St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic School

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Focus-Faith First

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

2015-16 Focus-Faith First

The mission of SBS is to provide students with a quality, faith-based education in a safe and nurturing environment.  The school strives to witness to God’s love and to promote a Christian community, integrating religion and life.

Faith First Goal

Our Catholic Identity is an integral component within our daily experiences at St. Bernard for students, faculty, and staff.  SBS nurtures a Catholic atmosphere consistent with the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church while reflecting on Jesus’ message of love.  It is through daily prayer, school liturgies, prayer services, the sacraments, and service to others that we sustain and shape our faith community at St. Bernard.  The administration, faculty, staff, and parents of SBS partner to nurture and promote Catholic values from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Our Catholic Identity is embedded deeply in the school’s philosophy, educational environment, and mission.  This identity becomes the path that guides us in our choices and challenges us to live the gospel message in the school, the community and the world.

The following guidelines will be used to allow each student to become more informed about the Catholic faith, and more importantly to live out that faith in their relationship with Christ.

Daily Activities

  • Morning assembly – Each day begins with the students gathering for a Morning Prayer.  This sets the tone and leads us on the daily path of faith and works as we dedicate our day to God.  As a school family, we will pray the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and prayer to our Guardian Angel.  The students will pray before lunch and at the end of the day.
  • Prayer in the classroom including personal intentions- Every homeroom classroom has a prayer area that includes a prayer table, rosaries, bibles, and other religious materials for the students to use.  These prayer areas should be utilized not only during religious instruction, but throughout the course of the day if the situation arises.


  • Thursday morning Mass – The year begins with a faculty Mass.  Then classes rotate taking turns to host the Masses each week. The class that is hosting the Mass will also participate in Reconciliation with the Priest following the Mass (grades 3-8).  All families are invited and encouraged to participate in the weekly Mass. 
  • Prayer partners will be assigned (Pre-K/5)  (K/6)  (1/7) (2/8) for mentoring.  Older children mentor your ones by sitting with them at Mass, helping them learn prayers and by setting a good example throughout the Mass
  • Practice and acclaim  responses to produce strong affirmations during  Mass 
  • The faculty begins and ends all meetings with a prayer.


  • Christian Virtues – This year the theme will be The Fruit of the Spirit.  Each month a new fruit will be introduced during Religion.  The students will learn various scripture verses on the fruit along with activities to engage the students at an appropriate age level to help them learn to live it in their daily lives.  Teachers will “catch” and recognize students who are living out the fruit of the spirit during the academic day.  ( Each month one of the classes will create a bulletin board for the “Fruit” that month.)
  • Children’s Adoration
  • Recognize Feast Days of Saints – Teachers will be reminded of the Feast Days each month and provided with activities they can share with their students to help them learn more about the saints.
    •  Assumption of Mary
    •  St. Bernard of Clairvaux
    •  St. Rose of Lima
    •  Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    •  Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
    •  St. Vincent de Paul
    •  Feast of the Archangels
    •  St. Francis of Assisi – Blessing of the Pets
    •  Our Lady of the Rosary
    •  St. Luke
    •  All Saints Day
    •  All Souls Day
    •  St. Martin of Tours
    •  Advent Retreat
    •  1st  Sunday of Advent
    •  St. Nicholas
    •  The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    •   2nd Sunday of Advent
    •   Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    •  3rd Sunday of Advent
    •  Christmas –The Nativity of  the Lord
    •  Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God
    •  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
    •  The Epiphany of the Lord
    •  The Baptism of the Lord
    •  St. Francis de Sales
    •  Catholic Schools Week
    •  St. John Bosco
    •  Feast of St. Blaise – Blessing of the throats
    •  Ash Wednesday  1:00 Retreat  2:00 Mass and Ashes
    •  St. Cyril, St. Methodius and St. Valentine
    •  1st Sunday of Lent
    • :  Palm Sunday –Passion of the Lord
    •  Holy Week—The Tridium
    •  Holy Thursday –Last supper/washing of the feet
    •  Good Friday
    •  Holy Saturday-The Vigil of Easter
    •  Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord
    •  Divine Mercy Sunday
    •  Good Shepherd  Sunday
    •  National Day of Prayer  St. Phillip and St. James
    •  The Ascension of the Lord
    •  Pentecost Sunday
    •  The Most Holy Trinity
    •  The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)


  • Classrooms are blessed at the beginning of the school year
  • All school Saint Reports due on November 1st
  • Students make rosaries and learn how to pray the rosary as a way to celebrate and remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • Reconciliation throughout the school year following Thursday’s Mass
  • All School Retreats – Advent and Lent
  • All-School Living Rosary during the month of October and May
  • Jesse Tree
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Participate in the Dioceses Religion Bee
  • Mass and Distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday
  • All School Stations of the Cross
  • Living Stations
  • First Communion Retreat
  • Confirmation Retreat
  • May Crowning
  • Service Projects – As a school community, the students participate in the collection of food for St. Vincent de Paul food bank and Catholic Charities.
  • Service hours will be required for grades 5-8
  • Guidelines will be given for service hours in Religion classes – a Reflection paper and Service Hour Completion form will be submitted on April 30th 

Catholic Artifacts

As Catholics we use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to help us remember Jesus, Mary and other important people in our Church. Statues are also used as teaching tools; therefore, we will place emphasis on improving the display of our statues and other artifacts on our campus to focus on our Catholic Identity.  The St. Bernard Garden, Mary Garden and Father Gus prayer Fountain should be utilized by the students and their teachers in good weather during the school year.  

In the school library, a Catholic section will be available for accessibility.  The section will provide Catholic reading materials, magazines, and audio visual materials.  Our hope is to provide more Catholic literature that we can use to guide us as in our faith journey.  


All information on our Faith First Initiative will be located on the website for all families to access.  In particular, we will offer Catholic links to help all our families become familiar with the information and activities their children will be participating in throughout the year.

Our Faith First focus will continually strive to nurture each child in their faith and personal relationship with Christ.  Our Faith First Committee meets monthly to discuss and plan, so we can help the entire SBS community grow in a faith-filled environment.