Campus Ministry & Service
The tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet underscores everything at St. Mary’s Academy. Students walk in the footsteps of our founders by striving for unifying love of God and the dear neighbor both on and off campus. The campus ministry and Christian service programs at SMA foster a commitment to Christian values through opportunities for spiritual growth and helping others.
Campus Ministry is the spiritual life blood of St. Mary's Academy. Students are encouraged to deepen their understanding and experience of themselves and their faith through student-led Christian formation, retreats, liturgies, service, Sharing of the Heart (a spiritual practice from the CSJ tradition), and formation opportunities throughout the year.
Campus Ministry At a Glance:
School-wide Masses, in which the school comes together as a community of faith, are offered at least once a month. Mass is also offered at every student retreat. In addition, students lead weekly Liturgy of the Word prayer services to begin the Friday school day.
School-wide Reconciliation Services are offered twice a year during Advent and Lent. Students have the opportunity to go to private confessions with a priest once the communal reconciliation service with the whole school is complete.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place through the theology classes once a quarter. Students can pray in silence or pray through song with praise and worship music. The chapel is open throughout the day for students to enter and pray.
The spiritual journey each Belle embarks upon at St. Mary’s Academy begins her freshman year, with a series of mini-retreats, and continues through our four-year retreat program. Belles at each grade level attend a retreat led by adults and trained counselors. Retreats include a one-day retreat for sophomores, a day retreat for juniors, and a three-day retreat for seniors.
Every year, campus ministry takes interested students to participate in the Religious Education Congress Youth Day, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Belles take part in liturgy and workshops with students from all over the world. Students may also assist with some prayer experiences during the adult days of the Religious Education Congress.
The Christian service program is in line with SMA’s commitment to developing generous, responsible citizens and leaders. Belles put their faith into action wholeheartedly, serving their communities by exercising cultural responsibility and accountability, committing to promoting a just society, and demonstrating spiritual depth and consciousness. Service with the vulnerable who are the poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised of the community is an essential part of a rich and integrated educational tradition.
Christian Service At a Glance:
- Service opportunities may include: tutoring other students, donating clothing items to those in need, starting a fundraiser for a worthy cause or organization, sending letters or greeting cards to a local senior center, and more.
- Students are expected to complete a minimum of 20 hours of Christian Service each year.
- Belles who are a part of SMA’s Career Path Programs must complete additional "experience" hours. “Experience hours” include professional development, education, or training that will allow students to gain knowledge about their area of study.
- All hours must be submitted to the Christian Service Coordinator via MobileServe by June 1st.
- Christian Service hours and verification are due no later than 60 days AFTER the completion of service.
To learn more about current service opportunities or make a service opportunity suggestion please contact the Christian Service Coordinator.