Faith & Service
A Philosophical Rationale for Campus Ministry
The mission of Campus Ministry is to facilitate and organize experiences that nourish and nurture the spiritual growth of the Saint Mary’s College High School community. Inspired by our Lasallian Catholic tradition, we recognize the presence of God active in our lives; we aim to live the Gospel message; and we reflect upon and discern our call to holiness. All of these principles are promoted and located within the broader context of a quality education that seeks to empower students with the critical thinking and creative problem solving skills necessary to become future agents of positive change in the world. Our mission is actualized through empowering our community members with the necessary skills and tools to live out the call to witness to the Gospel message.
All Are Welcome
Campus Ministry welcomes participation from and collaborates and coordinates with all of the constituents of the Saint Mary’s College High School community. Our mission is actualized through empowering our community members with the necessary skills and tools to live out the call to witness to the Gospel message. All are welcome, regardless of faith traditions and perspectives, to participate in any activity sponsored by Campus Ministry. A willingness to learn, a spirit of openness, and a desire to serve with humility are the only requirements.
Our program is divided into three major components: Justice and Peace Education, Liturgy and Prayer Life, and Retreats and Vocations. Each component is aligned with and integral to the mission of the school, our Lasallian Educational Outcomes, the five Lasallian Core Principles, and the three pillars of participation: faith, service, and community. Campus Ministry has a direct relationship with the Religious Studies Department and its curriculum, for the latter addresses foundational Catholic catechesis in an academic setting, while Campus Ministry provides an opportunity for praxis.
Justice and Peace Education: Catholic Lasallian Community Service and Immersion Experiences
Through the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, Campus Ministry structures activities and opportunities to put into practice Jesus Christ’s call to justice and action. Through Immersion Experiences, Community Christian service, and service learning opportunities, our community recognizes our Christian call to look after the needs of others before ourselves.
Our Immersion Experiences are responses to the Gospel call of Jesus to “come and see” (John 1.39) where he dwells in the midst of the poor and marginalized. The immersion programs at Saint Mary’s are transformative, faith-based, cultural, and educational experiences. These Immersion Experiences offer the time and space for a gradual conversion of heart as each participant lives in community and encounters some of the conditions that the marginalized experience day after day.
Our Integrated Catholic Lasallian Community Service program provides opportunities and encourages students to volunteer for various organizations and projects in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Liturgy and Prayer Life: Living Interior Expressions of Spirituality
Following Paul’s instruction (1 Thess 5.17) to the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing,” our community witnesses to our Lasallian Catholic identity through the regular celebration of the liturgy, participation in sacramental life, and commitment to prayer.
As the work of the people and as the source and summit of our faith, our Eucharistic liturgies and our student-designed and led prayer services express our Catholic Christian heritage and diversity while recognizing God’s presence among us.
Attention to the history of the community of saints, to the rhythms of the liturgical year, and to diverse cultural expressions of faith is essential in our commitment to realizing the living Lasallian Catholic traditions that our community has inherited.
Prayer is our response to God’s action and presence in our lives. God calls, and we answer. As such, our community is committed to the regularity of prayer throughout the day and especially at the beginning of each class.
Retreats and Vocations: All Are Called to Holiness
Retreat has been an integral part of the Lasallian tradition since its founding in 1680. The Brothers were gathered yearly for an eight-day retreat structured around a series of meditations written by De La Salle. Central to these traditions was the notion that one could not spiritually give of himself if he had not taken the time to develop that inner spirit of faith in reflection upon the experiences of life. As everything we do here at Saint Mary’s College High School, the retreat program is inspired by the heritage passed down in the Lasallian tradition.
Retreat offers the individual student a chance to consider the role of service, community, relationships, God, spirituality and many more areas as they pertain to the life of the individual student. Freshman and Sophomore students all attend a required, one-day retreat. Junior and Senior students have the option to attend overnight retreats that are scheduled at different times throughout the academic year.
Vocation discernment is recognizing our call to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity as a lay single person, a married couple, or as a religious or priest. Vocation retreats are offered in conjunction with the District of San Francisco for those who are discerning their call.
Our hope is that students who graduate from Saint Mary’s College High School have developed spiritual lives that will be sources of strength that they can draw from as they continue to face new challenges in their journeys.