Our mission in Campus Ministry is to carry on and to keep alive the charism and the history of the school. This mission is carried through various. In assuming various responsibilities, we are all encouraged to work as a team and to remember we are engaged in a collaborative ministry.
Within the bustle of a vibrant school environment and among the hectic schedules of the students, faculty members, the support staff, administrators and families, campus ministers face the task of inviting others to make time and space for God. No one program or one person can meet all the pastoral needs of a Catholic School. Instead, meeting those needs takes the involvement of student leaders, faculty volunteers, parents, and a wide range of programs such as seminars, workshops, retreats, liturgy, and service learning (community service), student leadership and social life of the staff. True Campus Ministry involves just that the entire campus. As campus ministers, therefore, we seek to identify the need of the Campus community and to invite the students and faculty members to embrace the call to fullness of life which is found in God. Campus ministry also includes less obvious elements such as the ministry of the presence, outreach to families, and advocacy on behalf of the students in the administrative discussions.
Campus Ministry programs, as expressions of the ministry of the church, foster the faith development of entire school communities. Catholic schools are called to be communities of faith where prayer and worship shape and transform all members.
Prayer and Liturgy: Through meaningful liturgy and prayer experiences, we aim at deepening the faith of the students and move them more fully into discipleship. Liturgy and prayer reminds us of our dependence on God and call us to active worship and dialogue with our creator.
Service Learning/Community Service: Catholic high schools provide the students with powerful but less obvious paths to God in their service programs. Many young people who have trouble focusing at the Eucharist, or Mass, or focusing during class discussions are touched by the face of Jesus/God in people they serve. While doing service, the students step outside their normal routines and encounter adults who display courage and generosity in the face of adversity or children who laugh and play in the midst of suffering.
Retreats: Retreats afford the students, along with the faculty and staff members, time for solitude with God, conversion and reconciliation, and the development of community. In our case at Loyola, we conduct days of recollections, retreats for various groups. There is also a special kind of retreat program called Kairos Retreat which is done in collaboration with Boston College High School. If conditions would allow, we encourage all students to attend this retreat before they graduate from Loyola. Normally, Kairos Retreat is a weekend-long retreat which means losing academic lessons on a given Friday when a student is to attend.
Leadership Development: There are plenty of gifted prayer leaders, creative retreat planners, and students who choose to be dedicated to community service. In Campus ministry we acknowledge and support such students and empower them. At Loyola we have already a group of students who are Peer Animators and Liturgical coordinators from all streams. By developing and nurturing leaders among the students, faculty and staff members, we aim at achieving two goals: First, by inviting others into leadership in ministry, we seek to better meet the needs of the community. Second, by inviting students into ministerial leadership, we better equip the students for leadership in the church, in their faith community and in larger community.
Ministry of Presence: The ministry of the presence is intangible. Campus ministers must have a presence around the school during normal school hours and, when possible, at events that occur outside the school day. The ministry of the presence involves taking the time to walk the halls between classes, touching base with the students. It is spending time in the library, discussing the day's events with the students during their off periods. Attending sports with students, interacting with the staff or checking in on faculty and staff members on their breaks and attending various activities that mark the day-to-day life of the school community.