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The Teaching of Patriotism

The pupils in Catholic Schools are trained to a two-fold service: the service of God and the service of country.

Through the lesson in religion, the truths of God are inculcated, this standard of conduct explained and the true motives for perfect living introduced into young lives. Thus does the lesson in religion make for a higher service of country. For the child knows the significance of the words of our Lord, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Here is found the basic principle upon which Catholic education prepares pupils for civic duty and religious responsibility. Patriotism is a holy opportunity. Its sanction comes from God Himself.

The classroom work in United States History and Civics aims to teach the greatness and the goodness and the beauty of the United States as a nation, and of American institutions in their relation to the life of all peoples privileged to live under the Stars and Stripes. Effective teaching of United States History is a sure means of developing a devoted patriotism since History reveals the principles and the ideals of American institutions and the American people. With religion as the basis and the History lesson well presented a strong and sturdy patriotism is developed in the Catholic elementary school.

As additional assistance to the teachers of the grades the following material is offered to be used on various occasions during the school year. The teacher will find that this work can be correlated with History and the History lesson will grow in interest and vitality. The thought in mind is the preparation of a loyal devoted citizenship for the United States.

The material is arranged by grades. In the upper grades the children themselves can secure the poems for the teacher through a visit to the Public Library if the books at hand do not contain what is needed. Some of the selections noted below have been referred to in connection with the United States History and Civics. Others will be found in the standard reading books used in the elementary grades. The songs will be found in music readers and compilations of patriotic music. The “Star Spangled Banner” and “America” should be sung frequently in every grade.

No month should pass without the use of some of the material assigned or similar material for the high purpose of the growth in patriotic thought and feeling in the pupils. The national holidays furnish appropriate occasion for a lesson of this type.

The Salute to the Flag taught in the first grade is continued in every grade and takes place every morning immediately after the prayers of the opening session.

The American Creed

“I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sov- ereign nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union one and in- separable, established upon those principles of freedom, equality, jus- tice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore, believe it is my duty to my country to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

Source: Parochial Schools. Archdiocese of Boston (1923)

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