The religious education program at Saint Gertrude High School has a two-fold purpose: to impart knowledge of Catholic doctrine and to foster an environment in which a person can mature in faith, realize her Christian identity, and formulate a value system based on a knowledge of her own self-worth and respect for others.

Through a knowledge of Scripture and a growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ, she will become more capable of developing a Christian conscience, making moral decisions, and living a life based on Gospel values. She will be an active member of the Christian community, expressing her faith in liturgical celebration, private prayer, and service to the needs of others.

Through shared faith, the encouragement of her fellow students and faculty, and a study of the history of God’s people, she will enjoy the richness of humankind’s experience as revealed to her through these sources.

Prayer is an important part of the entire student life. Morning Prayer begins each day. Prayer is encouraged at the beginning of each class. Each student will experience weekly prayer services and monthly liturgies. Liturgical seasons are observed with special programs. All students are required to participate. Frequent visits to the chapel are encouraged.

Each student will have a day of recollection. Since this retreat is scheduled on a regular school day, students are expected to participate. Attendance will be taken as on regular school days.

Students are also expected to participate in service projects and can be placed in service projects throughout each year. Twenty hours of participation are required each year for freshmen and sophomores and will be a part of their Theology grades. Juniors and seniors are also encouraged to participate and coordinate these projects. Forty hours are required for graduation. Student Outreach to Society (S.O.S.) is the service organization sponsored by the Theology department.

Theology Courses

Semester I – The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture
The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Through their study of the Bible they will come to encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. In the course they will learn about the Bible, authored by God through Inspiration, and its value to people throughout the world. They will learn how to read the Bible and will become familiar with the major sections of the Bible, and the books included in each section. The students will pay particular attention to the Gospels, where they may grow to know and love Jesus Christ more personally.

Semester II – Who is Jesus Christ?
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In this course students will understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Revelation to us from God. In learning about who he is, the students will also learn who he calls them to be.

Semester I – The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)
The purpose of this course is to help students understand all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Through this course of study, students will learn that for all eternity, God has planned for us to share eternal happiness with him, which is accomplished through the redemption Christ won for us. Students will learn that they share in this redemption only in and through Jesus Christ. They will also be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails.

Semester II- Life in Jesus Christ (Morality) and Theology of the Body Program for Teens
The purpose of this course is to help students understand that it is only through Christ that they can fully live out God’s plans for their lives. Students are to learn the moral concepts and precepts that govern the lives of Christ’s disciples.

Semester I – Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church (Ecclesiology)
The purpose of this course is to help the students understand that in and through the Church they encounter the living Jesus Christ. They will be introduced to the fact that the Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit. The students will come to know that the Church is the living Body of Christ today. This Body has both divine and human elements. In this course, students will learn not so much about events in the life of the Church but about the sacred nature of the Church.

Semester II- Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ (Sacraments)
The purpose of this course is to help students understand that they can encounter Christ today in a full and real way in and through the sacraments, and especially through the Eucharist. Students will examine each of the sacraments in detail so as to learn how they may encounter Christ throughout life.

Catholic Apologetics: A Senior Capstone Year in Theology
A year-long course of Catholic apologetics in line with The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework.

For the final and fourth year of Theology, students will firm the foundation of Catholic theology and belief through a year-long course in Catholic apologetics. Students will be able to defend the teaching and belief of the Catholic faith in the areas of Theology of God, the Authority of the Catholic Church, the Sacraments of the Church, and the selected moral teachings of the Church. They also will review Christian denominations, world religions, the Sacrament of Marriage and family life.

Students will have a working knowledge of the essential teachings of the Church and review regular readings throughout the year relevant to explaining the faith. The course will move them through basic Christian and Catholic apologetics. They will completed a “capstone experience”project which will look at one particular aspect of the Catholic Faith,culminating in a presentation before peers and faculty.

Theology Faculty

Miesha Vargas

Mary Riley

Alumna: Class of 1984 Teacher of: Theology 10 and 12 Year Started at SGHS: 1994 Hometown: Richmond, VA She enjoys teaching theology courses, serving as the moderator of the book club, [...]

Sheila Gervasoni