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Faith Life » Overview

Overview

The primary reason for the existence of a Parish School is to assist parents in the Christian education of their children. For this reason, Religious Education is the common thread woven throughout a child’s curricular experiences at Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. Formal instruction in both Religion and Family Life are essential to our curriculum. The religious formation of our children takes place in all aspects of school life: from the time the children arrive in the morning until they leave the building after the last activity of the day.

 

Catholic students also have the opportunity to prepare to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation as a part of their religious education.



Classroom Instruction

All students in Preschool through Grade 8 participate in daily religion classes. At the early childhood levels, students learn about God as Creator through age appropriate short stories. As students move into the primary grade levels, they begin to learn about saints and learn valuable lessons through bible stories, specifically Jesus’ parables. As students become older they participate in Advent and Lenten retreats, prepare weekly all-school Masses, and are required to complete service hours.  

 

At each grade level from kindergarten through eighth grade, students participate in units related to Family Life.  This curriculum focuses on teaching children about healthy family relationships, developing better communication skills with their parents, and provides a formation in moral living.  In age appropriate language, teachers, students, and parents explore the tenets of the Catholic Faith including topics such as child safety, gifts of the family, the Ten Commandments, human life and dignity, human sexuality, birth and death, and examination of conscience.  

 

Prayer Services

Students in Preschool through Grade 3 take part in monthly prayer services in the Immaculate Conception Church. Each grade leads their fellow students in these special services on a monthly rotation. Prayer services are also held at the Hill Street Campus for Advent and Lenten retreats as well as a special service on Holy Thursday each year.

 

Liturgies

Students in Grades 1 through 3 attend monthly Mass in the Immaculate Conception Church. Classrooms take turns leading the Mass and the ICSJ Children’s Choir provides the music.

 

Students in Grades 4 through 8 participate in Mass each Wednesday at 8:00am at the St. Joseph Church. Each class is responsible for preparing the readings and petitions for each Mass.  A rotation schedule is used to allow all students multiple opportunities to prepare and lead a Mass for their schoolmates. Friends and families of ICSJ are welcome to join the students for this weekly Mass.

 

Catholic Schools Week

In conjunction with the Archdiocese of Chicago, ICSJ participates in the Annual Catholic Schools Week, which celebrates the importance of Catholic education in the United States. Through a variety of weeklong fun and service-oriented activities, the ICSJ community focuses on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. From an all-school Mass, to service projects, to a pep rally and a faculty vs. student basketball game, Catholic Schools Week is wonderful reminder to the ICSJ community of the powerful and positive impact our families have on our community, city and nation.

 

Celebrations/Holy Days

As the namesake of our school, students annually celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 with an all school Mass. The feast day of St. Joseph, on March 19, is recognized through special school prayer. Annually, students attend a special Mass or prayer service on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes and prepare for the Lenten Season.

 

During the Advent and Lenten Seasons, students attend confessions at Immaculate Conception Church and St. Joseph Church. During the Lenten Season, students pray the Stations of Cross weekly. Students mark the Sacred Triduum in the Church by attending a special prayer service on Holy Thursday where they re-enact Jesus’ washing of the feet.