Religion at Loretto
Of our four core values of Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect, there is none other more important than Faith. As a Catholic school, religion is the most important aspect of our day-to-day life. A day at Loretto always starts with a morning prayer. We believe our Creator is in everything we do, and we ask our mother, Mary, to bless our works and guide our ways throughout our entire day.
From a young age, teachers instill the importance of prayer in the children’s lives. Children begin learning their prayers, from the Guardian Angel, to the Hail Mary and the Our Father, to the Nicaean Creed. Elementary students read Bible stories, research saints and their lives, learn the 7 Sacraments, 10 commandments, and Stations of the Cross. In the second grade, students prepare for their First Holy Communion and are taught the mystery and importance of the Eucharist. Every Friday, the elementary children attend weekly Mass, where different grade levels alternate as lectors, altar servers, gift bearers, and choir members.
In middle school, the religion program becomes much more vigorous, intended for the girls to understand Bible passages, and how they relate to their everyday life. In their religion class, the students start with a daily Scripture reading to build and intensify their relationship with God. The girls are taught to experience their faith in different ways, and participate in a living rosary, daily and Lenten devotions, and often receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. The girls also obtain hands on experience while celebrating Mass, where they keep the tradition started in the Elementary School of serving as ministers and lectors. Middle school girls also begin experiencing annual religious retreats, where they bond with their classmates, and strengthen their faith and relationship with God.
High school is a time of growth, when students are looking toward their future and where their studies will take them. It is a time where students start considering their vocation, and our religion classes aim to guide the young women through this process. The first years of High School focus on the Church’s teaching where students read Bible stories and Parables, the Pope’s Encyclicals, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As girls approach their last years at Loretto, they are assigned different projects that help them understand what it is to live a Catholic life outside of a Catholic school and put their faith in action through works of mercy and discussing important and relevant social justice issues. Girls also explore different vocations, both in the clergy and laity, by interviewing them and their calling. This helps the students in the decision making process as they go on future endeavors.