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Religious Studies


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Students attending Austin O’Brien High School must complete 3 Religion courses from Religious

Studies 15, 25, 35, and World Religions 35 as part of their graduation requirements.

RELIGION 15 CHRIST AND CULTURE

This course centers on Christ in our contemporary culture and seeks to find God-Father, Son and Holy

Spirit-who is always present and active in our lives. The course explores what it means to be human,

the culture we live in, and Christian life within our culture. The class is intended to help the student

understand what it means to be “fully alive.” It does so by recognizing that one of our primary needs is

to experience a sense of belonging. In seeking to belong, we question and challenge those values that

will eventually become convictions worth sharing with others. In our quest to find meaning in belonging,

there is the constant interaction between Gospel teachings and the human experience. Additionally, this

course explores the relationship of Christianity and the two other Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Islam. A

service component of a minimum of 10 hours of community service is also an integral part of this course.

RELIGION 25 CHRISTOLOGY

The program engages students in considering real life issues. What do I believe about myself, others, God?

How am I to live my life? In the search to find answers to such questions, we make decisions. The beliefs

we hold will greatly influence the choices we make. Religion 25 addresses how Jesus and the Gospel

message can assist us in developing life-affirming decisions. The World Religions component of this course

explores Hinduism and Buddhism. A service component of a minimum of 10 hours of community service

is an integral part of this course.

RELIGION 35 MORALITY AND ETHICS

Religion 35 is an introductory course on ethics and morals, addressing the theme of “right relationship”

with one’s self, with others, and with God. Within this framework, the course explores how contemporary

and historical thought have influenced how people have attempted to live out good relationships.

The service component consists of a minimum of 10 hours of service, the nature of which will be negotiated

between the teacher and the student. The broad guideline for determining this is taken from the Gospel

of Matthew’s famous parable of the Last Judgment: “Whosoever feeds the hungry, clothes the naked,

comforts the afflicted; whosoever does these things for the least of God’s children, that is done unto

Christ Himself.”

RELIGION 35 WORLD RELIGIONS

This is alternative option to the Religion 35 course. In this course, students explore a broad panorama of

the major world religions from the perspective of the Catholic faith. This course was developed by the

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to support interreligious dialogue. A service component of a

minimum of 10 hours of community service is an integral part of this course.

RETREATS

Retreats are one of the highlights of a student’s high school experience. The retreats at Austin O’Brien

provide students an opportunity to examine their faith and relationship with God at their present stage of

life. Each student is encouraged to share and analyze issues that challenge their life. Retreats are typically

held at Camp Encounter. Students enrolled in Religion 15 in either semester are eligible for these retreats.

The retreats follow themes set by the Religious Studies curriculum.

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