbook series. Presently, we have a Family Life program entitled Fully Alive, produced by the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a Religious Education series entitled Born of the Spirit, produced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. These are both superb Catholic educational programs that help the student to see the human person as having a physical, intellectual and spiritual nature. These programs help our teachers and parents, through use of the family booklet, to provide a Catholic education for our children based on the authorized teachings of the Church.


The Canadian catechetical series that is currently being used in our school board is Born of the Spirit, for grades K, 3 and 4-6, and We Are Strong for Grades 7 and 8.  This catechetical series is currently being re-written and will be replaced by the new Religious Education program entitled Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ.  The Grades 1 and 2 Religious Education program Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ have been completed and are currently being implemented in our schools.  The scheduled release and implementation of the new Religious Education programs for the subsequent grades will take place over the next 3 years.

Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ is a Religious Education program for Catholic elementary schools. The design of this program has been guided by the Ontario Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document, Grades 1-8, Religious Education, 2012, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the General Directory for Catechesis. The program, which follows the liturgical seasons of the church, is rooted in scripture with the Catholic faith traditions being explicitly taught. Through stories from scripture, students will learn the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Bishops of Ontario and Western Canada have sponsored this program and its content for each grade level was developed by teams of teachers, bishops, and theologians.

“Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ creates strong links between home, school and parish. The classroom experience helps students to deepen their love of God and their neighbours. Using the best pedagogical practices, the program seeks to engage students in knowing and living their faith. This will not only help them today, but will also prepare them for tomorrow as they grow and mature and make significant contributions to our society as faith-filled Catholics who radiate the joy of believing.” (The Catholic Bishops of Ontario and Western Canada)

Each successive year of the program builds on the essential childhood education in faith that families provide. It invites the Church to be an active partner in this growth process as well. The various grade levels of this Religious Education program seek to provide a progressive and systematic presentation of the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic faith. The rich catechesis invites children to journey in their faith and develop a personal relationship with God through prayer which is connected to all learning.


The units for the Grade 1 Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program are as follows:

Unit 1: I am a Child of God

Unit 2: The Road to Bethlehem

Unit 3: My Life in Jesus

Unit 4: The Story of Lent and Easter

Unit 5: Jesus is Always with Us


The units for the Grade 2 Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program are as follows:

Unit 1: We Belong to God’s Family

Unit 2: The Road to Bethlehem

Unit 3: Jesus Guides Us

Unit 4: The Story of Lent and Easter

Unit 5: We Are Blessed in Faith


The units for the Grade 3 Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program are as follows:

Unit 1: Our Catholic Community

Unit 2: The Road to Bethlehem

Unit 3: Born of the Spirit

Unit 4: Our Lenten Journey

Unit 5: The Promise of the Holy Spirit 


The units for the Grade 4 Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ program are as follows:

Unit 1: Called to Be One

Unit 2: A New Beginning

Unit 3: The Kingdom of God

Unit 4: New Life in Jesus

Unit 5: Building the Kingdom of God


"Fully Alive" Family Life Program

By Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Parents and guardians are the first and most important teachers of their children. Nowhere is this more true than in the areas that are explored in Fully Alive - what it means to be a person, to live in a family, to have friends, to grow up as a boy or girl, indeed, as a child of God.

Catholic parents and guardians want to give their children a godly love of life. They are trying to raise their children by an example of selfless love and generosity. They are also striving to communicate with their children and to impart to them healthy, Christ-like attitudes toward life. They want to give their children the proper attitudes towards sexuality and mature personal relationships.

As the primary educators of their children, parents and guardians have a right to expect their Catholic schools to support them in these efforts (Familiari Consortio, 37). Fully Alive was created by the Canadian bishops to provide this assistance.

Fully Alive offers Catholic parents, guardians, and teachers a special opportunity to work together as partners in family life education. Their special understanding of their child enriches the teacher's understanding. The teacher's experience with the child in the classroom deepens the understanding of parents and guardians. Each group supports the other. And children need the guidance of their parents, guardians and teachers in order to grow in wisdom and understanding.

The themes covered in each grade are: Theme 1: Created and Loved By God Theme 2: Living in Relationship Theme 3: Created Sexual: Male and Female Theme 4: Growing in Commitment Theme 5: Living in the World

Fully Alive is intended to supplement but not replace the catechetical program. It is a religious program, but not the religion program. Fully Alive presumes a complete catechetical program and is designed on the basis that there will be at least four religion classes for every one in the family life. Fully Alive is directed throughout by Catholic teaching, and many truths of faith and morals will be called upon as needed in the program. None of these, however, will receive the complete treatment that properly belongs to the religion program.