The Mission Statement of St. Mary's High School includes our goal to "form the
student's character by giving witness to Jesus Christ." Service to others is a
cornerstone of Christianity. We are called to serve like Jesus did. By reaching out to
others we increase our understanding, knowledge, and empathy for the world around
us. We also respond to our Lord's plea to "Love one another as I have loved you."
As stated in the St. Mary's High School Philosophy Statement, "As a community we
believe people have a responsibility to one another."
The minimum Service Hour Requirement for all grade levels is as follows:
1. Freshmen - 10 Hours
2. Sophomores - 20 Hours
3. Juniors - 30 Hours*
4. Seniors - 40 Hours*
Service hours for the 2016-2017 school year may be started on June 30, 2016, and
must be completed by May 1, 2017, for Seniors and June 1, 2017, for Underclassmen.
Students must complete all of their mandatory service hours in order to pass their
religion course. Seniors will not be allowed to graduate with unfinished service hours.
Service to others does not include any service that benefits you personally. For
example, if your softball team sponsors a garage sale and you work at that event, you
may not count that for service hours. The proceeds are benefiting you and your
team. The goal of service hours is to benefit others and to experience new
opportunities and situations.
Household chores for family members do not count as service hours.
Babysitting/house sitting do not count as service hours.
*For Juniors and Seniors, at least half of their Service Hours must be for an
organization other than St. Mary’s High School.
This yearlong course is an overview of the Catholic faith. It touches on the Church’s
basic beliefs and practices. Topics include our faith’s understanding of God, Jesus, the
Holy Spirit, Sacred Scripture, prayer, liturgy, sacraments, and morality. A practical
application of the Church’s beliefs is explored. This is done by helping students to
continue to develop a healthy Christian life-style including issues of personal identity,
development, self-image, communication, family, friendship, sexuality, work, money,
leisure, and life vocations. Students are required to complete a total of 10 hours (five
each semester) of community service.
Students will recognize the story of the people of Israel as the root of their own faith
story. This course introduces the student to a survey of major themes from the Bible
such as sin, covenant, and redemption.
This course also places an emphasis on the connection between Hebrew and Christian
Scriptures. Catholic Christian tradition is rooted in an understanding of the message of
Jesus found in the New Testament, particularly the Gospels. Students will discover
who Jesus is and what He means in each person’s life. This program will foster a
development of a personal, deeply relational experience of Jesus Christ. The history of
the Church will be reflected on in the active and continuing presence of God.
This course will focus on the moral teachings of the Bible, conscience formation,
processes used for moral decision-making, and bioethics. Issues will be analyzed in
the light of current debate and the teachings of the Church. Catholic and biblical
teaching as a counter-cultural force is examined. Topics will include beginning of life
issues such as fertilization, abortion, surrogacy, and cloning. End of life issues such as
suicide, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, hospice, and living wills will be
examined. Death and dying, as well as grief instruction, will also be presented. Morality
in the business world and in technology will also be covered.
Students will understand the Church’s teaching on Social Justice issues, including
their sources rooted in the Old and New Testament plus Papal and Episcopal
documents. This first-semester course will call students to discern discrepancies,
where they exist, between social realities and Gospel values, and to develop strategies
to make Gospel values operative. The students will develop a foundation for a social
justice consciousness and learn how the Church addresses current social justice
issues of our time.
We will also will focus on specific justice issues including the ethics of life, racism,
poverty, environmental concerns, and the challenge of peace. An appreciation for
diversity through culture, tradition, and other world religions will be explored.
1/4 Credit (see Mrs. Powers for more information)
This course focuses on the formation of students in preparing and conducting retreats.
This course is twofold in scope: (1) to introduce the student to various forms of spiritual
and liturgical experiences; and (2) to develop leadership, organizational, and planning
skills. This course will meet as part of the 12th grade religion course.
1/2 Credit (see Mr. Fay or Mrs. Powers for more information)
This course will begin with the Greeks, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, placing the
emphasis on the predominant thinkers of Christian thought, namely, Thomas Aquinas,
Augustine, Maritan, and Courtney-Murray. If time permits, some consideration will be
given to Avery Cardinal Dulles. The focus will be driven by historical views as
influencing Catholic Theology.