“When Dominicans serve their neighbors, wherever it may be, they are serving Christ. They fulfill the two great commandments of the law, the love of God, and the love of neighbor.”
-St. Catherine of Siena (Dominican Saint and Doctor of the Church)
Uppermost among Dominican’s goals as a Catholic school is to instill in each student knowledge of Christian moral values while urging the practice of ethical behavior based on these values. All of the religious activities at St. Mary’s Dominican reveal a pastoral, reflective, and contemplative stance. The spiritual life of the school is nurtured by the four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community and service.
Liturgies & Prayer
Prayer and a prayerful attitude is central and incorporated into every aspect of school life. The Office of Dominican Catholic Identity provides opportunities for spiritual growth through student-centered active participation in Masses, reconciliation services, Eucharistic Adoration and Lenten reflections.
Students celebrate their Catholic identity by getting involved, not only in the planning and sharing of all liturgies, prayer services, and retreats, but also through special teams focused on peer ministry. Our Student Preachers bring a creative and youthful perspective into leading afternoon prayer and offering reflections as part of school Masses. The Retreat Team facilitate small group discussion and share their personal insights into the joys and challenges of teenage life. Members of the Christian Leadership Council foster a deeper awareness of Christian values within the school and organize service projects including Adopt-A-Family through Catholic Charities, Second Harvesters Spring Food Drive and Christmas Caroling at a local nursing home.
Service to the Community
Service is integral to Dominican life. To enable students to live this component, all students are required to complete 100 hours of service by January of their junior year. During the fall of their junior year, students participate in a large group service seminar where they can personally reflect upon the impact of their service activities. In the spring of their junior year, they share their service insights in a small group discussion seminar exploring how it fostered self-knowledge and awareness of others and reinforcing the continuation of service throughout their lives. Over 35,000 hours of community service are contributed by Dominican students each year.
In 2014, students and faculty inaugurated an annual Mardi Gras mission trip known as “Camino” to Bani, Dominican Republic. During the week, students teach and assist in the elementary and secondary classrooms at the Espirito Santo School run by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Students also have the opportunity to integrate with the community by visiting with locals families. In the evenings, time is set aside for personal prayer, reflection and group discussion. Recently graduated young alumnae play an integral role in leading the the mission trip.
The Dominican motto, VERITAS (Truth), invites students to question, to discover, and to translate the message of Christ into action for everyday living during a critical time in their lives. This is a time when young people begin to question and often struggle with their faith. Our retreats offer a comfortable setting for examining and talking about students’ relationship with God, themselves, and others. The exploration consists of a directed day set aside for reflection with topics appropriate for each grade level. At the junior level, students experience an overnight retreat, which allows them to concentrate more deeply on their interior lives in a setting conducive to peaceful reflection.
The Donum Dei Adoration Chapel
The Donum Dei Adoration Chapel in honor of St. Martin de Porres at St. Mary’s Dominican High School, located in the center of our school, represents our belief that Jesus, Veritas, is at the center of Dominican Catholic education. We invite you to visit the chapel and to pray for the spcial intentions of the entire Dominican community. The sounds of the daily school operations become not a distraction, but a part of prayer. With Mary, the patroness of our school, let us together praise, bless, and preach God’s holy Word! If you would like to become a committed adorer or to request prayers, please contact the Office of Dominican Catholic Identity at 865-9401, ext. 5033.