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.


SERVICE PROGRAM

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.

Service Requirements

Freshman

  • At the 9th grade level, 10 hours of service fulfilling the mandate of Matthew 25 and reflective of Fr. Moreau’s Virtues of Holy Cross Education, must be completed before an assigned due date during the 2nd semester of freshman year.
     
  • Freshmen are strongly encouraged to select from a variety of school sponsored service opportunities through clubs and school-wide initiatives.  Freshmen may also choose to find a service project on their own and complete it independently.  All independent service projects must first be approved by Campus Ministry and must fulfill the Matthew 25 passage.  
     
  • The list of project service opportunities will be provided through the service hour tracking software x2VOL.  Senior Peer Counselors will introduce and provide a tutorial on x2VOL in Freshman classes during 1st semester of Freshman year. 
     
  • Freshmen are responsible for entering all completed service hours through x2VOL.
     
  • All projects must be completed before the end of Semester 2.  A contract outlining the project goals will be signed by parent/guardian and student.
     
  • Freshman Service Reflection Project: The student must complete a project linking his service experience to his Old Testament class.  More details will be given in class.

Sophomore

  • At the 10th grade level, 15 hours of service, fulfilling the mandate of Matthew 25 and reflective of Fr. Moreau’s Virtues of Holy Cross Education, must be completed before an assigned due date during the 1st semester of sophomore year.  
     
  • All projects must be chosen before the completion of freshman year.  All projects must be approved by Campus Ministry and must fulfill the Matthew 25 passage.
     
  • A contract outlining the project goals will be signed by parent/guardian and student.
     
  • A student may complete the entire 15 hours of service during the summer between freshman and sophomore year or by the final due date noted on his service contract.
     
  • Sophomores are responsible for entering all completed service hours through x2VOL.
     
  • Sophomore Service Reflection Project: The student must complete a project linking his service experience to his Christ and the Sacraments class.  More details will be given in class.

Junior

  • At the 11th grade level, 30 hours of service, fulfilling the mandate of Matthew 25 and reflective of Fr. Moreau’s Virtues of Holy Cross Education, must be completed before an assigned date during the 2nd semester of junior year.
     
  • All projects must be chosen before the completion of sophomore year.  All projects must be approved by Campus Ministry and must fulfill the Matthew 25 passage.
     
  • A contract outlining the project goals will be signed by parent/guardian and student.
     
  • A student may remain at the agency where he completed his sophomore hours or he may change to another agency upon beginning his junior year service.
     
  • A student may complete the entire 30 hours of junior service during the summer between the end of his sophomore and junior years. The entire 30 hours must be completed before the final due date noted on his service contract.
     
  • Juniors are responsible for entering all completed service hours through x2VOL.
     
  • Junior Service Reflection Project: The reflection project will be presented in the student’s TA to inform and encourage underclassmen in their upcoming service project choices, as well as to give the junior student an opportunity to reflect on his experience.  More details will be given in class.

Senior

  • Senior service will be completed through the Social Studies Department.  
     
  • This will include a 10-hour service requirement of volunteer work for a political campaign.  The candidate will be of the student’s choice.  
     
  • A reflection paper will be submitted upon completion of service hours in response to this quote from Fr. Moreau, “Society has a greater need for people of values than it has for scholars.” 
     
  • Students will complete a Faithful Citizenship Project connecting the political campaign to the Church’s teachings. More information will be given in class.
In these service projects, the Notre Dame student encounters the living Christ and stands beside Him.  Indeed, they will have truly served Him.
Any student failing service at the end of the semester will NOT be eligible for the honor roll.