Within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, sacramental preparation is reserved to each student's home parish. At Aquinas Academy, we support our students, parents, and parishes by re-enforcing the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
A description of sacramental preparation at Aquinas Academy naturally centers on the formation of our second grade class, who receive both the Sacrament of Confession and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist during the school year. The second grade Religion text focuses on the Blessed Trinity and salvation history, beginning with Genesis and our Heavenly Father, and moves into a study of God’s covenant with humanity and His Law which helps us to remain within this covenant. Our students begin to understand our need for forgiveness and for a Savior and consequently focus attention on Christ as the second person in the Blessed Trinity.
DEVELOPING AN UNDERSTANDING
This seems to be a natural time to introduce a study of the Sacrament of Confession. We supplement our text with additional resources to ensure that our students are fully prepared for this sacrament. Aquinas students learn 5 steps to making a good Confession. They also learn the form of Confession, i.e. what to do upon entering the confessional and how to begin, and they memorize the Act of Contrition.
In the second part of the school year, the students continue to learn about the life of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. They also study the Ascension and Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity. This leads naturally to a study of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. Our students study each part of the Mass, its meaning, and its relation to Scripture. They review reception of the Holy Eucharist and learn the importance of reverence in the presence of the Holy Eucharist.
THE TRUE PRESENCE
Most importantly, we want to instill in our students a real knowledge of the True Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We hope to achieve this through the texts that we study along with supplemental materials, but also through our example and prayer. Developing a personal relationship with God through prayer and adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament provide our students with the means to recognize Him in their daily lives.