In their pastoral message on Catholic education To Teach as Jesus Did, the American bishops identified the educational mission of the Church as “an integrated ministry embracing three interlocking dimensions: the message revealed by God, fellowship in the life of the Spirit or community and service to neighbor.” At XHS these three dimensions of the educational ministry of the Church—MESSAGE, COMMUNITY and SERVICE—are reflected by the Religious Education Department’s curriculum, the Campus Ministry Program and the Christian Community Service Program.
The message dimension of the threefold mission is reflected in formal instruction in the truths of the Catholic faith imparted by the Religious Education Department. The theology program is academic in nature; students are tested and graded on their ability to comprehend and assimilate information regarding doctrine, morality, Church history and practice. Every XHS student is required to study theology.
Practical training in Christian living, the community aspect of the ministry of education, is realized in the Campus Ministry Program through retreats, days of recollection, liturgies and other forms of personal spiritual formation. All students are offered an opportunity to evaluate their spiritual life and relationship with God through some form of retreat. Other opportunities for spiritual growth are offered in the form of prayer and penance services.
Because Xavier is a Catholic high school that accepts and promotes the value of community worship, all members of the school community must be present for Masses or other liturgical celebrations on special days throughout the school year. The monthly community celebrations of the Eucharist include the following: the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the school year and other appropriate religious observances. All students are required to attend the Baccalaureate Mass as part of the seniors’ commencement exercises.
The third dimension in the educational mission of the Church is education in service to one’s fellow man and woman. This is accomplished at XHS through the service program which actively involves the student in meeting the human needs of his neighbors. Every student is required to do community service each year. All students must fulfill this requirement for graduation. Other opportunities for service are encouraged through extracurricular student organizations such as CLC and the Student Council.
The program of Christian formation is an integral part of the educational mission of Xavier High School. As a Catholic high school Xavier exists not merely to educate young women and men but to form persons of faith and “men and women for others.” XHS’s program of Christian formation is intended to promote this objective.
NOTE: Non-Catholic students are required to complete the school’s requirements in theology, attend days of recollection and fulfill retreat requirements, attend community liturgical celebrations, and complete the service program requirement.
* (Adapted from Jesuit High School Handbook, New Orleans, La)