Catholic, Independent Elementary Schools Serving Chicago's Children Since 1876


Spiritual Life

"Above all, get in the habit of thinking about God." - St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


Faith is rooted in mystery and, at the same time, an active choice that is best lived when one is knowledgeable about one’s faith. Our hope is to engage the whole child—the heart and the mind—as he or she discerns their mission for life.

Sheridan Road is Roman Catholic and a place of welcome for families of all faiths. Students attend weekly chapel services and there are monthly all-community masses. Religion class is taught at each grade level and the subject matter grows with the students.

A Montessori approach is used in the Primary School through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The experience of First Communion engages all 2nd graders—whether they are Roman Catholic and receiving the sacrament or journeying with their friends. Students in grades 3-6 experience a more traditional religious education. In their last years at Sacred Heart, students engage in dialogue, exploring World Religions in 7th grade and then focusing on Morality in 8th grade. Roman Catholic students are invited to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of their 7th grade year.

Primary School (PK-2)

"Be humble, be simple, and bring joy to others." - St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Religious education in kindergarten through 2nd grade is based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepard. This program is grounded in scripture, the liturgy of the Church and uses Montessori educational principles. Lessons in kindergarten and 1st grade consist of introducing students to the Bible through infancy narratives and parables of Jesus. They also experience lessons on prayer, geography and objects of the Mass.

In 2nd grade, students deepen their understanding of the Bible, different parts of Mass and form the basis for their belief systems. Students participate in a yearlong quest to create their personal Belief Statement. Belief Statements are created through asking, “What is important to me? What do I believe about God? Who is God to me?” Catholic students end 2nd grade with their First Communion. Second graders of all faiths are welcome to come and support their fellow classmates as they complete this Sacrament.

Lower School (3-5)

"Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement and transformation...It is continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, teaching you to see clearly and deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition." – Janet Erskine Stuart

During Lower School, students are exposed to a more traditional Catholic education. As children grow, they’re eager to join in their faith community, understand the human need for societal rules and exhibit a concern for fairness and justice. More traditional, rote memorization is not the intent behind the Lower School religion curriculum. By understanding the basis for Catholicism, students will be better equipped to know their own faith as they grow.

The curriculum is based on the General Directory of Catechesis and Catechism of the Catholic Church with the Bible as the main text used. The 3rd graders focus on We Are the Church, 4th grade studies God’s Laws that Guide Us and 5th grade students direct their attention to Jesus in the Sacraments.

During Lower School, each child has the opportunity to lead Chapel.

Middle School (6-8)

"Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world."
– St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Middle School students study Scripture (6th grade), World Religions (7th grade) and Morality (8th grade). Adolescents will naturally question the status quo in an effort to find themselves. Our Middle School religion program not only understands, but also encourages, this process. Classes spend their time discussing more difficult issues regarding faith and morality together and listening to one another’s questions. It is through this exploration that a more adult faith base can be built.

Field trips and projects are planned throughout Middle School to confront the student’s understanding of the world. In the spring of 6th grade, students are introduced to the weekly volunteer service program. Once they enter 7th grade in the fall, they start assisting our service partners on a weekly basis. Seventh grade also travels to the BAPS Hindu Temple and Baha’i temple annually. Eighth grade discuss poverty by experiencing government bureaucracy and eventually lose locker privileges.

Through their studies, direct service and role-play, students deepen their understanding of the social-justice imperatives of their faith.


Jane Steinfels
Campus Minister

Shelagh Donoghue
Sacramental Life and Retreat Coordinator

Sr. Muriel Cameron, RSCJ
Chaplain for Sacramental Preparation


Katherine Haigh
Primary School Religion

Arlene Carlucci
Lower School Religion

Jaqueline Beale-DelVecchio
Middle School Religion