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Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry at St. Thomas ensures that the young men who are entrusted to our care receive the opportunity for daily spiritual formation and growth.

Campus Ministry provides opportunities for Christian Service Learning, Retreats, Sacramental Ministries, and Student Ministry Opportunities.

 

SERVICE HOUR PROGRAM

Click here to print out Service Program Overview.

SERVICE OVERVIEW

St. Thomas High School is a college preparatory school for young men, educating each in their mind and body, with the Gospel values of Jesus Christ at its foundation. We strive to produce an environment that allows each student to develop the fullness of his Christian potential, not only in the classroom, sports, or extracurricular activities, but in service to the community as a whole. There is a yearly service requirement for all grade levels.  Students are encouraged to complete their service hours during the summer.   The hours done in the summer prior to the year they are attending count for the upcoming academic school year.  Those hours will go directly to the upcoming year.  Please keep in mind the severity of completing required hours in a timely manner through our new online X2VOL system. These requirements must be met prior to graduation to receive their diplomas.  

HOUR REQUIREMENTS

FRESHMEN: 10 hours
  • We ask that 50 % of hours be completed volunteering at St. Thomas or in the community.
  • We ask that 50% of hours be completed working for a faith based organization
  • Student may pick a variety of places located in the xVOL2
  • In the event student has another place of choice, it is the students responsibility prior to going to place of choice to get Dr. Alex Gotay approval first
  • Carrying Over: For Freshman and Sophomore years, hours are NOT allowed to be carried over.
    • However, Summer hours done prior to academic year will count for said upcoming academic year and will NOT count to meet requirements for the next academic year
      • example: Student does 40 hours in the summer prior to their Freshman year of High School. Those hours will count towards meeting the Freshman year goal but not their Sophomore year goal.  Student will have to do  20 hours to meet their Sophomore year requirement.  Again, student can choose to do those hours in the summer prior to their upcoming sophomore academic year. 
  SOPHOMORES:20
  • We ask that 50 % of hours be completed volunteering at St. Thomas or in the community.
  • We ask that 50% of hours be completed working for a faith based organization
  • Student may pick a variety of places located in the xVOL2
  • In the event student has another place of choice, it is the students responsibility prior to going to place of choice to get Dr. Alex Gotay approval first
  • Carrying Over: For Freshman and Sophomore years only, hours are NOT allowed to be carried over. 
    • However, Summer hours done prior to academic year will count for said upcoming academic year and will NOT count to meet requirements for the next academic year
      • example: Student does 40 hours in the summer prior to Freshman year of High School. Those hours will count towards meeting their upcoming Freshman year goal but NOT their Sophomore year goal.  Student will have to do  20 hours to meet their Sophomore year requirement.  Again, student can choose to do those hours in the summer prior to their upcoming sophomore academic year. 
  JUNIORS AND SENIORS: 70 hours total (between both years)
  • Student must pick one organization to total number of hours (Example of: Mission Trip, Camp Blessing, etc.)
  • In the event student has another place of choice, it is the students responsibility prior to going to place of choice to get Dr. Alex Gotay approval first
  • Carrying Over from Junior to Senior year: hours ARE allowed to be carried over from Junior to Senior Year.
    • example: Student does 70 hours in the summer prior to their Junior year on a mission trip. .  Those hours WILL count towards meeting both their Junior and Senior year service requirement goals. 
  • Reflection 2 page paper. (MLA format) answering these questions: What impacted you the most about your serving throughout your time at St. Thomas? Explain, How do you think service has impacted you and the community you served? 
TOTAL = 100 and reflection paper

 The aim of allowing the young men to serve in this capacity is not for the sake of collecting hours but rather to be the “hands and feet” of God to God’s people.  Each young man will go through rigorous hours of theological content, and being of service to the community allows each to put into action what he has learned.  Serving as such allows the young men to be transformed as “heralds” of the good news.  This is why the program is divided as such:

  School Service/Community Service: at least 50% of hours
  • This would consist of hours completed helping at St. Thomas. Students will have opportunities to serve at major school events such as Camp Aquinas, Open House, New Eagle welcome, Registration night, Parent Teacher conferences, in house tutors (NHS), peer mentoring programs (Senior Leaders), and the Eagle Ambassador program, as well as the various all school masses that take place throughout the academic year.
  • Service may also be completed outside of St. Thomas, such as: helping coach a sports team, working at Memorial Park, etc.


  Christian/ Faith Based Service: at least 50% of all hours need to come from faith based organizations.
  • Volunteering at faith based organizations are:
    • Camp Blessing
    • Houston Food Bank
    • Meals on wheels
    • Mission Trips
    • Loaves and Fishes
These standards are will begin 2019-2020 academic school year.  Hours done prior to this academic school year will carry over.  In the event the young man does not have the adequate hours corresponding to the year that they were in, it is acceptable.  Hours done prior to this academic school year does not have to meet the new standard.  However, moving forward the young man is required to meet standards beginning the 2019-2020 academic school year.   

FAILURE TO MEET REQUIREMENTS

  In the event that students do not meet their service requirements by their Junior and Senior year student will have two options:
  1. Attend the 30 hour fast challenge held at STH.
  2. A meeting with President Fr. Murphy, Dr. Aaron Dominquez about students eligibility to continue education at St. Thomas HIgh School. Expelsion is one of the alternatives.

DOCUMENTING HOURS

We are moving to an online system named X2VOL. X2VOL Service Program:  

SERVICE AWARDS

  • Students who achieve X plus hours of service by the end of their senior year will be honored at graduation.
  • The student who receives the most hours in the school will get some additional honour.
POSSIBLE EVENTS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE (in school and not limited too):
  1. 30 Hour Fast Challenge:
https://www.30hourfamine.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=585 Date: Beginning of January Time: 8:00 am Friday-Saturday 1:00 pm. Event: Students would fast the entire day of school, spend the night in Cemo, wake up the next morning and work at the Houston food bank and then return to school for a B.B.Q. During the fast there would be snacks and games available as well as a prayer program for students to partake in. Hours Received: TBD
  1. Service Week at the Houston Food Bank!
  • Date: August 12-16
  • Time: TBD
  • Event: Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will spend time at the Food Bank the first week of school.
  • Hours Received: TBD
  1. Memorial Park Project
  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Event: TBD
  • Hours Received: TBD
 
  1. Athletic Night Special Olympics Night
  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Event: TBD
  • Hours Received: TBD
  1. 5. St. Nicholas Toy Delivery
  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Event: TBD
  • Hours Received: TBD
  1. Best Buddies: https://www.bestbuddies.org/texas/
  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Event: TBD
  • Hours Received: TBD
  1. Star of Hope
  • Dates: TBD
  • Times: TBD
  • Hours Received: 4 hours
  1. Casa Juan Diego
  • Email-
  • dmccarty@cjd.org
  • info@cjd.org
  • Times:
    • Saturdays- 9am-12noon
      • Can stay and have lunch
      • Stay up until 2pm
    • Everyday except for Sunday.
  • They have to be so formal, so supposed to be flexible!
  1. Magnificat House: Loaves and Fishes
  • Volunteer Coordinators:
    • Larry Crownin 7138240344
    • Super Visor DJ Johnson- 3467157764
      • Closed on Monday
      • Call leave a voice message (if don’t answer)
      • Then text
  1. The Center for Hearing and Speech
  • Bernice Espinoza
  • 7135208257 (cell)
  • Will be uploaded to xVOL2
 
  1. St. Dominic Village
Archdiocesan Retirement Home 2401 Holcombe Blvd
  1. The Guild Shop of St. John the Divine
Cashiers, Pricers, Sales and Donation Sorters 2009 Dunlavy St. 7135285095 Contact: Donna
  1. Brookdale Shadlowlake Assisted Living Center
Assist Elderly and Alzheimer’s patients 2835 Shadowbriar Drive Contact: Ann Wasp Email: ann.wasp@brookldale.com brookdale.com/communities/hampton-at-shadlowlake
  1. The River Performing and Visual Arts Center
Helping children with speacial needs.  Weekend program 1475 West Gray Email: hilary.parcher@tuts.com 7135201220
  1. Nature Discovery Center
Helping children appreciate Anne Eisner 7136676550 Flexible times through the week until 5pm Open during the weekend Different areas: with animals, help children, park, etc.
  1. Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Texas
Mentoring and counseling young people with epilepsy Contact: Suzanne Thomas 7137896295

SUMMER

  1. Camp blessing
  1. Park Plaza Hospital
Teen Volunteer Program 1313 Hermann Drive Contact: Brittany McDonald 7135275262 x 55361
  1. Memorial Herman Hospital
6411 Fannin St. June-July competitive program Volunteer Services 7137044141 (applications due January 15 for the summer)
  1. The Methodist Hospital
6565 Fannin St. 7134414095 atoval@houstonmethodist.org For questions concerning service hours please contact Dr. Alex Gotay. 

Logging and Documenting Hours:

Click here to for instructions on how to create an account and log your hours in X2VOL.

X2VOL Service Program:  Click here for the website X2VOL.
All Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors are required to attend one retreat each year.
  • All Freshmen attend Camp Aquinas in August.
  • All Sophomores attend a retreat.
  • All Juniors attend an overnight retreat.
  • The St. Thomas Senior attend an overnight retreat.
  • Daily Mass is celebrated in our school chapel.
  • Mandatory all-school liturgies throughout the school year
  • Benediction and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during Lent
  • School Chapel is open to students for silent prayer during all school hours
  • Thanksgiving, Advent, Lenten prayer services and liturgies
  • Reconciliation
    • The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered weekly and by appointment
    • Reconciliation is available on most student retreats
    • Lenten Reconciliation Service
Campus Ministry at St. Thomas also includes the follow clubs, organizations, leadership development and student ministry opportunities:

Campus Ministry Senior Leaders: Senior Leaders are a highly selective group of seniors who are commissioned to assist Campus Ministry with student retreats, student liturgies, and various ministry offerings at STH. Senior Leaders give Witness Talks on student retreats, facilitate small groups on student retreats, and serve as liturgical ministers at student liturgies. Senior Leaders also are invited to a special leadership camp during the summer prior to their Senior year.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes: FCA is an interdenominational Christian sports ministry to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. STH has a very popular and active FCA huddle. Students and coaches gather bi-weekly for a Friday morning Bible study, faith sharing, and fellowship. FCA at St. Thomas also includes occasional special guest speakers (current and former professional athletes, alumni, coaches), social events and leadership development. Visit www.fca.org for more information.

Liturgy Team: altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, lectors, ushers, sacristans

Music Ministry: St. Thomas Singers

Respect Life Club: planning and participation in respect life activities/programs

STH Math Aces: Student led organization that tutors middle school students weekly at St. Theresa's Catholic School and elementary school students at Memorial Elementary.

STH Reading Aces: Student led organization that tutors and reads to elementary school students weekly at Memorial Elementary.
Alex Gotay Director of Campus Ministry. Alex is Catholic, a husband of 19 years, father of three boys, and blessed to have been involved in Youth Ministry about 18 years. He holds a Doctorate in Ministry, Master's degrees in both Theological Studies and Philosophy, graduate hours towards another Master’s Degree in Counseling, graduate hours towards a Graduate Certificate in OT Biblical Theology, and a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Child Psychology. Alex is a military brat, went to High School here in Houston, was a Marine Infantryman and is a Black Belt in Brazliian Jiu- Jitsu. He loves mixing our faith with teen and American Culture.

Fr. James Murphy, CSB (BA in Journalism and European History from St. John Fisher College. M.Div from University of St. Michael’s College. M.Ed. from Boston College) joined STH in 2011 and has served in various roles from teaching to drama and athletics. He is currently an Assistant Dean of Students and is the local Superior of the Basilian Fathers of STH.

Deacon Leonard Lockett (B.A. University of St. Thomas, M.A. Pastorial Theology, and M.A. Theology) began teaching here in 2015. He teaches Theology II and Theology III and serves as a Campus Minister.

Campus Ministry works in conjunction with the Theology Department, the Fine Arts Department (liturgical music) and the entire faculty and staff (retreat program). In addition, our resident Basilian Fathers, Rev. Kevin Storey, Rev. Jim Murphy, Rev. Mitch Dowalgo, Rev. Ronald Schwenzer and Rev. Al Gaelens, meet the sacramental needs of our students, faculty and staff by presiding at daily Mass and hearing confessions.
Mass will be held during flex time and on block days the first 30 minutes of lunch.