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CAMPUS MINISTRY

The Campus Ministry Team serves as the foundation for pastoral support for the St. Thomas community: all students, their families, faculty, and administration.

In reverence and commitment to sacramental life, we offer compelling faith-formation programs, edifying retreats, and a commitment to service within the social justice context of the Church. As we strive to make Jesus Christ known to our students, they in turn discover the assurance of God’s Grace, transforming into intentional disciples that are leaven of the Gospel, and ultimately, servant-leaders partaking in the heavenly banquet.

Veronica Looper
Administrative Specialist
Veronica.Looper@sths.org

Joe O’Brien
Service Coordinator
Joe.Obrien@sths.org

Grover Green
Retreat Coordinator
Grover.Green@sths.org

Casey Johnson
Faith Formation Coordinator
Casey.Johnson@sths.org

Andrew Quittenton
Director of Campus Ministry
Andrew.Quittenton@sths.org

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves…Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

OUR SERVICE REQUIREMENTS & TIMELINE

  • Every student – freshman through senior – must complete 25 approved hours, every year of school.
    • Hours earned for achievements such as your own Eagle Scout Merit Badge, National Honor Society merits, and Confirmation service hours are not approved as service work.
    • Hours accrued one year will not roll to the following year.
    • Hours served for one’s own family, residence, or to observe normal faith-based acts such as prayer, fasting and attending masses/services are not considered service work for STH requirements.
  • The service year calendar is from June 1 to May 31 of the following year (hours earned during summer months count toward the forthcoming school year. Hours are due for the current school year by May 31 of that spring semester.)
  • The choice of when to serve (summer vs. school year, etc) – is at the discretion of students, so long as the hours are served within the timeframe provided above.

New Program Option: Group Service Opportunities with STH

We are excited to reintegrate STH group excursions as an optional way to earn service hours. Groups will be available to interested students on a first-come/first-confirmed basis. Transportation and an adult overseer will be provided.

How to take part in group service as a current student (Freshman-Senior):

  • Listen to the Eagle Broadcast News (EBN) daily for announcements;
  • Plan to sign up (each outing will have specific instructions, usually a sign-up sheet);
  • We will also post a printed service calendar of opportunities on our bulletin board on floor 2.

Traditional Service: Individual Efforts/Projects

We always welcome your individual service efforts; whether you serve during a summer or during the school year, your time is valuable and we offer flexibility in our expectations.

To support you:

  • Quarterly service “challenges” are offered as a fun way to challenge students; they are optional;
  • Service that is chosen and planned by the individual student is honored. See all information below.

INDIVIDUAL SERVICE CATEGORIES

Benevolent Service: All 25 Hours can be met by this type of service.

What is Benevolent Service?
Benevolent service is others-focused; the needs of others are the core reason for the service, and there is no gain on the part of the servant, other than the gratification of fulfilling God’s purpose for us.

These are a few examples, and not all-inclusive:

  • Resolving hunger (i.e. organizing a canned food drive; serving at food line/soup kitchen, and much more);
    Addressing a lack of life essentials (i.e. organizing a winter coat drive, collecting and delivering newborn or medical supplies to needy families, serving at a non-profit day camp during the summer to keep children fed/engaged, organizing or providing blood donation, and much more);
  • Offering comfort to those who struggle with illness, or are otherwise marginalized ((i.e. providing art or cards to children or elderly in hospitals; volunteering at Special Olympics; sending thank-you letters to US veterans, etc.)
  • Caring for God’s creations ((i.e. serving an animal shelter, working in a public garden, trash/litter pick-up, wildlife preservation, and more);
  • Christian Ministry Efforts (i.e. Mission trips, Summer camps devoted to special-needs individuals, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and more)

Non-Benevolent Service: 13 of the 25 required hours may be met this way.

There are many opportunities to volunteer that may not always serve a needy population, but they are vital to our community.
Important: Non-Benevolent Service is capped at 13 of the 25 required hours for the purpose of the hours counting toward our requirements. (A student should feel free to volunteer well beyond 13 hours in these areas, but we cap 13 as the max allowed toward our required 25.)

Examples include:

  • Serving in the role of an STH Senior Leader;
  • Helping organize and/or volunteering to help at any of the major fundraisers at St. Thomas (Round Up, Auction, Style Show, Walk-a-Thon);
  • Assisting a faculty or staff member in any capacity outside of your usual student duties (Eagle Ambassador, Open House, Teacher Assistance, Summer School assistance, and more).

Unqualified for Service

Some of the activities presented in the past were honored due to limitations of the pandemic. Starting June of 2021, the following items will no longer be counted as any type of service. The reason for this is because we feel strongly that we are all tasked with certain duties that are intrinsic to our role as members of a family, the church, or society as a whole.

  • Household or yard chores;
  • Helping others move;
  • Providing companionship to relatives;
  • Helping at a family business;
  • Attending or viewing church services or masses (online or in person);
  • Service that is punitive in nature (detentions, resolving citations, and more)

Do you have a different project in mind?

We will gladly consider your project for approval; simply email: Veronica.Looper@sths.org

Tracking Hours

All current students with an active STH email are accountable for registering themselves on www.x2vol.com, as well as entering and tracking their own hours. Please follow the instructions provided here and in the subsequent FAQs section on this very webpage.

Do You Need Ideas for Service?

Please click here for a list of some successful collaborations our students have had with local programs. If you discover any erroneous or outdated information, please let us know via email. We will also be sharing opportunities publicly during the school year.

Questions are always welcome!

  • For all questions regarding tracking, service eligibility, or any of the information contained in service communications provided by STH, contact Mrs. Looper: Veronica.Looper@sths.org
  • Our service program director is Joe O’Brien, who also serves as our Student Activities Director; please contact him at any time as needed. Joe.Obrien@sths.org
  • For questions regarding campus ministry overall, please contact Andrew Quittenton, Director of Campus Ministry and Dean of Theology. Andrew.Quittenton@sths.org

Please click here to join and access the x2VOL website; you will need your STH email and your chosen password. Students, if this is your first time, instructions are here. Go to “Find Opportunities” on the main dashboard page.

Parents, please collaborate with your son to enter this site and access the list. For a list of project collaboration examples, download this list. Instructions for finding these on x2VOL, as well as calculating hours, are here.

Q: What is x2VOL?
A: x2VOL is an online platform that provides an easy way to log service hours and find volunteer opportunities. This system will allow the elimination of paper forms and help to establish efficiency in reproducing information when requested by students, colleges, and the like. x2VOL allows students to enter their service hours online at any time, browse and sign up for volunteer opportunities, receive reminders about the opportunities and print a service transcript that can support college applications.

Q: How do I join or create an account on x2VOL?
A: Please see this video.

Q: How do I “log hours”?
A: Simple instructions are available by watching this video.

Q: May I turn in a paper form showing the hours I’ve earned?
A: We are paperless now; therefore, all hours need to be entered into x2VOL by the student; there is a file-upload section that allows you to attach any files or documents. Everything has to be entered into the system in order to count toward service hours.

Q: How do I check my hours?
A: Please follow these instructions below

  1. Log into www.x2vol.com
  2. Roll your cursor over “Opportunities and Projects”
  3. See “My Activity Log” – click it.
  4. Click on the button that says “Print Activity Log”
  5. Look at the PDF that has just downloaded.
  6. See the term “APPROVED HOURS”: That is the # of hours you have rightfully earned AND will count toward your credit for service.

Q: How can I find the mobile app for x2VOL?
A: Download it here from the Apple App Store, and make sure to use the STHS “CEEB #”, which is: 443435.

Q: I cannot seem to get my hours verified by the organization I served. What next?
A:

  1. Always use an accurate and updated email when entering the Contact on your hours log.
  2. A good tip: Give your organization a copy of this information (click here) to explain what they will receive when asked to Verify your hours.
  3. It is ALWAYS acceptable to use your parent as your verifier! Simply use their accurate email and ask them to check their inbox for the Volunteer Verification Request.

Glossary

  • Contact (n): The person at your organization (such as at a food pantry, or your church, etc) who is in charge of arranging the service activity. If you aren’t sure who this is, ask for help from your parents or the place that helped set up the opportunity.
  • Verifier (n): This is the same thing as the contact person above. This person “verifies” your hours when you submit them.
  • Verify (v): to verify something means to say that it actually happened. While we (Mrs. Looper and Mr. O’Brien) can “approve” your hours, we must first see that the hours are *verified*. This means that someone can say undoubtedly that they saw you do the work and that you are being accurate in the hours you submitted.
  • Approver (n): this is the person at STH who approves your hours; will usually be Mrs. Looper or Mr. O’Brien.
  • Reflection (n): This is the section of your hours-submission form on x2VOL that asks you to “reflect” on your time volunteering; it is your own space to write how you felt about volunteering and what you learned. Remember to use proper grammar and complete sentences.

Retreats are an essential part of the St. Thomas experience. Every freshman, sophomore, junior and senior is required to partake in a mandatory overnight retreat provided by STH during the school year. For more information on the different retreats we offer, please see below or contact Grover.Green@sths.org.

FRESHMAN RETREAT: CAMP AQUINAS

In support of the Basilian tradition to teach Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge, and of our vision to form strong Catholic servants to the Church and the world, this program forges young men into servant-leaders; this is accomplished through a comprehensive leadership curriculum based both in authentic mentorship and the powerful experience of nature.

Camp Aquinas is a five-day (Monday-Friday) immersive outdoor retreat experience that takes place during the first week of school. It serves to initiate, or “onboard,” freshmen into the tradition and culture of St. Thomas High School, which will become known as “The Men of St. Thomas.” This program also offers consistent mentorship opportunities among faculty, freshmen and upperclassmen. Ultimately, our students experience faith as it is lived in a nurturing community.

SOPHOMORE RETREAT: TAKE UP YOUR CROSS

This retreat is an extended meditation on Matthew 16:24-26:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

Students will wrestle, like Job, with the reality of suffering, finding the answer not only in the grandeur of God’s creation, but also by delving into the mystery of Christ’s Passion. They will discover that only by dying to oneself can they then rise together with Jesus Christ. In their Houses, students will cement the bonds of brotherhood and unity, realizing that strength is in mutual dependence as they overcome obstacles together.

JUNIOR RETREAT: LIFE IN CHRIST

This retreat is about exploring the powerful bond between a father and his son. Juniors and their fathers will spend the weekend competing in different games and challenges, pray together, and spend time in the great outdoors away from technology and distractions.

SENIOR RETREAT: THE GREAT COMMISSION

In this culminating retreat for the young men of St. Thomas, the focus is Jesus’ final command to His Apostles, to “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

  • Our students will reflect on their unique experience at St. Thomas, assessing where they have matured, and where they still have room to develop.
  • They will be challenged by alumni, faculty, and administration to take their faith seriously and embody the Gospel message in their daily lives.
  • They will be urged to listen intently for God’s guiding voice, as they move forward in their journey to discover and embrace His tailored plan for their lives.

Faith Formation will begin on August 17th. Click here for more information on Faith Formation.

Click below to view Fr. Murphy’s past virtual masses from Facebook Live.