One of the most frequent questions we get from parents touring Good Shepherd is, “How is the Catholic faith practiced at the school?” Our Catholic identity is readily apparent as you walk through the classroom doors and spend time with our students. Below is a description of how we teach and live the Catholic faith at Good Shepherd School.
Students receive religion instruction daily as part of the curriculum in all grades. All religion courses are taught by practicing Catholic teachers. Sister Mary Ann serves along with classroom teachers on the Good Shepherd School religion committee. Good Shepherd School is blessed that Father Burger, Father Ben, and Seminarian Peter visit the school weekly to be guest teachers in religion classes. Students love the chance to ask questions of the priests and seminarian to learn Christ’s teachings through them.
Students and faculty pray together many times throughout the day. The day begins and ends with student-led prayers over our public address system. Students are encouraged to pray for their special intentions. Prior to the beginning of lessons, students pray together. Before our students depart the classroom for lunch, students take the time to thank the Lord for their blessings and the food they are about to receive.
We are very fortunate to be one of a few schools in the Diocese that celebrate Mass together as a school community weekly. Each week (usually Friday) students in grades 1-8 celebrate Mass together with Father Burger or Father Ben. Kindergarten students begin attending Mass during the second half of the year. Students are involved in each Mass as lectors, cantors, and altar servers. During the Lenten and Advent seasons, students lead weekly prayer services to recognize their relationship with Jesus. Our Pre-K students participate in our school prayer services.
Good Shepherd School Students realize the importance of making a positive impact on their community. Our students participate in a Thanksgiving food drive as well as classroom service projects during Catholic Schools Week each year. Good Shepherd Students make and distribute prayer cards several times a year for patients and staff at nearby Holy Spirit Hospital. Students also make handmade cards for home-bound parishioners of our Parish. Musical groups have performed at Holy Spirit Hospital as well as local retirement homes. 7th and 8 th grade students preparing for confirmation complete a total of at least 20 hours of community service (most students far exceed 20 hours).
Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus:
At Good Shepherd School we reinforce good Christian behavior toward fellow students, teachers, and all adults. We instill in our students the appropriate way interact with one another, greet each other and adults, show empathy towards others, and to help others in need.
Symbols of the Faith:
Reminders of the faith can be found all through the hallways, classrooms, and on the grounds of Good Shepherd School. Images of church leaders, our Lord and Savior, Mary, and other religious artifacts are displayed throughout the school. Teachers rotate hallway bulletin boards between religious themes and seasonal/fun scenes. Teachers also establish a prayer table in each classroom.