Our Holy Faith Series

Neumann Press
Number of pages: 
96 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 

My Father and Mother on Earth and in Heaven (Book One)
This small, heavily illustrated (with black and white drawings) text is designed to be a sort of "religion storybook" for first graders. The text is very brief, particularly in the beginning (when they expect first graders to have more limited reading abilities) and is well suited to discussion with a parent as well as drawing in supplemental resources, such as the full stories from the Bible. It covers beliefs and spirituality in a simple way, very appropriate for those just being introduced to their faith. The text (very appropriately) relies heavily on the pictures to portray ideas and lessons to the children. Topics covered include: the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary briefly explained and suggestions for how young children can try to be more like Jesus. The Appendix includes basic prayers and the "First Communion Catechism" (Questions 1-54 of the Baltimore Catechism). A teacher's manual is also available.

(Alicia Van Hecke, 2-28-2000)

Note from the webmaster: Because I don't have a copy of the teacher's manual, I feel that my review is somewhat incomplete. Please read the following review as well, from a friend who is using the program...

You are right to think that the bulk of the material is in the teacher's manual. The little hardcover book is more of a picture book. It gives the kids something to look at while we read/discuss the lesson. There are 144 lessons in the Teacher's Manual. It covers roughly the same material as the Faith and Life series, but Our Holy Faith goes into much more depth. The main reason that I see for this is that Faith and Life is primarily designed for weekly classes. Our Holy Faith is designed for daily use. And so, for example, Faith and Life covers the Passion in one lesson, while Our Holy Faith has eighteen. (There is a lesson for each Station of the Cross.)

Also, Our Holy Faith follows the liturgical calendar, and at the end of each month's material there are a few lessons devoted to specific feast days that are within that month. For example, in February we had additional lessons on the Feast of the Purification, St. Blaise, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Valentine.

Within the text are questions to ask the students and then suggestions of how to implement the virtues that are being taught/exemplified by Our Lord, Our Lady, the Saints, etc. This first year also covers all the mysteries of the Rosary. As you can see it is very thorough. I am amazed at all the material that is covered. First grade looks like the entire scope of what I learned in 12 years of Catholic school!

The Seventh Grade text takes some controversial stances with regard to Biblical interpretations. While belief in the "old-earth" theory (that the world is billions rather than thousands of years old) is not outside the teachings of the Church, some parents have objected to the strong tone the text takes in defending this view. More troubling is the authors' interpretation of many biblical events that would otherwise be considered historical (such as God changing Lot's wife to a pillar of salt or the story of Jonah and the Whale) to be mythical in nature. It should also be noted that Our Lady of the Rosary School, which uses this series, does not use this portion of the text.

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