RELIGIOUS STUDIES DEPARTMENT
The task of religious education is to hand on the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The course of studies is intended to address the needs of the total person. For this reason the program is two-fold: 1) informational in presenting the students with the teachings of the Church, as rooted in doctrine and Scripture, and 2) formational in helping the students see the need to develop an active life of faith. Regardless of a student’s religious affiliation, she is required to take a religion course every semester. In the spirit of ecumenism, Mercy finds the richness of other traditions to be an asset to religious education classes.
The program of Religious Education follows all the guidelines set forth in the Curriculum Guidelines for Secondary Education by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Freshmen - Old Testament and New Testament
Sophomores - Church and Christian Justice
Juniors - Morality and Elective
Seniors - Comparative Religions and Elective
Grade 9 Required First Semester 1/2 Credit
This course studies the purpose, development, and message of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) in the light of faith and in the light of the most current scriptural scholarship. Students are enabled to see connections between their world and the world of the Israelite people.
Grade 9 Required Second Semester 1/2 Credit
The purpose of this course is to look at the person of Jesus, His life and His teachings. With a particular focus on the Gospels, students are encouraged to examine the modern day issues that confront Christians.
Grade 10 Required First Semester 1/2 Credit
This course focuses on the development of the Church throughout history, in particular its triumphs and failures, its mutual interaction with culture, and the significant figures that have shaped the Church.
Grade 10 Required Second Semester 1/2 Credit
This course examines the Christian social responsibility as evidenced in Scripture, Church Tradition and the Church’s contemporary teaching about justice issues such as poverty, hunger, war, the elderly, capital punishment, racism and sexism. Students will complete service hours in the local community through their Sophomore Retreat and this course.
Grade 11 Required First Semester 1/2 Credit
Christian morality is concerned with the way a person lives and expresses her Christianity in order to live a true and full human life. The student is helped to achieve a better awareness and a more mature understanding of morality in order to make wise, more loving moral judgments and to live according to her moral convictions.
Grade 12 Required First Semester 1/2 Credit
This course studies the major world religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and religions of Japan and China. The course begins with an overview of Catholicism (doctrine, teachings, rituals and history). It also explores selected North American denominations. For each religion the student examines the history, faith content, religious practices, rituals and common themes that run through all religions.
Second Semester Electives
Juniors and seniors select one of the following for their semester elective. One elective is chosen for the second semester of the junior year and another for the second semester of the senior year.
1. Spirituality and Prayer (seniors only)
2. Healing and Hope
3. Christianity and the Arts
SPIRITUALITY AND PRAYER
Grade 12 Elective Second Semester 1/2 Credit
Prerequisite: Recommendation of Religious Studies Department
This course explores the legacy of prayer from the Catholic tradition. Students learn to pray through guided meditations, dreams, journal writing, painting, drawing, sculpting and nature walks. The purpose of the course is to guide students towards spirituality both inward and outward with progression toward recognizing, celebrating and loving the God in others.
HEALING AND HOPE
Grades 11, 12 Elective Second Semester 1/2 Credit
The purpose of this course is to treat the human and faith dimensions of the reality of suffering and loss in our lives. In light of this reality, six areas are stressed: the physical reality of death, the psychology of loss and the role of faith in dealing with loss, the historical role of the Church and death rituals, other cultural rituals, the afterlife, and contemporary issues of loss such as divorce, the elderly, and euthanasia.
CHRISTIANITY AND THE ARTS
Grades 11, 12 Elective Second Semester 1/2 Credit
Students explore the different aspects of Christianity through the visual arts, music and dance. Art as created through history is studied to show the many ways people have used art to express their inner convictions about God. Students have the opportunity of creating their own forms of art. Minimal art supplies are required and supplied by the students.
Grade 11, 12 Elective Second Semester 1/2 Credit
This course, grounded in Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” and focuses on the life themes of identity and personal development, autonomy, love, communication, sexuality, work, possessions and leisure as “building-blocks” to the future. In addition, the student studies the lifestyle options of the married, single and religious life.