Building a Faith Foundation
The goal of the Regis St. Mary theology program is to develop disciples of Christ who love, learn, lead, and serve. We meet our students where they are at in their faith journey and provide them opportunities to grow closer to the Lord with engaging classroom instruction, regular participation in the celebration of the Mass, personal prayer time, retreat experiences, and serving Christ in their neighbor in need.
St. Mary Campus Elementary School Religious Education
The elementary school religious education curriculum follows the Archdiocese of Portland Standards. We use the high respected Faith and Life Series from Ignatius Press and offer daily instruction in the faith. Each class also has a special patron saint. To prepare to celebrate these saints’ feast days, our students spend extra time studying their lives to learn how to grow in holiness.
Guided by the spirituality of the first teachers of our school, the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, we emphasize prayer throughout every school day and weekly participation in the Eucharist.
We celebrate the beauty of each of the liturgical seasons, with a particular emphasis on the Marian feast days during the year. Some of the special highlights of the school year include the celebration of All Saints Day, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the all-school Mass to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, the living Stations of the Cross conducted by the students during Lent, and the crowing of Mary that takes place each May.
Our middle school students attend a class retreat each year at that Father Bernard Youth Center and also have the opportunity to participate in Christian service projects throughout the year to help the poor, the elderly, and the lonely in our local community.
Regis Campus High School Theology Program
The high school theology classes help form students as disciples of Christ by leading with the beauty of the Catholic faith. Our students are fully immersed in the Bible and engaged in reading age-appropriate Catholic literature and excerpts from primary source documents. To help students learn to evangelize, written papers and oral presentations are part of the regular assessment of student performance. The incorporation of engaging material from Catholic media and film augments formal study.
The theology curriculum follows the Archdiocese of Portland Theology Standards. It is grounded in the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture, prayer, service, studying the lives of the saints, Catholic literature and the arts. These are incorporated in the following ways:
Daily Study of Sacred Scripture: St. Jerome famously said that “Ignorance of scripture, is ignorance of Christ.” For this reason, all theology classes typically begin by briefly reviewing the daily Gospel or other pertinent passages from Sacred Scripture. Students also study the major covenants of the Old Testament, the Gospel of Mathew, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letter to the Romans and the Letter of James.
Liturgy Preparation: Class time is used to prepare for the school liturgy either with instruction on the Mass, choir practice, or studying the scripture readings.
Eucharistic Adoration and Prayer: Twice a month, each class participates in periods of silent prayer, adoration, praise and worship, or communal practices of piety.
Lives of the Saints: Each year, students conduct extended time learning about one of the following holy men and women of God; St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Saint Pope John Paul II, Servant of God Dorothy Day, and St. Benedict.
Christian Literature: As part of classroom instruction, students are exposed to such authors as Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, George Weigel, C.S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Scott Hahn, Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, Archbishop Sample, Thomas Merton, Father Greg Boyle and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Service: In addition to school-wide service activities, the Theology Instructor oversees a small school garden whose produce is given to the local food pantry. During the Spring/Fall, students spend one class period a month in the garden.
Term Papers: Each semester, an appropriate length MLA formatted term paper is completed by all students. The English teacher assists Freshmen and Sophomores classes in proper formatting and proofreading. For Juniors and Seniors, this paper is part of their Capstone Senior Service Project and bridges both semesters.
Sacred Art, Music, and Literature: Exposure to sacred art, music and literature are proven methods of evangelization and are regularly incorporated into lesson plans.
In addition to classroom instruction, all students participate in a yearly retreat. This is highlighted by the overnight Junior Encounter that takes place off-campus at a retreat center. The goal of each of these retreats is to allow the students periods of silence and contemplation as well as communal worship so that they can grow in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Having been loved by God, our theology program places a strong emphasis on service. During the year, each student participates in three school-wide service events. The first is the Vicariate day of Service, where we volunteer to help local Catholic churches and towns in the community. The second is for Earth Day, during which we participate in service projects focused on the environment. The third is the school auction, where we honor those who have supported the school since its founding.
In addition to the school-wide service events, all graduates complete a Senior Capstone Service Project of their choosing based on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy or one of the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching.