Saint Joseph Academy offers religious instruction and spiritual guidance in accordance with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, St. Joseph Academy is involved in the complete formation of the child at the school, while recognizing the parents as the primary educators. Adherence to the Catholic faith, fidelity to the Pope, love of the Holy Eucharist and devotion to the Blessed Mother make up the foundation of the school. All of St. Joseph Academy's programs, curriculum, and extra-curricular activities contribute to the faith formation of her students.
The Catholic Faith is not merely a subject to be studied and mastered. Students are taught to integrate their faith into every facet of their lives in order to assume an apostolic role in the world. Opportunites are provided for students to grow in their knowledge, love and service to Our Lord in the following ways:
St. Joseph Academy utilizes the Faith and Life series
from Ignatius Press in its grammar school. It was the first series submitted to the U.S. bisthops for approval and recognition of being in conformity with the Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism is also used grades 1-6 for rote memorization. The Didiche Series
from Midwest Theological Forum is used in the high school. The Ad Hoc Committee to oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has found the Didache series to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In addition a Papal Encyclical is studied each year in high school. The Ignatius Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church are also utilized. Yearly, students grades 7-12 also enter essays to the National Right to Life Pro-Life Essay Contest. In addition, 8th grade students enter essays to the Serra Club's 8th Grade Vocations Essay Contest.
Christian Community Service
The Christian Service program at St. Joseph Academy is designed to give the high school students an opportunity to reach out to others who are in need. There are numerous ways that one can volunteer their time and effort to help others. Visiting the elderly, working with the homeless, and assisting unwed mothers are only a few of the activities that the students become familiar with. It is our goal that the students will carry these activities with them when they leave high school into their lives as adults.
"SJA High School Works of Mercy Program" Our highest goal at SJA is to form fervent Disciples of Christ. These are students who not only know their Faith but live it as well. We have developed a unique “High School Works of Mercy Program” to encourage Christian service. Monthly, speakers from community service organizations will speak to our SJAHS student body about their organizational mission and how our students can participate. SJA will sponsor a school wide activity to assist that organization, and/or offer opportunities to schedule students to serve at the organization.
The Saint Joseph Academy Christmas Pageant is truly a Christ-centered pageant and every student in grades K-8th participates.
St. Joseph Academy offers monthly Confession, during school, in the Octive of the First Fridays for students and staff.
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."-----Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
St. Joseph Academy offers a school Mass every First Friday (as well as the other Fridays in the month) and Confession within the octave of the First Friday in order to provide the opportunity for the staff and students to fulfill the obligations regarding the First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Holy Days of Obligation
Canon 1247: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body".
In order to honor the holy days of obligation, St. Joseph Academy dispenses school attendance on these days and encourages proper adherence to the directives of the Church.
Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration
Once a week, parents are invited to join the Spiritual Motherhood group for an hour of Adoration and prayer for vocations to the priesthood and spiritually adopting priests. Once a month, every First Friday, the faculty attend a Holy Hour of Adoration together for the intention of the school and her students and families. All St. Joseph families and students are invited to join.
Holy Mass (weekly)
The Holy Mass is vital to the every existence of St. Joseph Academy. The entire student body comes together once a week to celebrate Mass.
In the spirit of St. Therese the Little Flower, the Little Flowers Club is a Catholic catechetical program for young girls. This program gives our girls an opportunity to learn about their faith in the company of other Catholic girls and to have fun!
The May Crowning of our Blessed Mother takes place at Saint Mark’s church during the month of May. The service includes the rosary lead by most of the grades. The second grade First Communicants participate in the laying of the roses at our Lady’s feet, and three eighth grade students of the year will crown her. Benediction follows and in turn is one of the most important spiritual events for the students every year.
Oath of Fidelity
If a teacher does not possess an understanding of the Catholic Faith, he or she cannot teach it. If the teacher does not live in a committed manner, his or her words are unconvincing. Therefore, St. Joseph Academy teachers take an oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church on an annual basis.
Students develop the habit of daily prayer starting in Kindergarten, where they learn the Pater Noster- the Our Father in Latin. Students begin and end the day with prayer. Before lunch, Grace before Meals and the Angeles is prayed. After lunch, the staff and students kneel down to pray a decade of the Rosary. The students are asked to finish the Rosary at home with their families. There are other opportunities for the students to engage in prayer throughout the day, including before tests and at the beginning of each period. See School Prayer
for more information.
St. Joseph Academy adheres to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Faith in regards to all teachings. SJA teaches and promotes the sanctity of life from conception to natural death in its curriculum and extracurricular activities.
Sacramental Preparation for First Confession and First Holy Communion
Students are prepared for reception of First Confession and First Holy Communion that takes place in May, during Second Grade.
Spiritual Direction for High School Students
Fr. Martin Latiff, MC and Fr. Patrick Wainwright, MC are present, on a weekly basis, at the campus of St. Joseph Academy to provide regular spiritual direction to all of our high school students who desire it. In those meetings, the students may bring up their spiritual or faith related questions and find answers inspired by the principles of the Gospel and faithful to Catholic spiritual and moral doctrine. See Spiritual Direction
for more information.
Spiritual Enrichment Talks to the Students and Parents
Throughout the year, speakers come to speak to the school to speak on various topics to the student body. In the evening, the parents are invited to a talk relating to the subject matter for adults.
St. Joseph's Day- March 19th
The entire student body attends Holy Mass and then joins in a Eucharistic Procession to the front of the school where three altars are set up in honor of St. Joseph. A celebration for St. Joseph takes place with various activities honoring our patron saint. A Novena to St. Joseph
by the staff, students and families is prayed 9 days before the feast day.
Virtue of the Month (K-8)
A different virtue is highlighted every month in the classroom. Teachers look for the monthly virtue to be practiced amongst the students. A "Caught being Virtuous" (religious) prize is awarded monthly to a student in each classroom.
Works of Mercy Program
One of the goals of SJA is to form apostles of Christ. These are students who not only know their Faith, but live it as well. The school has developed a “Works of Mercy” program where many of our K-12 students come together on a weekly basis to get “hands on” experience by directly helping many different members of our community. It is our hope and prayer that when our students graduate, they will continue to participate in these activities and serve Christ, as He has commanded us. See Works of Mercy Program
for more information.