Each year, the Xaverian community gathers together to examine closely several social issues in light of Gospel values. Awareness Day is an entire school day devoted to workshops presented by experts on various subjects. As a community of faith, we recognize that the difficulties that affect our world can be a “source of both confidence and challenge.” Our confidence in dealing with such difficulties springs from the Xaverian Community’s faith. Theodore Ryken teaches us to see the Holy Spirit at work in the most unlikely of places. If we are to be a true faith community, our spiritual exercises must help us to see the world as good and invite us to build the Kingdom.
Awareness Day begins with the creation of a student committee (facilitated by Campus Ministry) whose task is to prayerfully discern what topics will be discussed. Secondly, the committee must choose a keynote speaker.
This choice is crucial to the success of Awareness Day. The keynote must be a person who is not only an expert in his or her field but is also capable of conveying to the students the validity of a spiritual response to a societal problem. In addition, the committee is responsible for communicating with both the administration and parental committees. The task of the committee then becomes contacting and confirming potential speakers. Finally, the committee sub-divides into different task committees to make the immediate preparations for Awareness Day.
The programs and offerings of the Xaverian Brothers High School Campus Ministry are rooted in prayer and discernment. Our Liturgies enable the Xaverian Community to recognize our connection to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. In planning school wide eucharistic celebrations and paraliturgical services, the Campus Ministry Team relies on: a student and faculty Liturgy Committee, appropriate training of liturgical ministers, selection of appropriate music, incorporation of additional symbols and rituals, and an educational component in theology classes prior to the celebration.
Through our program of liturgy and the accompanying catechesis, we aim to assist Xaverian students “through reflection and sharing and in exploring how liturgical symbols and rituals celebrate their experiences of God and life events."
Recognizing that liturgy and prayer are experiences of conversion, we challenge the Xaverian Brothers High School Community of faith to live that which we have prayed and to become life-giving and nurturing bread and wine for others. We follow the example of Jesus and set time apart from our regular schedule for communal prayer and celebration of the Eucharist.
In collaboration with School Counseling, the Campus Ministry Team strives to meet the needs of the student body of Xaverian Brothers High School. We make ourselves available to students as empathic listeners. We work with students to empower them to cope with psycho-social and spiritual development issues as they arise.
As a Catholic school, Xaverian Brothers High School is committed to educating the whole person. We reach out to those in need by developing appropriate pastoral relationships with those students we serve. In each instance that a campus minister is involved in counseling students, the campus minister works closely with the student’s school counselor, who is the primary “case manager” in all academic and psycho-social issues the student confronts during his time at Xaverian Brothers High School.
In addition to our “ministry of presence” we have developed a program of pastoral interviews. Each year, students will meet with their assigned campus minister during a scheduled time period for a pastoral interview. Through this interview, students and the campus minister are given an opportunity to speak about a wide range of issues in a one-on-one conversation. The interview is informal in that it has no bearing on a student’s academic progress at Xaverian Brothers High School.
This meeting is an opportunity to enable the student to reflect on his Xaverian experience and to recognize the means by which he has made a difference.
Many of the retreats sponsored by the Campus Ministry Team use upperclassmen as peer ministers. “When planning youth retreats, we should not forget the value of youth’s insights and abilities...Because adolescents have a great impact on each other, retreats work better when youths minister to youth.” Training programs for peer ministers are an important component in the preparation of these retreats.
c. Before reaching beyond themselves to the underclassmen, the juniors and seniors must first reflect on their own experiences of their relationship with God, their spiritual growth during their first two years at Xaverian, their role in the Xaverian community, and their willingness to serve. In responding to the call to ministry, these students must be committed to continual conversion themselves. These training programs challenge students to grow themselves and provide them with the skills necessary for the ministry that they have undertaken. Both junior and senior training programs ask students to recall their own experience of the Freshman Day of Awareness and Sophomore Faith Experience retreats to better empathize with the underclassmen whom they will be serving.
The Xaverian Pilgrimage to Italy has as its focus the encountering of a deeper sense of Church by experiencing firsthand the center of Catholicism. The experience of Rome and the Vatican points, in many ways, to the universality of the Church. The trip has also provided a reflective experience while staying with a community of Augustinians in San Gimignano and opportunities for Christian Service with the Community of St. Egidio in Rome and the Augustinian Friars in San Gimignano. Day trips have included excursions to Ostia Antica, Assissi, Florence, and Siena. Current juniors and seniors may apply for the program and sit for an interview. Selection is based on prior experiences with campus ministry, as well as the student’s ability to articulate a faith-based motivation for participating in XPI.
This weekly faith sharing meeting is a student-facilitated program, sponsored and overseen by the Campus Ministry Team. SpiritHawk provides students in all grade levels an opportunity for discussion on the meaning of faith in their lives. SpiritHawk attracts around 120 or more participants each week.
Christian fellowship is also a key element of this community building program. Students meet for dinner prior to the SpiritHawk meeting to form a sense of community in order to facilitate faith sharing and to provide support for living out the Gospel in daily life.
SpiritHawk, which meets in the school chapel, begins with prayer. A student leader then gives a brief presentation on a faith-related topic and proposes questions for discussion by small groups which break off from the larger gathering. Leaders use Scripture readings, as well as other spiritual writings, as part of their talk. On occasion, a more formal presentation is given by a member of the Campus Ministry Team. SpiritHawk concludes with the large group gathered for prayers of intercession and closing remarks by the student leader.
Two annual SpiritHawk Retreats have become an indispensible part of the program. A weekend away at Craigville Conference Center provides group members with a more focused opportunity to grow in their relationship with God while further developing relationships with other members of the group.
Each year, the twelve Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools jointly conduct a student retreat involving one faculty leader, one senior leader (who attended the retreat the previous year), and six junior participants.
The Sponsorship Retreat focuses on what it means to be part of the legacy of the Xaverian Brothers. Students are introduced to the life and call of Brother Theodore James Ryken, founder of the Xaverian Brothers, and to the Xaverian charism. One of the most powerful dimensions to the retreat is the experience of the diversity of the Xaverian Community. As students from very different areas of the country with radically different lifestyles come together, they recognize their essential unity and the many gifts that each school and each individual brings to the community.
Students are given a hands-on experience of Christian service in hopes that they, like Ryken, might “fall in love with the service of God.”
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.