“Let it be known to all who enter OLF that Jesus Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever-present teacher in all its classes, the model of its faculty, and the inspiration for its students.”
“The liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian life,” (Vatican II) and its celebration and participation in it is central to the faith life of all members of Our Lady of Fatima Parish School. Every Friday in the school year (with only a few exceptions), parents, students and staff are invited to participate in liturgy together with other members of the parish. The Mass begins at 8:30 a.m. Students in grades 4-8 serve as lectors, gift bearers, choir members, and altar servers. Participation in this weekly mass in no way takes the place of gathering on Saturday evening or Sunday with our parish community.
We Catholics are called to be good stewards. As parents and educators, we need to teach our children that stewardship is not a drive or a fundraiser, but a way of life. As God’s stewards, we must
- Understand that life and its many blessings are sheer gifts from God
- Discern between wants and needs
- Use time and resources on what is truly important
- Recognize that all people have as much right to God’s gifts as we do
- Work for others’ basic needs
Here are some ways we intend to create an atmosphere of stewardship in our homes and classrooms this year:
- It’s All About God!—At our Morning Assembly each day, parents, students, and staff will be reminded that every single thing is a gift from God.
- The themes of Catholic Social Teaching will be used throughout the school year to help parents, students, and staff become good stewards:
- The Dignity of Every Person—god made every single one of us, so every person must be treated with respect and fairness.
- Rights and Responsibilities—All people must have food, water, work, shelter, education, and medical care. These basic needs are “rights.” Yet many people do not have them. Those who do must help others to get them. That is their responsibility.
- The Stewardship of All Creation—The earth and all life on it is God’s creation. We must care for it because:
- It is a holy gift from God,
- It is the only place we can live,
- Misuse causes many people and other living creatures to suffer.
Here are some concrete actions that all members of Our Lady of Fatima Parish School can be involved in:
An Examination of Stewardship Conscience—Post this examination somewhere accessible in the home and classroom and use it to examine how well you are being stewards of God’s Creation:
Family Assistance Ministries
“South Orange County FAM is a charitable organization whose purpose is to provide temporary living expenses and job counseling for families and individuals in real and desperate need so they can continue to be positive contributors to our community.”
Our Lady of Fatima Parish and School support the work of this organization in several different ways:
- On the fourth Tuesday of each month parents, teachers, students, and staff that bring canned goods for FAM and drop them off on the front porch of the school before morning assembly may wear jeans with their Spirit T-shirt.
- Parents, students, and staff join other local churches in San Clemente at the annual Hunger Walk which raises money to support the work of FAM. This year’s Hunger Walk will be on Sunday, October 24th, at the downtown Community Center. Parents, students and staff can solicit sponsors or sponsor other walkers if they are unable to participate in this most important fund-raiser for FAM.
- On Wednesday, November 24th, FAM hosts a Thanksgiving Feast. Many OLF families volunteer to help or provide food. If you are interested in involving your family in this wonderful celebration, call 949-492-8477 or visit the website at www.family-assistance.org.
Faith Formation Curriculum
Multi-Age Primary: Students focus on awareness of God and the wonders of God’s creation. They strive to develop understanding of how to show love to all children of God, particularly in their families and among friends. They develop awareness of prayer as talking to God. They sing sacred songs, visit the Prayer Room, attend Mass, and listen and respond to Bible stories. Spiritual values are reinforced across the curriculum.
First Grade: Students focus on the many gifts God gives us. Units of study include Jesus as our teacher and role model, Mary and the saints, the Holy Spirit, and an introduction to the Catholic church. Family Life education is an integral part of the religious education program. Students explore concepts relating to how families love and care for each other, that our bodies are gifts from God and need to be taken care of, and that “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” are ways of dealing with hurt in a family.
Second Grade: The main focus of religious instruction in second grade is preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Students identify their membership in the Catholic Church and parish community through the celebration of the sacraments, especially the sacraments of initiation. They see daily acts of reconciliation and the sacrament of Reconciliation as opportunities to ask God’s forgiveness of sin. They study the two major parts of the Mass: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Finally, the children learn about the meaning of the Eucharist and about how this sacrament leads us to lives of peace, love, and hope. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. Students explore concepts related to being unique in all the world, to living in many different kinds of families, to needing rules and guidelines in order to lead a good life, and that when a bride and groom get married they are starting a new family.\
Third Grade: Students focus on the concept of God as Trinity. They study the four marks of the Catholic Church and the meaning of the sacraments of initiation, healing and vocation. There is an emphasis on the Ten Commandments and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as well as on the many opportunities for ministry in word, worship, and service. The lives of the saints provide examples of Christian living. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. Students explore the concepts of human families and God’s family, using one’s senses to learn about the world, that all living things reproduce, and God’s call for us to live in community.
Fourth Grade: Students are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with God. There is a focus on a deeper understanding of the parts of the Mass, the liturgical year, the Works of Mercy, the Beatitudes, and the Ten Commandments. They examine the use of the Ten Commandments as guides in making moral decisions and study the lives of many saints. Application of Christian principles to social development skills and getting along with others is emphasized. Many traditional prayers are memorized. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. Students explore concepts related to making good choices with the help of conscience, to the stages of human development, to having healthy habits regarding eating, exercise, and rest, to conception as the beginning of human life, and to responding to God’s call and our vocation.
Fifth Grade: Students focus their study on the introduction to the Bible. They deepen their understanding of the seven sacraments. They emphasize study of Jesus’ death and resurrection and present a Passion Play during Lent as a culminating activity. Family Life education is an integral part of the religious education program. Students explore concepts such as family values and traditions, puberty and male and female reproductive systems. As part of the Safety-Education Program, the children are taught to identify and apply the four basic safety rules. Students take the ACRE (Assessment of Catholic Religious Education) test for the first time.
Sixth Grade: Tracing the roots of Christianity into the Hebrew Testament, students have a better understanding of and appreciation of the Hebrew tradition. Bible stories provide the basis for the historical development of the nation Israel. Students learn the story of God’s chosen people, especially important Old Testament characters and prophets and the Mosaic Law and justice. Students also study the life of Jesus in the Gospel as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. They focus on the writings of St. Paul as they attempt to determine what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. Students explore concepts related to family backgrounds and genetics, to the importance of self-knowledge and of living true to the self, to the virtue of delaying gratification, to seeking guidance from the Church in decision-making, to changes in family life with the birth of a baby, to society’s attitudes toward aging, and to the responsibility to reach out to the suffering and needy.
Seventh Grade: Students study “The Story of Jesus” with five major focal points: The Mystery of the Incarnation, The Meaning of the Kingdom, The Christian Life, The Paschal Mystery, and The Good News. There is increased emphasis on the New Testament study of the public life of Jesus, the Kingdom of God on earth, and the call to discipleship and to deeper relationship with Jesus and with others. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. Students explore concepts related to effective family communication, to the virtue of prudence, to sexual development during puberty, to the dangers of substance abuse, and to the helpfulness of good friends in making good choices.
Eighth Grade: Students study two main courses, “Church History” and “Family Life”. They recognize the value of church history in understanding God and their Catholic faith. They deepen their understanding of the main concepts in the family life course of study. Additional emphasis is placed on Catholic vocabulary and terminology. Family Life education is an integral part of the overall religious education program. In addition, students explore concepts related to the responsibility of forming a right conscience, to an awareness of their talents that need to be put at the service of God’s kingdom, to the sacredness of all human life, to making intelligent choices about healthy living, and to lifelong fidelity in marriage. Students take the ACRE (Assessment of Catholic Religious Education) test.