Salesianum’s religious education focuses on forming young men into Salesian Gentlemen who embody and embrace the Salesian values of compassion, humility, service, brotherhood, and who lead their lives committed to others, especially helping those who are marginalized and poor.

Formalized instruction in religious studies includes courses in religious philosophy and sacred scripture, as well as courses aimed at the application of faith to everyday life, such as morality, Christian lifestyles, and death/dying. In accordance with the spirituality and teachings of St. Francis de Sales, students are continually challenged to “Live Jesus” throughout their daily lives.

The start of every school day, class, athletic practice, game, meeting, and school event is opened with The Direction of Intention, a simple, powerful prayer, and method for consciously offering up to God what we are about to do while accepting that whatever comes is from His kind and a loving hand. The Direction of Intention continues to unite generations of Salesianum graduates, friends, and families as one.

Religious Studies Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Ellen Hildenbrand

    Ellen Hildenbrand 

    Department Chair
  • Mr. Michael Finocchiaro 

  • Photo of William Grebe

    Mr. William Grebe 

  • Rev. Jack Kolodziej, OSFS 

    Faculty Member
  • Nicholas Lee 

  • Photo of Stephen Menicucci

    Mr. Stephen Menicucci 

  • Olivia Pina 


9th Grade Courses

List of 1 items.

  • Courses

    Catholic & Salesian Identity-CP,AC

10th Grade Courses

List of 1 items.

  • Courses

    Sacred Scripture-CP, AC, HN

11th Grade Courses

List of 1 items.

  • Courses

    Morality & Social Justice-CP, AC, HN

12th Grade Courses

List of 1 items.

  • Courses

    God, Christ & Church-CP, AC, HN
    Introduction to the Devout Life-CP, AC, HN
    Senior Religion Seminar-CP, AC, HN

Phasing System

At Salesianum, phasing seeks to intellectually challenge students in a positive learning environment among peers. Each student is placed in a particular phase in Religious Studies, English, Social Studies, Mathematics, World Languages, and Science. Differences between phases of the same course can include breadth and/or depth of content instruction, pacing, academic rigor, and homework expectations. Additionally, the expectations regarding compositions, analysis, research, and rhetorical capabilities differ among the phases. The characteristics of courses in each phase are as follows:
  • College Prep Foundations (CP): CP courses with the “Foundations” designation are available in English, Mathematics, and Spanish for 9th and 10th-grade courses. Fundamentals are emphasized to develop foundations for success at the college level. Scheduling of these courses allows for the best student-teacher ratio available. These courses are characterized by reinforcement of study and organization skills, frequent assessments, scaffolding (moving students progressively toward greater understanding), and a variety of methodologies including guided discussion. Students build their composition, research, and rhetoric skills.
  • College Prep (CP): CP courses emphasize fundamentals in preparation for the college level. Students are actively led toward greater academic independence. These courses are characterized by frequent assessments, scaffolding (moving students progressively toward greater understanding), and a variety of methodologies. Students build their composition, research, and rhetoric skills.
  • Accelerated (AC): Accelerated courses are characterized by increased pace, depth, and connections among unit concepts. Students are cognitively engaged for independent work, and the instructor challenges students to rapidly reach higher-order thinking. Students consistently demonstrate their established composition, research, and rhetoric skills. When calculating GPAs, 0.2 points are added to AC courses.
  • Honors (HN): Honors courses challenge students with exceptional content depth and complexity. Course tasks proceed rapidly from content introduction to higher-order thinking which challenges students to connect concepts and to apply knowledge to new situations. Formative assessment (monitoring student learning) is included, but summative assessment (evaluating student learning) drives the grading for these courses. Students should build upon established composition, research, and rhetoric skills and anticipate exceptionally rigorous expectations. When calculating GPAs, 0.3 points are added to HN courses.
  • Advanced Placement (A.P.): These college-level courses are governed by the curriculum of the Advanced Placement Program (A. P. Program) of the College Board and all syllabi are College Board approved. For an A. P. course, after successful completion of the cumulative examination offered by the College Board, college credit or advanced standing may be granted. When calculating GPAs, 0.4 points are added to A.P. courses.