Faith in the Classroom
St. Francis de Sales Parish School's religion follows the Archdiocese of Chicago curriculum. Religion texts are updated every five years. The curriculum includes coursework on Bible, Liturgical practices, Church history and the Sacraments. Our Archdiocesan curricula uses religion to support all other academic areas.
Annual School Theme
Every year, a religious theme for the academic year is identified. The teachers and the students study and reflect on that theme every day of the school year. The last day of each school year the theme for the following year is announced. Annual school themes have included: Communion of Saints, Creator of Heaven and Earth, The Body of Christ and Serving from the Heart. The theme for the 2015-16 school year is "Shining a Light on our Catholic World". The students will be learning about various agencies in the Archdiocese of Chicago: Misericordia, Marytown, Loyola University, etc...
All classrooms begin each day with a morning prayer. Our teachers use a variety of prayers and include individual petitions. They also use special prayers during Advent and Lent. Spanish classes pray in Spanish and many classes say a weekly decade of the Rosary.
Every Wednesday and on Holy Days, the school children and teachers attend Mass at 8:30 a.m. Each class at St. Francis de Sales plans two Masses per year. The students responsible for the Mass also participate in a special preparation of gifts. Students read the Scriptures, bring up the gifts and offer the petitions during the Mass. They serve as cantors, candle bearers, altar servers, musicians and greeters.
Every month a grade is assigned to pray the Rosary in church, reflecting our devotion to our Blessed Mother.
First Friday Adoration
Every First Friday grades 1-8 particpate in the Benediction which opens the Adoration for the day.
Trips to various Catholic institutions are planned for grades 2, 4, 6 and 8. Past places visited include: Holy Name Cathedral, Queen of All Saints Basilica, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Marytown and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. Eighth graders have a retreat day at Carmel Catholic High School. Grades 1-8 visit Our Lady of Tepeyac, an Hispanic Parish, on the west side of Chicago on a yearly basis.
Students in grades 3-8 are invited to join the Student Cantoring Program for the opportunity to lead the congregation in music at our weekly school Masses. A variety of Liturgical music is sung that ranges from traditional to contemporary hymns such as Gregorian Chant selections, "Amazing Grace," "Pie Jesu," "Breath of Heaven," "Climbin' Up the Mountain," "We Are Called" and a student favorite, "Two Fishermen." In addition, some students occasionally share their musical gifts by playing hand chimes or their musical instruments during Mass.
Boys and girls in grades 6-8 are eligible to be Altar Servers. Altar Servers are scheduled for school Masses, weekend Liturgies, funerals and weddings. The Pastor trains the Altar Servers.
Service in the Good News
At St. Francis de Sales Parish School, it is believed that it is important to engage students in Catholic service through activities of service in the Good News. The following organizations and events include some of the service projects in which our students participate: Holy Childhood Missions, Our Lady of Tepeyac Funds, Grade 3 Used Book Sale, Toy Dance, Mitten Tree, Math-a-thon, Gift of Love, Keenager Events, Haitian Relief, Food Drive, Soup Kitchen, Tutoring, St. Nicholas Parish in Ghana and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Africa. Additionally, students are welcome to join the Singing For Service Club. The Singing for Service Club learns a wide variety of popular songs from decades past such as "I Got Rhythm," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Georgia On My Mind" and then performs them for the residents of a local assisted living facility.