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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

VISION FOR SERVICE

“Loving others is a spiritual force drawing us to union with God; indeed, one who does not love others “walks in the darkness” (1 John 2:11), “remains in death” (1 Jn 3:14) and “does not know God” (1 Jn 4:8). Benedict XVI stated, “closing our eyes to our neighbor also blinds us to God,” and that love is, in the end, the only light which “can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working. When we live out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide to the Lord’s greatest and most beautiful gifts” (Evangelii Gaudium 72).

WHAT COUNTS AS SERVICE?

  • Feeding the hungry: soup kitchens, food pantries, food banks
  • Sheltering the homeless: Habitat for Humanity
  • Clothing the naked: Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Visiting the sick and imprisoned
  • Visiting and interacting with patients and/or residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers
  • Organized and leadership-approved environmental care projects
  • Participation in fundraisers that raise awareness for life-threatening diseases and illness such as: Cancer Walks, Walk for a Cure, or working the Round-Up Sunday Carnival
  • Tutoring and mentoring for the benefit of the other
  • Parish events
  • Mission trips
  • Running in Steps for Students
  • The role of STH Senior Leader
  • Helping organize and run any of the major fundraisers at St. Thomas
  • Participating as a donor or organizer of a Blood Drive
  • Participating in the Challenger game offered during the football season
  • Organizing a car wash and donating the proceeds to the needy
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Volunteering at a Summer Camp
  • Camp Blessing (special needs)
  • Camp Aranzazu (special needs)
  • Building and making care packages for the poor (see coach Q.)
  • If you have something else in mind you need to get it approved first by Joe O’Brien or Mrs. Looper

UNACCEPTABLE SERVICE EXAMPLES

  • Baby-sitting
  • Lawn maintenance/work of any kind
  • Service to relatives or family, including grandparents, or privately owned businesses owned by family
  • Helping someone move residences
  • Work for which the student is paid, or for which they receive academic credits
  • Off-site clerical work–such as filing, receptionist duties, or other tasks that stray from altruistic service
  • Service completed during the school day
  • Service not approved by the Campus Ministry team
  • Service that is punitive in nature (detentions)

TRACKING HOURS

All enrolled students at St. Thomas are accountable for registering on the x2VOL website, as well as entering and tracking their own hours. Resources explaining these processes are found online at www.x2vol.com, as well as on our Campus Ministry web page.

Failure to enter and track one’s own hours digitally on www.x2vol.com will create consequences that impact the student directly, and ultimately, prevent graduation. It is crucial that students take complete responsibility for this fundamental aspect of their education at St. Thomas.

SERVICE REQUIREMENTS EACH YEAR

  • We require service on a yearly basis for ALL grade levels.
  • Students may complete their service hours during the summer if they so choose.
  • All service hours completed after June 1 will be counted towards the following school year.
  • Students must have met their yearly service requirement by April 1.
  • Please keep in mind the necessity of completing required hours in a timely manner via the x2VOL system.
  • Note that all hours must be verified by an adult who works at the organization and not the student’s parent; the verifier is the person who organizes, supervises, or arranges the volunteer opportunity.

The following requirements must be met prior to graduation for a student to receive their diploma.

FRESHMEN: 25 hours

DUE DATE: All hours are due on April 1st. Half of the hours may be completed serving at St. Thomas. Additional hours or hours completed during April and May will not be rolled over, rather they will be added to your current year.

SOPHOMORES: 25 hours

DUE DATE: All hours are due on April 1st. Half of the hours may be completed serving at St. Thomas. Additional hours or hours completed during April and May will not be rolled over, rather they will be added to your current year.

JUNIORS: 25 hours

DUE DATE: All hours are due on April 1st. Half of the hours may be completed serving at St. Thomas. Additional hours or hours completed during April and May will not be rolled over, rather they will be added to your current year.

SENIORS: 25 hours

DUE DATE: All hours are due on April 1st. Half of the hours may be completed serving at St. Thomas. Additional hours or hours completed during April and May will not be rolled over, rather they will be added to your current year.

Click here to see a list of approved organizations you may contact to help you complete your service.

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: My hours activity log has all these numbers on it – I’m not sure what it’s saying. Help!
A: Check out this explanation (click here).

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.

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 “the rubber hitting the road,” where faith becomes a critical component of daily life unlike ever before. Spiritual questions are the central focus, revealing faith-based maturity as it comes to pass.

  • Our young men will be asked to carefully consider Jesus’ question to St. Peter in Matthew 16:15, “Who do you say that I am?,” realizing indeed that if Jesus is who He truly says He is, our lives must radically transform.
  • They will reflect on their personal experiences, grappling with moral issues, followed by an invitation to encounter Christ through the graces of the sacraments.
  • Finally, they will be encouraged to embrace St. Paul’s challenge to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

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.

A man of St. Thomas is a faith-filled learner who lives in accordance with the standards of the Gospels. Campus Ministry discerns and meets the needs of our students, guiding them and encouraging encounters with our Lord Jesus Christ. Students of all faiths will be challenged to grow in prayer, virtue, and holiness.

To this end, we provide an optional weekly schedule to strengthen spiritual growth, which is open to parents, students, all faculty and administration.

  1. Monday: The Sacrament of Reconciliation and an examination of conscience will be offered before school in the Chapel.
  2. Tuesday: Mass takes place in the Chapel at the beginning of ‘block’ lunch.
  3. Wednesday: Mass takes place in the Chapel at the beginning of ‘block’ lunch.
  4. Thursday: We pray the Rosary in the Chapel before the start of the school day.
  5. Friday: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is offered during both lunch periods.

St. Thomas also celebrates Holy Days of Obligation, as well as several other all-school masses throughout the academic year.

Notes about Faith Formation programming:

  • Student dress code for the all-school masses is a navy blazer, with a white dress shirt, red tie, khaki pants, socks, and dress shoes.
  • Each time a student attends a faith formation event, with the exception of confession or all school masses, they will receive 2 ½ points of extra credit in theology class for a maximum of 10 points per major grade.