At San Sisto, as in all schools within the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 2008, the nature of Religious Education has been conceptualised in the following Model for Religious Education.
The first of these dimensions is explained in the Curriculum section of this website, under the junior subject, Religion, and the senior subjects, Study of Religion and Religion and Ethics.The second dimension, outlined in the Archdiocesan document, Religious Life of the School, is explained below.
The Religious Life of the School is comprised of four interrelated components: Religious Identity and Culture; Evangelisation and Faith Formation; Prayer and Worship; and Social Action and Justice. Each of these components provides a focus on a particular aspect of the religious life of the school and each component is further sub-divided into three elements, as the graphic organiser below indicates.
The Religion Curriculum and the Religious Life of the School, together, present students at San Sisto with a Dominican Catholic Christian worldview and invite them into the life of a community guided by that worldview.
From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The Gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate. (Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 1988, n.25).
San Sisto derives its culture and identity from its Dominican Catholic Christian character. As a school established by the Dominican sisters and now a school ‘in the Dominican tradition’, we place much importance on the Dominican charism, through which lens we interpret the person of Jesus and the call of the gospel.
Evangelisation means bringing the Good News to all strata of humanity, and through its influence, transforming humanity from within and making it new (On Evangelisation in the Modern World, 1975, n.18).
San Sisto is both an educating and an evangelising community. By ‘evangelising’ we mean that all members of the community are invited into a conversation about meaning and purpose in life, a conversation motivated and inspired by the good news of Jesus Christ. That invitation comes through the culture of the school, including the life witness of staff and students, and curriculum.
Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transmission within the believing and praying Church, the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, n.2650).
At San Sisto, students and staff are offered many opportunities to pray, in many different forms. They experience both personal and communal prayer and come together to worship in a variety of rites and ceremonies, including the Mass.
What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
At San Sisto, we recognise the importance of education for just action. As well as learning about Catholic social teaching in the classroom, students are challenged, and given opportunities, to become involved in working for justice, locally and beyond.