Faith and Spirituality

"I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. Romans 1:11-12
 
We at Saint Olaf Catholic School, help our students RISE spiritually, according to our mission statement, by both fostering and nurturing a personal relationship with God through Catholic Faith Formation. We recognize the tremendous impact a solid moral foundation has on who a person ultimately becomes. Faith answers the "why" of almost every choice we make. Our students learn to make choices based on the principles of unconditional love, respect, and service, graduating from Saint Olaf with faith that both guides and endures. 

COMMUNAL WORSHIP THROUGH MASS
We seek to provide space for students to commune with God-one primary place this occurs is in Mass. We attend all-school Mass together every Friday. Students worship together with teachers, classmates, and family. Younger children are partnered with older students as year long "Mass buddies" enabling our youngest learners to be mentored, cared for, and friended while older students serve, protect, and guide spiritual younger siblings. These are some of the first relationships Pre-K and Kindergartners experience, and are often the longest lasting friendships. A Mass buddy is a friend for life. Students participate in Mass through scripture readings, altar serving, gift-bearing, ushering, and choir. Students assist in planning Friday Mass and are responsible for assigning and carrying out duties as a class. Students learn behavior etiquette and participation at all ages, presenting scripture as early as Kindergarten. Students engage and respond to the Priest during interactive homilies allowing students to share faith experiences as they grow in Biblical knowledge.

COMMUNAL PRAYER
We recognize prayer is foundational to life with God and each other and therefore offer multiple opportunities throughout each day. We begin and end each school day with prayer, scripture, and reflection. This is done together through announcements, and is often student lead. We also have prayers for special intentions, grace before meals, and classes may pray at various other appropriate times as needs arise. The school year begins with the Priest blessing the students and the school. This is a very meaningful moment as we dedicate each year to the Lord and renew bonds with the Parish we are joined in community with. 
 
SCRIPTURAL APPLICATION
Part of a Christ-centered life is complete Biblical knowledge of what it means to follow of Christ. Throughout the year, students participate in specific Catholic themed projects. Our religious curriculum  (Finding God) was selected to align with our mission of Christ-centered learners and was designed to build sound Biblical knowledge, emphasize daily life application, and develop service minded people. We don't just teach Faith, we aspire to live it!  
 
SERVICE 
Students spend the year learning to serve each other, and also participate in projects that reach our local community, our country, and even the broader world. We participate in our Parish community's annual stocking stuffer Christmas project, local food bank donations, and numerous additional "special" or "onetime" projects like "Stuff the Bus" where our students and families provided basic care necessities for migrant workers in Tucson. We aide in larger scale projects like student mission trips abroad, covering the globe with the love of Christ! Always a student favorite is our monthly "Casual for a Cause" where students and families select a specific cause, and then contribute as volunteers and/or financially. At the students' request, funds were sent to France to help with the re-building of the Cathedral. Locally, our students have rallied around several families with children who have Down Syndrome and have participated in and contributed to several causes giving scholarships and aiding in adoptions to other families with children who have Down Syndrome. These community events unite us in Christ's love. We truly transform our world one cause at a time.
 
RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS
Our school regularly uses signs, sacramentals, traditions, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Signs of God’s presence are evident in each classroom through the display of crucifixes, religious bulletin boards, icons of Mary and the saints, and rosaries. These symbols are the physical reminders of our mission to be Christ-centered individuals, whether in math class or out on the playground! We observe liturgical seasons by celebrating Advent, Lent, Easter, and Mary in May. Our Christmas program celebrates the birth of Christ and families often join with our Parish community in re-enacting the Nativity story on Christmas Eve. Students attend mass on Ash Wednesday, and participate in Stations of the Cross during Lent. These special services, programs, symbols, and traditions continually point us to Christ, and who He calls us to be, in all we do.  

Saint Olaf Catholic School’s Religion curriculum and instruction are faithful to Roman Catholic Church teachings. The Office of Education of the Diocese of Salt Lake City provides the framework for our curriculum. In selecting textbooks, we ensure that each series meets the requirements set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Also, we place particular emphasis on our Family Life Program and sacramental preparation.