Campus Ministry Program
In keeping with Stepinac’s Roman Catholic tradition, the Campus Ministry Program provides students with opportunities to deepen their spiritual lives and their relationship with God. By focusing on the spiritual aspects of the students’ lives, this program helps to create more rounded, complete individuals.
The program oversees the spiritual life of the school and, as such, offers the sacraments of the Catholic Church to students, faculty and the administration. It includes Mass every morning in the school chapel as well as a number of special Masses on Holy Days throughout the year. Among these is a Mass in February that commemorates the memory of Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac, one of the most famous Croatian patriots of the 20th century after whom the school is named. Each month, there is a liturgy service in the auditorium that is attended by the entire student body. Students are trained to serve as Eucharistic Ministers and assist in school-wide liturgies and Masses.
Service to the community to help make a difference in the lives of those in need is a key component of the program. Included are midnight runs to New York City to help feed the homeless. As many as 50 students and their parents have participated in these runs and plans are underway to expand the visits on a monthly basis. Students are encouraged to volunteer their time to hospitals, nursing homes and soup kitchens. Because seniors are required to complete 100 hours of community service in order to graduate, participation in the campus ministry program starting in the freshman year helps to establish a strong foundation in the student’s life-long commitment to serving the community, one of the distinguishing hallmarks of Stepinac’s alumni.
Retreats offer Stepinac students opportunities to take the time to reflect and express their faith and to learn more about themselves. All students participate in at least one retreat each year with a variety of options available during the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. The program includes presentations by seminarians from St. Joseph’s Seminary and College in Yonkers.
A major tenet of the Catholic faith is upholding the sanctity of life in the unborn. In addition to classroom instruction on this topic, each January--to mark the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling legalizing abortion-- the Campus Ministry Program organizes a bus trip to Washington for students and their parents to join hundreds of thousands of others from across the country in the March for Life, a peaceful demonstration urging the overturn of the ruling.
The success of the program is attributable to the parents and members of the faculty and administration who volunteer their time to assure that the students’ spiritual lives are strengthened.