SMES Sacramental Programs
St. Matthew’s Elementary School follows a structured catechism program recommended by the Archdiocese of Vancouver. This program titled “Call to Faith” is scheduled for 150 minutes per week. Additional programs endorsed by the Archbishop of Vancouver include a child abuse prevention program, “I’m A Gift from God”, and is taught in Grades Kindergarten to Three both at home and in the classroom.
The catechism program is structured along the liturgical year and feast days are incorporated into the curriculum. Certain specific milestones such as First Communion and Reconciliation (Grade Two) and Confirmation (Grade Seven) are scheduled in concert with the Parish Religious Education Program (P.R.E.P.).
Non-catholic students enrolled in the St. Matthew’s are also required to participate in our religious curriculum. Students are encouraged to follow the precepts of their own faith according to their denominational standards and attend church services regularly.
Students in Grade Two prepare for their First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Preparation for these Sacraments is run in conjunction with our Parish Religious Education Program. This involves scheduled meetings, as well as celebrations for the children and their families. Parents are called to meetings so that they will be able to participate more fully in this process of faith development. Since parents have the option to decide whether their child is to be prepared for the sacraments, they may make a commitment to a program presented by the parish.
The importance of the Mass is recognized as a way of increasing the faith of the children and helping in the building of a Christian community. Attendance at, and participation in the Parish Sunday Masses is taken to be an essential feature of our school families’ lives. Masses are regularly offered for the whole school. Students are given an opportunity to share in the preparation of the Masses and parents are invited to attend. Non-Catholic students will receive special blessing at communion.