Spiritual Life at St. Joseph
At St. Joseph School, our students strengthen their faith and build a close relationship with God through daily prayer and religious education. Some additional ways students experience Jesus and take an active role in their faith are listed below.
“Faith and Reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.”
- St. Pope John Paul II
Building up the Whole Person
At St. Joseph School, the Catholic faith is not merely a subject taught during the school day, but a way of life. We are committed to teaching the true Catholic faith to our students and challenge them to put their faith into action through service to their families, church, community, and world. Students attend Mass weekly and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the year. Our priest and deacon visit the school daily to visit, teach lessons and answer questions from our students. Our teachers and staff are continually encouraged to help their students experience Christ in their classrooms daily regardless of the subject they are teaching. Our parish school at St. Joseph’s guides students in growing their hearts and minds together in service of Christ and their neighbor.
Faith For Every Level: Preschool - 2nd Grade
In preschool, students learn about God and His unconditional love for them. They learn how God’s love creates the world, creates them in His image and likeness, gives them Jesus, and teaches them how to love others. They participate in a service project where the children do jobs or chores at home to raise their own money to purchase food, treats, and toys for animals at a local animal rescue. They are able to feel pride in themselves for being kind to animals as St. Francis would be, and able to show care and concern for God’s creatures.
Kindergarten students learn about God and His unconditional love for them. Students are exposed to the loving goodness of the Blessed Trinity, meet the members of the Holy Family, who saints are and what they teach us. Kindergarteners are taught why virtue is good and sin is bad, the importance of developing good habits and morals, as well as how to speak to God in prayer. Kindergarten students participate in weekly masses, prayer services, and service projects. Service projects vary each year. In the past, kindergarten has written thank you letters to veterans at the VA Hospital in Cincinnati and created valentine cards for children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Primary age students continue to learn about God, His love for them, and are exposed to the doctrine and traditions of the Catholic faith. Each grade level’s curriculum is developmental. Primary students plan and participate in weekly masses. They are also involved in prayer services, Adoration, Reconciliation, and service projects. Yearly service projects are chosen based upon the needs of the community. The second grade class receives the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.
Faith For Every Level: Intermediate Grades
Students in the intermediate grades are exposed to the history of their faith, spend time learning and reading about the Bible, experience prayer, and perform independent and class service work. Fourth graders’ focus of study is “Jesus Teaches Us How to Live,” with units covering Virtues, The Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes. Fifth graders' focus of study is “The Sacraments”. Each Sacrament is taught in depth, with the overall message of receiving Sacraments and how we receive God’s grace in the Sacraments.
Faith For Every Level: Junior High
Sixth grade students study the journey of the Hebrews in the Old Testament, learn about the patriarchs, the judges and the kings, and the prophets. They are beginning to learn about the Catechism and history of our faith and how to apply it to their lives. They participate and plan Masses, prayer services, and service projects.
Junior High students are encouraged and guided to strengthen their relationship with God. At such a pivotal and influential time in their lives, being close to God is imperative for our students to navigate all they will experience in their pre-teen and early teenage years.
Our curriculum focuses on Jesus and his teachings while inspiring students to integrate what they learn into their daily lives. Seventh grade is introduced to St. John Paul II’s teachings in Theology of the Body.
The eighth grade class receives the sacrament of Confirmation.
Experiencing the Sacraments at SJS
We prepare each child with a deep understanding of the sacraments so that they may receive the grace of God in this sacred way.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation involves forgiveness of sins as well as continual conversion and renewal. As children realize that they sometimes offend God and others and can express their willingness to try, with God’s help, to be better, they may choose to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a sign of their desire “to be better.”
Our second grade teachers prepare their students to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time during Lent. There is a sacramental parent meeting in advance to engage them in this faith journey with their children.
In Advent the students in grades 3-8 have the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and during Lent grades 2-8.
First Holy Communion
Our second grade teachers prepare their students to receive the Sacrament of First Communion in the spring. The catechesis that occurs assists students in helping them to participate more meaningfully in the Mass and to receive Christ’s body and blood in communion in an informed and reverent manner. A Jesus Day retreat is held during the school day.
This is the third sacrament in the rite of initiation of the Catholic Church. As a child continues his education in the doctrines and beliefs of the Catholic Church, he/she prepares himself/herself to become a full member of the Church. Eighth-grade students, under the direction of their religion teacher, become more cognizant of their roles in the Church. This culminates in the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese of Covington.
Confirmation preparation is a big part of our eighth-grade religion curriculum. We focus on what it means to be a full member of the Catholic Church and what responsibilities come with this, such as our call to serve and share our knowledge of God and his teachings with others. Eighth grade begins preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation during the summer months with a poverty awareness day (S.E.E.K.) followed by a parish Confirmation Enrollment Ceremony. They receive in-class instruction during the school year as well as attend a parish Confirmation retreat and parish Candidate/Sponsor day. This culminates in the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese of Covington.
Sacramental Preparation Daily Class Instruction
Jesus Day Retreat (2nd grade)
Parent Meetings (2nd and 8th grade)
Confirmation Retreat (8th grade)
Service projects (8th grade)
S.E.E.K. Poverty Awareness Day (8th grade)
Sponsor/Candidate Day (8th grade)
Student-led daily prayer
Advent prayer services
Stations of the Cross
Praying the rosary
Liturgical Season activities
All Saints Day Liturgy
Community Service & Outreach
Making cards for the shut-ins of the parish
Making cards for community helpers
Collect toys, food, and treats for a local animal rescue.
Food and clothing collections for the needy
Toy collection at Thanksgiving
Visits to nearby Nursing Home
Collecting pop rings for the RonaldMcDonald House
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart.”