Religious education is at the heart of the education offered at McCarthy Catholic College. The Religious education courses provide significant opportunities for students to learn more about the Catholic faith. Our Catholic identity is evident in many areas of school life. The college has a rich prayer life that includes masses, liturgies, reflection days and retreats and a strong commitment to supporting social justice initiatives.
Links to the Parish
McCarthy Catholic College has strong links with our local parish, Our Lady of the Way as well as with other parishes within the Penrith area.
The students are given the opportunity to attend and fully experience and participate in mass. The college holds liturgies throughout the school year to celebrate significant events throughout the Catholic Church’s calendar year.
Contact Our Lady of the Way Parish
A Year of Faith
© Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City. 2011
On October 11 2011, Pope Benedict XVI announced in an Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, a Year of Faith. It will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013.
The Pope used the phrase the Door of Faith, Porta fidei, to introduce us to a vision for this year. It is an image which invites us to enter into more fully the life of the Trinity through the doorway of Jesus Christ.
The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and the Church.
From the Pope’s letter and from Pastoral recommendations from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, these foundational purposes for the year are proposed.
The year of faith is intended:
- To contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus,
- and to the rediscovery of faith
- so that members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today,
- capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the ‘door of faith’.”
To do this, we are challenged to live our Christian life with greater focus through:
- celebrating the richness of our faith in our Christian lives through the Word and Sacrament of Eucharist,
- study and reflection on the story and truths of our faith,
- to build our lives on faith and be instruments of faith to others
‘The Years of Grace and Faith fit together perfectly: grace is God’s free gift to us and our response is the faith that accepts the gift. So the two Years fit together as neatly as God’s gift and our response. It’s when those two meet that we have the Christian life in all its power and beauty.’
Archbishop Mark Coleridge
The Nicene Creed is the Prayer for the Year of Faith
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
At the words that follow up to and including and became man, all bow.
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
Year 9 Pilgrimage Presentations
Year 9 are doing a Topic – Christianity in the Middle Ages. One of the things they have to research is Pilgrimage.
Gemma Antonelli (School Captain) and Karina Canete went to World Youth Day last year as pilgrims. Above is their PowerPoint presentation on being a pilgrim which they presented to all Year 9 Religion classes.
Religious education courses
There are three religious education courses provided at McCarthy Catholic College. These courses are Sharing Our Story (Years 7-12), Studies of Religion I and Studies of Religion II (Years 11-12).
Sharing Our Story
Sharing Our Story is the mandatory religious education curriculum for the Parramatta diocese. The subject matter has been decided upon in consultation with parents, students, priests, teachers, principals, Catholic Education Office personnel and the wider community.
This course has been endorsed by the NSW Board of Studies. The teaching staff is enthusiastic about assisting our young people in their search for a more meaningful faith life. The blend of the teachings of the Catholic Church with the contemporary need for service, dialogue and understanding underpins our studies.
The course gives students an awareness and understanding of different religious traditions and rituals within Christianity. Our students are encouraged to critically think about the modern world and the need to develop strong moral and ethical beliefs in response to the issues they will face as they mature.
Studies of Religion I
Studies of Religion I is offered to Years 11 and 12 as a two year course. It is a 120 hour course that was designed by the NSW Board of Studies. The course explores the nature and role of religion in the search for meaning. It maintains a Christian focus and compares aspects of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism with Christianity. This course deepens the understanding and appreciation of the development of religion in Australia. It is externally examined at the end of the HSC course.
Studies of Religion II
Studies of Religion II is offered to Years 11 and 12 as a two year course. It is a 240 hour course that was designed by the NSW Board of Studies. The course explores the nature and role of religion in the search for meaning. It maintains a Christian focus and compares aspects of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism with Christianity. This course deepens the understanding and appreciation of the development of religion in Australia.
The major difference between this course and Studies of Religion I, is the concentration upon other religious traditions through in-depth studies so we see how other faiths make meaning of their lives and compare that with the lived Christian life. This course is externally examined at the end of the HSC course.
McCarthy has a well-developed pastoral care program designed to ensure all students receive the support, advice and encouragement needed to achieve their true potential.
We aim to:
- provide school retreats, reflection days and camps where students have the time and opportunity to deepen their spiritual life and their relationship with others within the college
- create and foster an environment in which students can develop productive and enjoyable relationships
- foster a learning environment which encourages the growth of our students through academic, spiritual and cultural development into mature, responsible Christian adults
- develop a strong sense of social justice amongst our students with a desire to be active both within their local parish and the wider community.
Retreats over the years