St. Brendan Parish School

Curriculum » Catholic Spiritual Development

Catholic Spiritual Development

Catholic Spiritual Development

St. Brendan is, first and foremost, a Catholic school. The children receive daily religious instruction. Our parish pastor, Father Roger Gustafson, and our priests and nuns in residence, actively engage with the children both during school hours and at parish and school events. Our Catholic identity and mission are integrated into every aspect of our curriculum and student life.

Mass. The whole school attends a children’s Mass on the first Friday of every month, which parents are invited to attend. Students attend Mass on all Holy Days and every day during Lent. Children participate in Masses as lectors, gift bearers, Eucharistic ministers, acolytes, and members of the choir.

Sacraments. Second graders prepare for and receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Eighth graders prepare for and receive Confirmation.

Creative Compassion. One of the distinguishing characteristics of St. Brendan School is our emphasis on finding ways to give back to our communities through student-driven outreach projects that combine creativity, entrepreneurship, compassion, and empathy. Children of all grades may propose projects at any time by presenting their idea to our principal, Mrs. Grewal. Children are responsible for the projects from inception to execution, and their reward is the joy of having given of themselves. Examples of these projects include:

  • Collecting baseball equipment to send to “Robert’s Kids,” an organization in Latin America;

  • Designing and selling “St. Brendan Cares” shoelaces to support Special Olympics programs;

  • A fundraiser to benefit victims of the earthquake in the Philippines;

  • Auctioning seat assignments to raise money for a school in Nigeria; and

  • Collecting and selling used books to support various charities.

Service Learning. Eighth graders perform twenty hours of community service as part of their confirmation preparation. They volunteer at school and parish events and often propose their own Creative Compassion projects.

Charitable Events and Programs. All St. Brendan students are members of the Mission Child Association, for which they collect money throughout the year. They also participate in the St. Vincent de Paul food drive and the San Francisco Firefighters’ Toy Drive at Christmas.

Youth Ministry. Our in-school Youth Ministry program, which is a joint activity in collaboration with our parish, invites our fifth through eighth graders to foster their own personal spiritual growth and to become leaders who demonstrate Christian values. As a group, the students design activities and games that focus on the themes of prayer, morality, and inclusiveness. They also perform services for others, such as designing Christmas cards for Laguna Honda Hospital patients and Meals on Wheels recipients, and making sandwiches for the homeless to be distributed through the St. Vincent de Paul society.

Altar Servers. Our sixth through eighth grade students participate in Mass and assist our priests as altar servers.

Sunday Children’s Liturgy. At Sunday Masses, young children gather to participate in interactive activities and art projects that focus on communicating the Gospel in ways that children can understand. Our fourth graders assist by lending their leadership and knowledge to enhance the younger children’s experience.