Sts. Peter and Paul STEM Catholic School: A Place of Discipleship
Over the past few months, Bishop Samuel J. Aquila has encouraged the faithful in Colorado to embrace an apostolic mindset and live as true disciples of God. Although not an easy task, in a world that seems to have lost hope, adapting this new mentality is essential not only for ourselves, but also for our children.
Some Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Denver work hard to teach and encourage students to embrace an apostolic mindset and build a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
In 2013, the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles assumed administration of Saints Peter & Paul Catholic STEM School. Today, the school has not only adapted a new teaching technique as one of the few Catholic STEM schools in Colorado, integrating faith with science, technology, engineering and math, but it is becoming also creative with ways to form missionary disciples of Christ. .
Sister Faustina, the school principal, works with her faculty to accomplish her mission by ensuring that students take their relationship with Jesus Christ seriously and strive to put their faith into action. In addition to preparation for the sacraments and regular attendance at Mass twice a week, the school offers different programs and activities in which even preschoolers get involved in discovering God’s love.
“We want our students to truly meet our Lord in the Eucharist, develop a friendship with him, and then revere this gift of life and creation that God has given us. We have a very integrated religious life in our school,” Sister Faustina said.
Sts. The Peter and Paul Catholic STEM School is hosting a kerygma retreat during Advent, in which students are invited to respond to their faith. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a Maundy Thursday retreat which prepares them for the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection. In addition to these retreats, each year the school chooses a scripture passage as a theme to bring students and teachers deeper into the Bible and share their testimony of faith.
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The school also ensures that the little ones start building a relationship with God from an early age through different activities and prayer spots on the playground.
“We help our little ones memorize faith-centered words and teach them to pray for God to hear them, and they raise their intentions even when they are very little to God. But a really important key is the testimony of our teachers and their faith. If the teachers pray with devotion and joy, then the children will fall in love with it. she says.
Sister Faustina shared how God’s love works wonders on little ones simply by introducing them to Jesus. “The children asked us to include places to pray on the playground, which was very beautiful and surprising. During recess, or when they are worried about something, they naturally go there and pray together”, she said, “Outside of the preschool class, we have a tiny little statue of Jesus holding the Sacred Heart, so the little ones can get up in the morning and kiss Jesus because he’s about the same size,” she said. added Sister Faustina.
While the Carmelite Sisters at Sts. Peter and Paul work as God’s instrument to teach his love to these children, one of their biggest challenges is to ensure that parents work on their children’s faith at home. “The faith of children and the faith of parents do not always go together,” Sister Faustina pointed out.
Therefore, the school implemented a new program for parents this year called “Faith Families” as part of its parent outreach strategy. This program consists of faith groups led by seven couples who were formed with an apostolic mindset and have become models of faith on campus. For five consecutive weeks, families met with one of these couples in a home to build community and pray together as a family. “They found great support in their faith. We were able to share things they knew, but also ask questions in a place that was non-threatening,” Sister Faustina said.
“You can just walk down the halls and feel the gifts of the Holy Spirit in terms of peace and joy that pervades our school community. It is very attractive because our Lord is attractive and our children are thriving, and we have faculty and staff who are fully on board to help our children and families grow as disciples. concluded Sister Faustina.
Equipping Children to Become Modern Day Disciples
As part of her mission as a disciple of Christ, Sister Faustina participated in a spiritual Mothers retreat during which she discussed the five characteristics of an apostolic mindset and how to apply them to children in order to help them develop a relationship with God in today’s world. .
How to train children with an apostolic mindset:
Unique call of the Father. Help the children understand that God has a plan for their lives that will lead to their greatest fulfillment now and in eternity. God wants to share his plan for them through prayer and life experiences. Share your experience of God’s loving providence and help them pray about God’s call in their lives and the desires He has placed in their hearts to serve Him in others.
Expensive imitation of Christ. Help the children understand that Jesus was sent by the Father to free us from sin and death. As adults, we must witness to the joy of following Christ through service, sacrifice and virtue. Providing these same opportunities to children can help them grow in spiritual strength and freedom.
Total trust in the Holy Spirit. We need to help children experience that God is always with them in the person of the Holy Spirit! Share with them how you have recognized the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life and teach them to listen to his voice in their daily lives.
Conviction of the primacy of the Gospel. Adults should focus on the essentials of the gospel when training children: Created, Captured, Saved, and Response. However, children must first understand the big picture of salvation. Help them form a strong Catholic worldview through Bible stories, liturgy, and other programs.
Cheerful Counter-Cultural Witness. Testimony is essential to develop this characteristic. Share your experiences of God and help children learn to do the same.
For more information on Sts. Visit to Stem Peter and Paul Catholic School: www.sppscatholic.com