SPIRITUAL LIFE

Essential to St. Mary’s mission is the formation of the whole person in the image of Jesus Christ. As such, we seek to integrate Catholic values and morals into our curriculum; to develop the whole person to excel spiritually, intellectually, academically, physically and socially. 

We are a community who embraces the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and we strive to live as disciples of Christ by being true to the guidance of Holy Scripture and by following the Living Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Mary’s nurtures the spiritual life of its students and families in several ways.

Access to the Sacraments
Students have an opportunity to individually partake of daily Mass and reconciliation services. Father Joe Dygert holds Mass every morning at 7:00am in the chapel. The entire school attends Mass once a week in our gym. Reconciliation is provided to the entire student body twice a year (Advent, Lent).

Campus Ministry
Campus Ministry is an elective course offered to St. Mary’s seniors. Students have the opportunity to develop a more active faith life along with other students. Campus Ministry provides students with opportunities to grow in their faith by getting involved in outreach projects, and by assuming a more vital role in the school wide ministry. Campus ministers play a key role in the development and facilitation of all the school retreats. They also assist with school liturgies, prayer services, and they help design other activities that enhance the spiritual life of the students and faculty at St. Mary’s High School. Campus Ministry is an interactive, hands-on experience for students who want to grow in their own spirituality and help others do the same.

Prerequisites for this class include approval by the director of Campus Ministry/Administrative Team. Student leadership is the hallmark of Campus Ministry. Grading for this class is pass/fail.

Religious Studies
The ultimate goal of the St. Mary’s Theology Department is to foster students' personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The teachers seek to challenge students to understand the traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church. Students commit to a growing relationship with God and others and lead a life of service in imitation of Jesus Christ. St. Mary’s students are rooted in prayers, nourished by the sacraments, and guided by Scripture.

Class Topics
Theology I An Introduction to Catholic Theology, An Overview of the Bible, Gospel of Mark, The Acts of the Apostles, The Creed, Liturgy and the Sacraments, Our Life of Christ
Theology II A Catholic Reading of Scripture, Gospel of Matthew, Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, The Historical Books, The Prophets, the New Testament Letters and the Early Church
Theology IIIThe Life of the Church, Gospel of Luke, the First and Second Millennium, The Chair of St. Peter, Psalms and Prayer, The Four Last Things
Theology IVWisdom for Life, Gospel of John, The Wisdom of the Old Testament, The Spiritual Life, Vocation, Converts, The Revelation of John

Text Books:

  1. The Ave Catholic Notetaking Bible

  2. The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament

  3. Saint Paul Sunday Missal

  4. The Case for Jesus

Class Retreats
Each grade level has a retreat once a year. The retreat is designed and facilitated by the Campus Ministry Class. The current themes for the class retreats are as follows:

Freshmen: Creating Healthy Community and Finding the Courage to be Yourself
This retreat focuses on moving beyond cliques so that students can find the freedom and the courage to be who they were created to be. During this retreat, the Christian values of love and kindness are emphasized as tools for creating a positive community.

Sophomores: Exploring Love, Relationships, and Sexuality from a Christian Perspective
This retreat focuses on recognizing and building healthy dating relationships and explores different concepts of love, with an emphasis on Eros vs. Agape. We also explore the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of premarital sex as a way of empowering students with the choice of chastity.

Juniors: We are One Body in Christ
The overall focus for the day is community building, a concept which is grounded in the ideas presented in 1 Corinthians 12, where St. Paul describes the Christian community as the Body of Christ. While this passage acknowledges that each member of the body is different, it also emphasizes that each member needs the other members to make a body whole. The Junior retreat is designed to present this truth in a concrete manner via a challenge course, also known as a low-ropes course.

Seniors: Reflect and Move Forward
Before we can truly get a sense of where we are going, it is often necessary to look at where we are, and where we have been. The Senior Retreat provides students with an opportunity to do just that—to step back from the day-to-day activities and reflect upon their high school years. Before the whirlwind of the final days of school approach, seniors get the opportunity to laugh and to realize the value of friendship before they embark on their next journey in life.