…young men and women… who know and love Jesus, and who actively participate in the worship and mission of the Church, including the Church’s preferential option for the poor. (from the Mission Statement of Saint Joseph Academy)
One of the hallmark statements of Saint Marcellin Champagnat is to “make Jesus known and loved”. The students, faculty, and administration at Saint Joseph Academy are given opportunities to live this charism of the Marist Brothers through worship, prayer, and service.
Campus Ministry strives to help the Saint Joseph Academy community live out the charism of the brothers and promote the Mission Statement by offering grade level retreats, communal prayer experiences, and service opportunities to the “least favored of society”.
The retreats are designed to provide a personal experience of God, unity, and self-worth to each member of our student body. These retreats are led by members of the Call To Ministry class who serve as peer ministers. The students are accompanied by the grade level faculty. During these off-campus retreats, students address questions of personal faith, build community, and participate in prayer experiences appropriate for their age level. Retreats provide a stepping stone to becoming spiritually informed, responsible leaders in our community.
7th, 8th, and 9th graders have one-day retreat experiences at a Catholic retreat center in Brownsville, TX. The 7th grade retreat focuses on the Marist Family. The 8th grade retreat discusses on Peer Pressure, and the 9th grade retreat is a day on Prayer & Spirituality.
10th grade students are given the unique opportunity of a Service Retreat. Their day begins with Mass at a local parish; students are then assigned to a service site to do a day of direct service to the poor. At the end of the day, students process the experience and end with a communal prayer.
Juniors participate in a three day Marist Youth Encounter Christ retreat which is based on an established Marist program and is consistent in its presentation each year. There are two Encounters each year – one in the Fall and one in the Spring. Encounter is conducted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in a natural and peaceful setting that encourages prayer and reflection.
Senior retreat is also a 3-day experience and is held in New Braunfels, Texas. This retreat is based on the Marks of a Marist Student. The entire senior class is strongly encouraged to attend this last retreat of their high school career at Saint Joseph Academy. It is a time of reflection, sharing, prayer, and fun.
Communal prayer experiences for the school are offered once a month. Celebration of the Mass or the praying of Lauds (Morning Prayer) from the Liturgy of the Hours is offered in the Student Center. Local priests and Deacon John Kinch volunteer their time to lead the school community in prayer.
Service opportunities are always coming through the Campus Ministry Office. Whether it is local, national, or international, people contact SJA to help. Our school community is more than generous, not only with financial contributions but with their time as well. Parishes, schools, centers for the elderly, food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and the like call on and depend on the SJA community. Modeling what Saint Marcellin asked, our Marist community responds wholeheartedly.
Campus Minister: Tony Cantu firstname.lastname@example.org