Spirituality & Faith Formation
“Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school.
He is the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes.
He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.”
At St. Thomas the Apostle, we are committed to providing an educational environment that integrates student life with faith-based learning and philosophies. St. Thomas isn’t just a center for academic achievement; it is a unique community where shared values help students develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Students receive a foundation that prepares them for the future challenges of life and helps them develop into responsible, considerate adults. Opportunities for spiritual growth are abundant at St. Thomas the Apostle including:
Religion is a core academic subject at St. Thomas the Apostle, with daily classes based on the religious education curriculum developed by the Archdiocese of Chicago. While students do not have to be Catholic to attend St. Thomas the Apostle, every student is expected to participate in religion class.
STA students are guided to memorize specific prayers and scripture quotes according to their grade level. Spontaneous prayer and meditative prayer are also encouraged. The entire school community participates in daily prayer at school – in the classroom, as well as in prayers led for the entire student body at the beginning and end of each day.
Students attend an all-school Mass once each week and on Holy Days of Obligation. They also participate in other traditional prayers and devotions according to the seasons of the Church calendar such as the Living Rosary, Stations of the Cross, May Crowning and a pet blessing to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Attendance at Mass and devotions during the week is a requirement for all students. Family members are invited and encouraged to join us in these spiritually enriching services.
Monthly Family Mass
The Church teaches that parents are the primary educators of their children. Parents are therefore expected to support the spiritual growth of their children by praying with them and attending a Family Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle once per month. These Masses are regularly scheduled at the 8:30 am Mass on the second Sunday of the month. STA students actively participate in Family Masses as members of the choir, altar servers, readers, greeters, and offertory gift bearers. All families are invited to enjoy fellowship and refreshments in the Parish Hall after Mass.
All students at St. Thomas the Apostle School, no matter what grade level, are nurtured to recognize service as a way of life for followers of Christ. In the spirit of the Gospel, students learn to choose to reach out to others in need. Many opportunities for service are available throughout the year at school, in the parish and in the community such as:
- STA’s Thanksgiving Food Drive
- STA’s Christmas Clothing Drive to benefit St. Leonard’s Ministry
- Making placemats for the residents of Montgomery Place
- Raising funds for Heifer International
- Generating support for the Dollars for Dreams campaign to assist Catholic schools in the Diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria.
- Participating in an orange-and-black out-of-uniform day to raise funds for the St. Joseph Home in Mitunguu,Kenya
Seventh and eighth grade students are required to complete a minimum of 12 service hours which may include projects organized by the St. Thomas Youth Group.
Catholic students enrolled at St. Thomas the Apostle are prepared for the reception of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist or Confirmation on a continuing basis during daily religion classes. In order to be a part of the parish sacramental preparation program, they must also attend religious education classes in addition to the school program. More detailed information is available by contacting the Principal or Parish Office.