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In the spring of 2006, the Campus Ministry Center was created. This area houses a library of print and other media resources on a variety of topics, such as Catholic Social Justice, Church History, Prayer and Spirituality. There is a comfortable gathering space where students, faculty, and staff can “come away” for quiet time, prayer and reflection. The Campus Ministry program, through a variety of opportunities and activities encourages and fosters all members, of the St. Thomas Aquinas High School community, in spirituality, service and community building.
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Kairos is a religious retreat that is grounded in the belief that God is very much a part of our world, especially through the continuing presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. It is an experience of Christian community that centers on a series of talks given by students and adults. Prayer and celebration of the sacraments are an essential part of the program, as well as, the participants’ involvement in discussions and other exercises…and of course, a good dose of fun.
Kairos is a Greek word meaning “God-given or sacred time”. It is time filled with meaning in which something sacred can happen. This retreat will provide students with a special time to look deeply at the person he or she is and their relationship with the Lord, with other people, and with family.
For decades this program has been transformative for dozens of Catholic school communities throughout the United States and we are privileged to be the first school in the Diocese of Youngstown to offer it.
Senior class students have two opportunities to attend the retreat. The fall and spring retreats are held at Loyola of the lakes, in Clinton, Ohio. The fall Kairos is for seniors only. In order to become a member of the team during their upcoming Senior year, Junior class students are given the opportunity to share the spring retreat. Junior students, invited in the spring before their senior year, will be recommended by peers, faculty, administration and Kairos alumni only. Kairos student team leaders will commit to attending planning meetings and the entire retreat weekend. Kairos Retreat dates for 2015-2016 school year are March 7-9 2016 and May 22-24 2016.
The Roman Catholic Church upholds the consistent ethic of life. This means all human beings have a right to life from conception to natural death. In support of this fundamental belief, St. Thomas Aquinas proudly partakes in activities of our local Right to Life chapter. Students are encouraged to participate in the National Life Chain Stand for Life at the intersection of Dressler and Everhard in Belden Village. This project began in California in 1987 and is now a yearly nationwide event.
St. Thomas Aquinas also participates in the March for Life. Each year students and parents of St. Thomas Aquinas depart for Washington and travel overnight by bus to arrive in the nation’s capital at the crack of dawn. Each year’s experience, of this event, is extremely empowering. It is amazing to see so many people fighting for life! St. Thomas Aquinas plans on filling a bus again this year as part of the Stark Right to Life effort. Chaperones that have completed the Diocesan Child Protection Policy steps are needed for this extraordinary experience.
Right to Life Student Officers conduct monthly meetings and offer opportunities for their peers. Last year, many students attended speaker sessions such as human trafficking, teen suicide prevention, abortion and more. These are wonderful opportunities for St. Thomas Aquinas students and parents to put Catholic faith into action.
Adopt-A-Grandparent program at St. Joseph Care Center is a service component, dating back to the beginning of Aquinas. Recently, the House of Loreto also has asked for student volunteers to assist with their residents. Students sign out of study halls during non-lunch periods walk to St. Josephs, and return before the next class. Students assisting at the House of Loreto may volunteer after school or on weekends. Aquinas, through Campus Ministry, makes the initial contact with the volunteer coordinator at both facilities, who then trains and assigns students to residents or work with the kitchen staff. No academic credit is given; however, service hours are offered. Students should value the Gospel driven mandate to serve others and act on it accordingly.
Aquinas students have the opportunity to volunteer and interact with guests at Catholic Charities Adult Day Services. Students sign out of study halls during non-lunch periods walk to the Adult Day Services or Emmaus House facilities and return before the next class. Campus Ministry makes the initial contact with the volunteer coordinator at both facilities, who then trains and assigns students to interact with residents or work with the kitchen staff. No academic credit is given; however, service hours are offered. Students should value the Gospel driven mandate to serve others and act on it accordingly.
St. Thomas Aquinas High School encourages students to reach beyond themselves and render service to our brothers and sisters throughout the community and world. Service is a component of evangelization. As a Christian, living in a secular world, this is a critical facet of character. We cannot emphasize the Christian value of service enough.
So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. John 13:1217 NAB
Key features of our service requirement for 2017-2018:
Students should contact Mrs. May, Campus Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification of the service requirements or for advice in planning approved service. Parents, too, should feel free to contact Mrs. May with their own questions or concerns.
When we volunteer, we meet people and create the possibility of friendship with those we are serving. It is in these moments that we become more compassionate and learn about the other person’s struggle, journey or story without judgement. We recognize their need and respond with love and service. The Corporal Works of Mercy are acts of compassion: Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and bury the dead. These acts of compassion can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. Yet, that is exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; reach out to those who are suffering and show them love, patience and kindness. See: The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. CATECHISM (Sec. 18301832)
Hours must be completed and returned by April 27, 2018 to the Campus Ministry office. Recorded hours are the responsibility of the student. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. May.*UPDATED 8/18/15