A child's religious education is fostered by a partnership of home, parish and school.
In the expressions of love, in the underlying values, in the quality of relationships, in the customs and celebrations and in the caring and healing of the home life, children first encounter their God. Here are laid the foundations upon which all religious education is built. Within the local Church, the children experience a Christian community that extends beyond their family home. They learn that they belong to a community, which worships, holds certain things to be of value, and lives life in a certain way.
The Catholic School is a large community. In fact, "It is also widely recognized that Catholic schools are to be communities of faith in which the Christian message, the experience of community, worship, and social concern are integrated in the total experience of students, their parents, and members of the faculty." Sharing the Light of Faith, #9
On entering a Catholic school, the children join a community of learners where the values of Jesus are taught and lived, where people encounter and acknowledge their God and where they can discover their place in the story of God's people. The aim of such a school is the total development of each child; the cultivation of the mind; the spirit; the body; the character and the imagination.
Within the total school curriculum is the formal Religious Education program. In the Diocese of Bathurst, this is called the Diocese of Bathurst Religion Program.
This curriculum focuses on the children's growth in religious knowledge, skills, values and attitudes over the seven years of Primary schooling. The Religious Education program is based on this curriculum document. Central to it are the children's own lived experiences, Scripture, the Doctrines and traditions of Church and celebration through Prayer and Liturgy, especially the weekly celebration of Eucharist, the Sacraments and other forms of Worship.
The Religious Education curriculum is sequenced and developmental so that the children experience and learn the important things about themselves as young people, the needs of other people, their faith story and faith community. They also learn about the world God created and our responsibility to care for it, and finally they learn about the universal church and her spirit.
At this time in this Parish school, children prepare for and celebrate the Sacraments of Penance/Reconciliation (Confession) in Year 2, Eucharist (Holy Communion) in Year 3 and Confirmation in Year 6.
The Parish is responsible for providing a Parish Sacramental Program. The four Catholic Primary Schools play a significant role in this program by taking the responsibility for a particular Sacrament for all Parish schools on a rotating basis. The schools organize the Parent Information Night, Enrolment Weekend Mass and the Sacramental Liturgy.
Whilst the teachers of St. Philomena’s support and involve themselves in the sacramental programs; they are not the prime teachers in this instance. That rightful role belongs to you, the first educators of your children in their faith. As the first educator of your child in their faith, parents are involved in all aspects of sacramental preparation.