Divine Mercy Academy is a Roman Catholic school that provides a comprehensive education for students from all backgrounds and faith communities. From preschool through eighth grade, our students are taught the message of the Gospel, while also following the rigorous curriculum of the state of Pennsylvania and the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The preschool students work on learning the sign of the cross. They pray always as their work and play are all to give God glory. The students pray a morning prayer together each day. “Oh my God, I offer to You, all that I think, all that I say, all that I do. Amen.”
The classes talk about various saints, angels, Jesus, and our Mother, Mary. They also learn about the Trinity—One God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They use the liturgical calendar as our base—emphasizing Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
The preschool also practice Catholic/Christian values such as kindness, sharing, and manners each day.
In Kindergarten, the students begin each day with Christian meditation. They focus on God, our Creator, the many gifts he gives, and how to show and share God’s love with others. Saints are also an integral part of the program – what a saint is, how you become a saint and various saints are introduced in each unit. Religious holidays are explained and celebrated throughout the year.
The children learn how God’s love is reflected in creation and in the life and teaching of Jesus. The children will be introduced to God the creator. They recognize that God made the whole world and everything in it. They come to understand that God not only lovingly created many things in our world, but that He loves and cares for them. They discover that God made all people-and that he made each one as a special, unique human being. The children are also encouraged to talk to God at any time.
In first grade, the students come to understand what Jesus taught us about the love God has for us as well as to show love for God, ourselves, and others. Children also learn to share in God’s love in their families and parishes. They pray in different ways alone and with others, and pray the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus taught us to do. Children spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through simple acts of love and caring.
In second grade, the majority of the school year is spent preparing the children’s hearts for the two sacraments they receive, First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. They study all of the Ten Commandments and have many discussions to help form their consciences and learn about Jesus’ forgiveness and mercy. Following Reconciliation, they focus on preparing their hearts to receive Jesus for the first time. Many activities are planned for the children to develop deeper meaning of faith.
In third grade, the students begin each day with prayer and Christian mediation is also practiced. The students are taught about the beginning of the Church and the works of the Apostles. They learn that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The students learn about the Liturgical year and the special parts of each season. The rosary is prayed each day in October and May. Spreading the message of Jesus by following the Golden Rule is encouraged daily.
In fourth grade, the religious instruction centers on the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, Mysteries of the Rosary, saints, the Liturgical calendar, and parts of the Liturgy. These topics are to strengthen the children’s Catholic identity.
In fifth grade, the students focus on each of the seven sacraments. Scripture readings are read to learn about the root of each sacrament. The students give witness to the life and teachings of Jesus through their words and actions.
In sixth grade, the students focus on how our Catholic faith developed. They begin with the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. As the students explore the Old Testament, they focus on the Patriarchs, Moses, the Ten Commandments, King David, the prophets, and more. Students discover the importance of the Israelites and Judaism in the development of Christianity. We explore the New Testament, specifically the life and teachings of Jesus as well the formation of the early Church.
In seventh grade, the students focus on Jesus’ life, his teachings, and sacraments he instituted. The textbook presents Jesus’ call to each person to become his disciple and the ways in which his teachings, his sacraments, and his Church nourish people for discipleship. The students learn the parts of the Mass and understand the importance of every element. Also, there is a weekly focus on different virtues that can help us be better disciples.
In eighth grade, the students learn about how they nourish God’s gift of faith by following the Ten Commandments with our lives and respecting all people. They also learn about the ancestors of our faith from the beginning of the Church through reform and renewal. Students prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.