Exploring Our Faith


High school student David Candes shares the impact you have had on the high school students of CC@S.

FAITH. PEOPLE UNDERSTAND AND EXPRESS THIS IN DIFFERENT WAYS, but its dictionary definition is to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Our Sunday morning religion sessions help us explore our faith.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” As friends, as wolves in a pack, we can be there for each other to lean on when we dare to take that first step.

In Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 (ages 3-12) we fill up a toolbox with knowledge, prayers, and methods. We listen to stories of the Bible and learn practices of the Church. However, in level 5 (our new high school level) we analyze those “stories” to realize that they are so much more than just stories. We talk more in depth about why we do the things that we do at mass and the controversy behind some of the Church’s practices. In Level 5, we learn how to use those tools from our tool box. In level 5, we learn faith. We recognize that God is always within us. We learn how to speak with God and incorporate him into our daily lives. We learn to understand how Jesus’s message can help us and those around us become better people. Not only do we learn this from our perspective, with discussions led by our instructors Alan Chiu and Mark Ruzon, but also from the perspective of others with a deeper or different understanding of how our world functions today and how we can improve it. We have been led in discussions about religion and science, the formation of conscience, justice issues of immigration and poverty, the theology of heaven and the afterlife, and an inter-faith dialogue with representatives of the Quaker tradition. These guest speakers not only open our eyes and our minds, they also open our hearts. The small groups we work in help us to understand our faith not only with God but with one another forming bonds and friendships that will last eternally and in a simple phrase, we can do more together.

David Candes, 10th grader and veteran of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, was instrumental in expanding the program to high school students.