First and foremost, we are a Catholic school. We teach the tenets of the Catholic faith to our students. We practice that faith and demonstrate our commitment to that faith on a daily basis. We welcome non-Catholics to join our community and would never force anyone to change their own belief system because their parents chose our school for them. We only ask for the same respect for our teachers, facilities and faith that our Catholic students demonstrate.
Our students begin and end every day with prayer. We celebrate weekly Mass each Thursday. Each grade, from 4th through 8th, take responsibility for planning and leading the Mass during the course of the year. On Tuesdays, children also attend weekly Adoration, allowing them to spend quiet time with Jesus.
During 2nd grade, students are prepared to participate in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. During 8th grade, students are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The preparation for and participation in the Holy Sacraments are coordinated with the Religious Education Department of our Parish to ensure an aligned Parish approach. These Sacraments are celebrated in the spring of each year.
Participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, for those students who have completed that training, happens twice each year, once during the season of Advent and once during Lent. In addition, students celebrate the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent.
Several years ago, St. Mary School adopted a Household Program. Each classroom is a household, with a unique mission, banner and song. Each Friday, the households celebrate The Lord’s Day with a special discussion of the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel. In addition, the children share special intentions and requests for their fellow classmates for prayers.
Finally, working on Service Projects is an integral part of developing and demonstrating the students’ Catholic identity. Whether it is through working at Feed my Starving Children, planning bake sales for needy families or collecting for the Fallen Officer Fund to support the Elgin Police Department, children at all levels are encouraged to participate in as much as they are able.