At the heart of who we are as Catholics is the Eucharist. At Saint Thomas, students begin preparing for First Communion in 2nd grade. Sign, symbol, tradition and anticipation all blend to create a true desire within our children to celebrate the mystery of transubstantiation.
On their First Communion day, our children gather around Father Jim on the altar. They witness the Mass as a true participant, side by side with their priest. The light of the candles illuminates their wide eyes as they see the Host lifted...."This is my body, given up for you."
Joining their parents to receive our Lord's sacrifice for the first time, our children truly grasp the meaning of this special day in their Christian lives.
Throughout their student experience at Saint Thomas, leadership, honor and integrity are woven throughout classroom expectations, programming and student life. One of the culminating experiences for our 8th grade Catholic students is Confirmation.
Candidates and sponsors meet for catechesis, contemplation and partnership. Through the sacrament of Confirmation, we are more integrally bound to the Church and receive the unique and special gifts of the Holy Spirit. As true witnesses of Christ, the confirmed are empowered to spread and defend the faith by word and deed. Saint Thomas prepares these young adults to be warriors for Christ, evangelizers of our faith, and moral leaders in our community.
All Saint Thomas students gather to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance) twice yearly – during Advent and Lent. This practice introduces our students to a life-long process of self-reflection and reconciliation in an age-appropriate manner. We want our students to develop spiritual maturity. We want them to examine their hearts, attitudes, words, and actions and take responsibility before God. In the earlier years, Father Jim reads to the children from the Word of God and then leads them through an age-appropriate examination of conscience. Individually, they approach for confession of sin and absolution. In 4th grade, students receive continued catechis of reconciliation and learn "the art of examining oneself." This Reconciliation Celebration is celebrated as 4th graders complete this process entirely on their own, in an adult manner. Students continue to receive the sacrament in this form through the eighth grade.
Through the celebration of the Sacrament, students learn that God gives them the power to change their lives and form themselves in the image of Jesus. At Saint Thomas, we see God's power working in each of our students, moving them to become "great of soul."
"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."
- Matthew 21:22