Religion 9 | An Essay by Victoria Cormier
Victoria Cormier is the 1st Place Winner for Grade 9 in the 2017 Your Favorite Seton Course Essay Contest
No successes in this world matter if in the end we do not achieve heavenly glory. With this unavoidable reality in mind, it is my number one goal to become a saint and help others on the road to God’s kingdom in heaven. This goal can be more readily attained by learning about God and His truths; otherwise, it would be impossible to love Him and thus follow Him, as we cannot love Him whom we do not even know. Seton’s earlier Religion courses have accordingly played an important part in inspiring me with a greater love for God, but Religion 9 stands out so far, among the other courses, whether elementary Religion or other ninth grade courses. Religion 9 is my favorite Seton course because its use of the Baltimore Catechism No.3, the supplements in its lesson plans, and the essay questions in its quarterly tests all guide the student to a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Faith, helping the student to live the Faith more concretely and to defend it when necessary.
The Baltimore Catechism No.3 is the only book used in Religion 9, and yet the more advanced comprehension of the Catholic Faith that it presents makes it a valuable source for those seeking to practice the Faith more devoutly and to profess it courageously. Each lesson in the Catechism clearly states the Church’s teachings in question and answer format. Most of the truths expressed are supported by scripture verses containing Jesus’ words and actions as well as other of God’s biblical revelations. Other passages grounded in reason and tradition accompany these corroborative excerpts. Covering the lesson from all sides, these passages encourage a critical point of view, which is the key to defending the Faith in the face of criticism. The “Important Truths About …”section in each lesson explains the catechism and delves into its deeper meanings by presenting lesser-known details. The Catechism also allows the student to apply what he has learned by taking weekly quizzes and answering questions about situations as presented in the Problems and Exercises sections. These exercises challenge the student to better grasp the core tenets of Catholicism and its practices. The student also is given the opportunity to adopt suggested holy and moral practices as part of daily life. Religion 9’s textbook, the Baltimore Catechism No.3, has been a great aid in guiding me to support and live Catholicism to the fullest.
Religion 9 also contain supplements in its lesson plans that are geared to helping students assess the information gathered from the Catechism, in order to inspire them to love, live, and defend the Faith to a greater extent. Each supplemental essay follows and reviews the lesson studied in the Catechism, helping the student to grasp the knowledge more profoundly. In addition to review, the supplements provide additional aspects that relate to the lesson, with convincing arguments and a more philosophical point of view in support of the doctrines taught. With this thorough evaluation of the topic, the student becomes well prepared to rise to support doctrine when challenged. The supplemental questions after the supplements assist the student in mastering the lessons with an answer key for correction to avoid misunderstandings. Furthermore, the optional supplemental activities offer the student a tangible way to practice and spread the Good News of the Gospel. Religion 9’s engaging supplements have truly helped me to incorporate the Faith into my daily life and to develop my apologetic spiritual life.
Finally, the essay questions presented in the quarterly tests confront the student with the necessity to understand the Catholic Faith in certain disputed areas in order defend it from a substantial source. These essay questions challenge the student to defend and explain some of the most opposed and mystifying truths of Catholicism with the material learned from the Catechism and the supplements. They focus on testing the student’s actual comprehension of the concepts rather than mere superficial memorization. Thus, if the Catholic student is ever questioned about the Faith, he or she will be able to dispel doubts from a solid understanding of the Church teachings, as memorization does not always answer all questions directly. Moreover, in challenging the student to defend the Catholic Faith, the essay questions give the student a stronger sense of his or her role in living a good exemplary Christian life and in bringing others to the fullness of God’s truth. Indeed, the essay questions in questions in Religion 9’s tests have allowed me to grow in my ability to defend the Faith.
Truly, Religion 9 is my favorite Seton course because the Baltimore Catechism No.3, the supplements in the lesson plans, and the quarterly graded essay questions contribute to a fuller understanding of the Catholic Faith, encouraging the student to practice it devoutly and passionately support it. The Baltimore Catechism No.3 has led me to be a strong devotee of the Catholic Faith, and the course’s supplements have further encouraged me to integrate the faith into my life and to share it with others. Finally, the essay questions in Religion 9’s quarterly tests have given me the opportunity to develop my apologetic abilities. These three aspects truly make for an exceptional Religion course that undoubtedly helps one grow closer to God.
About Victoria Cormier
Victoria Cormier is the sixth of eight children and has been homeschooling with Seton since the 3rd Grade just outside Atlanta, Georgia. She loves homeschooling and strives to be a good Catholic. Victoria enjoys reading classic novels and American history, drawing nature and trying her hand out at various crafts. She also loves spending time with her family and doing things outdoors such as gardening, raising six backyard chickens, hiking and camping. This fall she hopes to learn to play the guitar and improve her piano skills. In the future, she might join the Missionaries of Charity in response to a possible calling to the consecrated religious life.