Religious worship is an integral part of a child’s growth and a central part of the school’s Catholic identity. Each class attends Mass one day a week, and the entire school attends Mass on the first Friday of each month when school is in session. First Friday Masses are student-led where the children participate in every aspect of the Mass, including Bible readings, responsorial psalms, intentions, altar serving, and the choir. Members of the faculty and staff are trained as Eucharistic Ministers and participate in the school Masses, as well. Throughout the year, students lead Prayer Services in addition to the First Friday Masses.
When school is in session, St. Dominic students also attend Mass together on Holy Days of Obligation. Special occasions, like the Feast of St. Francis where we encourage students to bring their pets to Mass for a special blessing, also play an important role in our school’s liturgical practices. Families are welcomed to celebrate these liturgies with the school community.
St. Dominic School provides frequent opportunities for the reception of sacraments. During Second grade, children prepare for and receive both the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Several times during the school year, students have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Non-Catholic students wishing to enter a sacramental program must have the approval of the Pastoral Staff of St. Dominic’s Parish. Two years of sacramental preparation are required before reception of the sacraments.
We give our students many opportunities to be active participants in the celebration of the Mass. One very special way St. Dominic School boys and girls have to take part in the Mass is by altar service. Beginning in the 4th grade year, all children are invited to train as an altar server. The training is done under the supervision of a volunteer member of the parish. Students are then encouraged to serve at both School and Parish Masses.
To encourage our students to get to know each other better and mentor one another, we have implemented a program called Faith Families. Students are grouped into a school “family” headed by an Eighth Grader and consisting of eight other students, one from each grade. Kindergartners become the newest member of the Faith Families each August. These families meet each month on a designated day to take part in activities that focus on character education traits following selected themes each school year.
St. Dominic School instills a commitment to community in its students beginning in Kindergarten. Throughout the lower grades, students participate in community service through class projects as well as school-wide involvement.
Junior high students have a further responsibility to community service as a component of their religion classes.
Each year, students in the junior high grades must meet community service requirements set forth in the school handbook. Service hours for which students receive credit are separated into three areas: service for school, service for parish, and service for community.
Students must complete a variety of service activities from the different categories for the designated number of hours. Students participating in CJSF must meet extended requirements established by the federation.
St. Dominic School marks many celebrations during the school year. As the new school year begins, we gather together as a school community to celebrate Mass on the first day of school. Students, faculty, and staff all enjoy our annual Halloween costume parade and classroom parties.
Our First Graders and Third Graders celebrate the Thanksgiving feast together, while learning about being grateful for our blessings.
Our Christmas season truly begins when our Second Grade students perform the story of the Nativity for parents, students, and parish. Our Kindergarten, First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders sing like angels as they present a choral concert complete with Christmas songs from around the world.
As January draws to a close, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week with speakers, fun activities, and lessons which teach us about our Catholic Faith. This week begins with our Open House where we show off all of our hard work!
Lent begins with an Ash Wednesday Mass celebrated as a school. Each Friday during Lent, we walk in Jesus’ footsteps during the Stations of the Cross as we prepare ourselves for his Resurrection.
We begin spring by celebrating the Sacrament of First Eucharist for the Second Graders. It is the highlight of the Second Grade year. Then, we join our First Grade as they lead us in the beautiful Crowning of Mary Mass on May 1st.
As we say our goodbyes and look forward to summer vacation in June, the school community celebrates Mass one last time on the last day of school. What a fitting way to bring the year to an end.