Religious Education is part of the mission to teach what Our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted to His Catholic Church. To fulfill this mission, the Diocese of Lincoln has developed a Catechetical Ministry, as an integral part of the Catholic School System and the Parish Religious Education Program.
The Diocese of Lincoln provides the opportune framework for the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church as the ‘norm’ for Religious Instruction in each of our Catholic Schools and Parish Religious Education Programs. The Church’s motivation and goal for Catechetical Ministry offers an explicit and systematic instruction in the Catholic Faith to thoroughly inculcate the essentials of the Faith in an age-appropriate, preliminary style for the student. Instruction in the Catholic Faith not only involves imparting information but, also, is concerned with the spiritual formation of the student: the frequent opportunity to practice personal and liturgical prayer, to exercise virtue, to celebrate the Sacraments, and to plan with certainty a grounding of his / her future lifestyle. Moreover, the Instruction in the Catholic Faith serves the whole person by interweaving the ‘sacred’ – these strands of Religious Beliefs, Worship, and Morality – with the students’ physical and emotional on-going development, and with his intellectual study of the ‘secular’ sciences.
Parents are the first teachers of the Faith for their children, and the home is the best school. The Catechetical Ministry of the Catholic Church seeks to assist parents in their task, not substituting for parents, nor absolving them from their responsibility. Rather, the Catholic School or Parish Religious Education Program seeks to provide teaching and spiritual formation that is consistent with a Faith-filled home, and ‘partners-with’ the parents in the educational efforts of the Catholic School or the Parish Religious Education Program. Therefore, whether the formal Religious Education Program actually achieves its purpose depends on, in large part, the parents and teachers, together, living out of their responsibilities, the quality of their respective relationship with the children / students, and a daily modeling ‘in the footsteps of Jesus’ by the practice of their personal faith.
(English Grammar and Composition, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading/Literature)
The philosophy of teaching the language arts curriculum is based on the belief that students have a right and a responsibility to use language skills and literature to bring their Catholic/Christian values alive in their world. There are absolute rights and wrongs. The students need to be sensitive to bias and prejudice and recognize objective and subjective points of view. This ability to think and use language must be grounded in our faith as handed to us by Christ and His Church. The selection and content of books used for reading and literature should be such that our Catholic heritage and values are transmitted and promoted.
The Catholic Church has been and continues to be an advocate for the fine arts. Throughout its history, the Church has preserved and promoted art and music. In the document on the Sacred Liturgy, the first of the Second Vatican Council, the statement appears, “The fine arts are rightly classed among the noblest activities of man’s genius; this is especially true of religious art and of its highest manifestation, sacred art. Of their nature the arts are directed toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works made by human hands.” (122)
In order for students to learn about our Catholic tradition, to foster participation and promotion of the fine arts, music and art, and to encourage the students to appreciate quality in various historical periods, as well as good contemporary works, the fine arts are a yearly part of the Catholic school curriculum in the Diocese of Lincoln in all grades. One focus of the programs is, of course, promotion and appreciation of Sacred Music and Art.
The philosophy of the curriculum for mathematics for the Schools of the Diocese of Lincoln is based on the acceptance of absolute truth, the ability of human beings to abstract and understand concepts and to memorize and utilize facts in the quantitative sphere. The purpose of the study is to prepare students to have sufficient knowledge to use effectively mathematical concepts, facts and principles in varying capacities and careers in their lives in our society.
Beliefs and Philosophy concerning the teaching of Science:
God created all things out of nothing. Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. God wills the interdependence of creatures. Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, made to the image and likeness of God. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God. “In other words, the human person cannot be subordinated as a means to an end, or as an instrument of either the species or the society; he has a value of his own. He is a person” (Pope John Paul II, 1997). Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.
We are made to know, love and serve God here in this world and be happy with Him for all eternity. There can be no contradiction between truth revealed by science and the truth revealed by God, for God is Truth. We have an obligation to use our talents to discover ways our service to God can be shown through our service to others and in respect, care, and regard for the material universe. The responsibility for this care of ourselves, other people and other creatures is given to us by God (See Catechism of the Catholic Church 279-354). Learning by doing, using many senses to attain and retain scientific knowledge is common practice.
The philosophy of the Social Studies program in the Diocese of Lincoln is based on an understanding that all persons are made in the image and likeness of God and are destined for eternal life. As such, the five academic disciplines which collectively form Social Studies, ultimately explore the interaction between God in His Providence and mankind in his response to God’s initiatives,- Salvation History They are: Geography, History, Economics, Sociology, and Civics.
A study of the interplay of the geographic, political and economic realities, influenced by the people and their history in the development of societies, is meant to help students understand themselves and the world around them in order to instill the Christian values necessary for morally responsible citizenship, and to focus on the dignity and destiny of mankind. The Social Studies program strives to have the students realize that they have a responsibility to God and to others to develop an understanding and respect for various peoples, cultures, and geographic regions of the earth, and that the history of mankind should teach a direction for the future. The course of study for Social Studies in the Catholic schools of the Lincoln Diocese will prepare students to become active citizens by being tolerant, understanding, and appreciative of all, based on the common Fatherhood of God, but never sacrificing the Truth.
The Social Studies curriculum begins with the study of a person in the family and expands to a study of neighborhoods, communities, states, regions, nations, and the world. The studies will include an analysis, based on a Catholic perspective, of historic and geographic features, and the sociology, economics and politics which have shaped and continue to shape our world. The students should be given opportunities to use critical thinking skills, extensive research, and the tenants of our Faith to evaluate the reliability of various sources of information and the implications of the information itself. Students will study and become involved in current political, social, and economic activities in the school and community.