Christian Formation Department
The Christian Formation Program consists of two separate but complementary departments: the Campus Ministry Department and the Religious Studies Department. Together, we seek to provide an environment for processing and blending knowledge with experience, the necessary components of religious formation. These dual aspects of the Christian Formation Program are carried out through the specific responsibilities of each department.
The role of the Religious Studies Department is to provide the students with a knowledge and understanding of their Catholic faith that enables them to make an informed, intelligent faith choice and commitment. The Campus Ministry Department provides the vehicle through which this faith choice can be put into action and developed into a Christian lifestyle. Both departments strive to provide opportunities for a deeper and more mature reflection on Jesus’ message, Church teachings, and our individual and communal response to these.
Our program reflects three essential elements: (1) instruction involving the teaching of the message revealed by God and preserved by the Church; (2) promotion of attempts to integrate religious truths and values with daily living; and (3) reaching out in service to others. Thus, our approach involves both the intellectual assent and witnessing aspects, since faith is not merely a matter for the intellect but is also the basis for a way of life. The sequential and developmental curriculum gives students an opportunity to live their commitment to faith while maturing in their spirituality.
Our Christian faith requires that we immerse ourselves in our world.
The Notre Dame High School Community lives the Gospel call to serve through the vision of the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau. Moreau’s vision is summed up in these words regarding our students:
…the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.
- Moreau, Circular Letter 36, 1849
Therefore, the student, being educated in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross, will find the challenge to growth directed toward both his mind and his heart. Christian service is then an integral and necessary part of a Notre Dame education in the Holy Cross tradition.
The Service Program at Notre Dame High School was conceived in an effort to respond to the Gospel mandate that we love and serve our neighbor. The specific Gospel reference that serves as the foundation of the program is the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, verses 31-40. The following excerpt from that Gospel sums up the program’s purpose:
‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me…Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.”
-(Matthew 25: 35-36,40)
The program begins with the premise that service to others is an inherent part of God’s call to us; given that divine mandate, we respond serving those in need.
In this program, service is implemented on the freshman level and continues through the four years of study at Notre Dame. It is developed to establish a connection between the Christian mandates of love and service and the principles of social justice derived from the Gospel and the Church teachings that are learned in the classroom. Our hope is to give students an opportunity to live the Gospel and to empathize with those in need.