Notre Dame Catholic School Annual Report - Page 10

Campus Ministry

10

NDCS Campus Ministry exists for students to more actively live the Catholic faith they study in the classroom. A Campus Minister, essentially a youth minister for the upper campus, and the Student Campus Ministry Team were additions to the staff and student life at NDCS in the 2015-16 school year.

The annual Class Retreats for each grade (6th-12th) remain the heart of the Campus Ministry program at ND and are facilitated and often directed by the Campus Minister. The themed Class Retreats culminate in the Senior Class Kairos Retreat at Camp Chaparral retreat grounds in Iowa Park in January of each school year. Mrs. Melissa Gorley was hired to serve as the first Campus Minister in recent history, after serving as a parent volunteer in the Class Retreat program.

In 2015-16 the Student Campus Ministry Team (Student CM Team) met weekly with Mrs. Gorley during lunch. The team was composed of a dozen juniors and seniors. The CM Team provided 1) an opportunity for students to grow in prayer by participating in a student-selected weekly Scripture study of the Sunday Mass readings (emphasis primarily on the Sunday Gospel) and 2) an opportunity to serve the school and local community, including by organizing the upper school’s Lenten service project in support of refugees in the Middle East.

In 2015-16, a major focus of the Student Campus Ministry Team was putting the social justice teachings of the Church into action by working to promote justice and defend human life. During Lent, members of the Student CM Team manned a table at lunch distributing prayer cards and collecting donations for Middle Eastern refugees through the Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Project. The Student CM Team also investigated the issue of local hunger and hosted a soup lunch and discussion with guest speaker Jessica Morath Bachman, Nutrition Services Director of the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.

The Student CM Team supported CM efforts to foster student and community prayer life at ND throughout the school year. Student CM members served on the retreat teams of the Sixth and Seventh Grade Class Retreats, lead the Lenten lunch time prayer, and helped in the distribution of flowers at the annual May Crowning. CM/Kairos Team members also lead the senior class in their production of Living Stations of the Cross” for the NDCS student body during Lent.

Campus Minister Mrs. Gorley lead monthly Eucharistic Adoration for grades 6-12, coordinated special blessings of sports teams at weekly all-school Masses, began the development of Student Chaplains for the middle and high school athletic teams, coordinated special Masses such as the 5th/8th Grade Transition Mass and Baccalaureate Mass, and organized school-wide Advent and Lenten activities, including the Sacrament of Reconciliation, for both the lower and upper campuses of NDCS.

Mrs. Gorley also taught Theology of the Body for Teens units to grades 6-8 in coordination with Religion Teacher Mr. Wegman and Servant Leadership class instructor Mrs. Huckabee.