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Theology Department


"In the beginning . . . darkness covered the abyss" Genesis 1:1-2

"In the beginning was the Word . . . The light shines on in darkness”  John 1:1, "Happy the man who heeds the prophetic message of this book" Revelation 22:7


The constant striving of our shared endeavor as a department is "to inspire students with the spirit of Christ"; to nurture the "gifts and talents of each student" entrusted into our care; and to direct all students, with the ready assistance of divine grace and the promptings of the guiding Holy Spirit, towards active involvement in transforming the world into God's Kingdom.

As a faculty of committed Roman Catholics, we invite our students to join us in proclaiming our identity as a community of baptized Christians, who have been redeemed by Christ Jesus, and charged throughout life to worship and to serve God.

We seek, above all, to motivate our students to respond positively and dynamically to the manifold revelations of God throughout history; we seek to practice, together with our students, the spirituality of the Cross and Resurrection, as the basis of our Christian hope and human striving unto Eternity; we identify ourselves openly as disciples of Jesus Christ, who both invites and moves us to make gospel values the foundation for our ideals, and the source of our continual joy on earth, and the motivations for our every action.

With the hope of God's grace, we shall share together in our chosen apostolate, and we shall strengthen one another in our common witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


The above statement of our philosophy and goals leads to certain concrete objectives.  The purpose of Religious Education at Cardinal O'Hara High School is the common endeavor of its teachers:

  • to form our students after the "Way" of Jesus Christ.

  • to teach courses generated within the framework of the Revised Secondary Curriculum Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

  • to educate students in the Roman Catholic faith with the hope that they become persons of prayer and sacramental observance, loving their Church, knowing its history, and welcoming the good news in its Book, the Bible, the written Word of God's self-revelation.

  • to help students to discover their own unique and special dignity as Christian persons, in relation to themselves, to others, and to God.

  • to draw students to specifically Christian morality, to a system of values which regulate personal conduct, and by which human behavior may be evaluated in terms of right and wrong, in accord with informed conscience.

  • to develop the idea of Christian vocation:  its expression in marriage, priesthood, religious life, and the single state.

  • to show students how religious faith, and how beliefs grounded in convictions, arising from the truths of Revelation, can be integrated into their lives and bring about fulfillment, both in their search for meaning in life and for true, even eventual eternal, happiness.

911 Theology I         6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 1  Gr. 9

912 Theology I          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 2  Gr. 9

913 Theology I          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 3  Gr. 9

The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture (1st Semester)

This course helps students understand the Sacred Scriptures. The Bible

is the word of God where they will encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Students learn about the Bible, its development and content, and how God is its author. Students focus on the Gospels, where they grow to know and love Jesus Christ more personally.

Who is Jesus Christ (2nd Semester)

This course helps students understand the person and message of Jesus Christ. He is the living Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.  He is the ultimate Revelation about God, from God. Students penetrate the mystery of the person of Jesus and who he calls them to be.

2 semesters

921 Theology II          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 1  Gr. 10

922 Theology II          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 2  Gr. 10

923 Theology II          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 3  Gr. 10

The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)

This course helps students understand all that God has done for humanity through his Son, Jesus Christ.  God has planned, from all eternity, for human beings to share everlasting happiness with him.  This is accomplished only through redemption in Christ.  Students inquire about the meaning of being a disciple of Christ.

Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church

This course helps students understand that they encounter the living Jesus Christ in and through the Church.  The Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles.  It is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit.  The Church is the living Body of Christ.  Students explore the Church as a mystery which has both human and divine elements.

2 semesters

931 Theology III          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 1  Gr. 11

932 Theology III          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 2  Gr. 11

933 Theology III          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 3  Gr. 11

Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ

This course helps students understand that they can meet Christ today in and through the sacraments.  Each sacrament, particularly the Eucharist, is a means to a full and real encounter with Christ.  Students examine each sacrament in detail so as to learn how they may encounter Christ throughout life.

Life in Jesus Christ

This course helps students understand the moral life. Only in Christ can human beings discover the fullness of life.  Disciples of Christ are guided by moral concepts and precepts of Christ and his Church.  Students probe these moral teachings and reflect upon their implications.

2 semesters

941 Theology IV          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 1  Gr. 12

942 Theology IV          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 2  Gr. 12

943 Theology IV          6 ppc  1.00 cr.  Tr. 3  Gr. 12

Church and Vocation

This course presents a development of the Church through its 2000 year history focusing on the People of God who make up the Church.  The students are then challenged to take an active role in the Church community through the living out of a personal vocation of service to God and the Church. The study of these people should direct the students to recognize the contemporary personalities and issues in Church life.  A personal vocation in the Church only makes sense in the context of the long tradition we share.  Active participation in the Church is to be the end result of this year long process.  Admission to this course is determined by:  performance in previous theology courses, the student's general academic ranking and the recommendation of prior teachers.  In general, only students who are in the highest 15% of their class are considered for Track I.
                                                                          2 semesters