How are the evangelization objectives met at Saint Joseph School?
At Saint Joseph School, the evangelization objectives are met primarily through the faith formation activities of our students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. Our school accomplishes this objective through our culture which permeates every aspect of our school on a daily basis. The concept of the classroom society based on Matthew 7:12 The Golden Rule - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” serves as our student to student and teacher to student relationship foundation. Our public examples of Christian values attract parents and children to our school, and our parish.
Each day of school begins with opening prayers led by our 8th grade students and is broadcast for all to participate. Throughout the school day, prayers are recited at snack, lunch and at the close of school. The week begins with a praise and worship program at Saint Joseph Church led by our Pastor (see separate link for more information). Students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 participate in rosary, discussion and song.
The Sunday 9:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Joseph Parish is designated as the children’s mass and is routinely filled to capacity with children from our school and parish community. Ten times during the year, students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 prepare this Mass. Students lead all ministerial positions such as the 1st and 2nd readings, Prayers of the Faithful, collectors, greeters, gift bearers, and ushers. This provides a tremendous example to the parish community of the values of Catholic education, by public display of our student participation in faith formation and their strong public speaking skills. Additionally, our school attends 9:00 a.m. Mass every Holy Day of Obligation.
On the Thursday before Christmas, our school prepares and presents a Christmas Concert and pageant which is open to the public, and attracts generations of families from beyond the school. Children from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 perform sacred songs. The 8thngraders recite original and published author poems, do the welcome, introductions and greet. The students in Grade 7 present the Nativity play accompanied by the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th grade choir.
In May of each year we conduct a full school May procession. The procession moves in rank order from the school to Saint Joseph Church Plaza where ceremonies are conducted honoring the Holy Mother and publicly demonstrating that our Catholic values are our guiding principles. The public is invited and encouraged to participate. Additionally, five times per school year Our Pastor conducts the TV Mass at the Archdiocese further encouraging evangelization beyond the boundaries of our school and parish. On each occasion, three of our students accompany him as altar servers and lectors.
Our faculty continues to acquire knowledge and understanding of the faith through participation in online Boston College Blackboard learning system for catechism certification. Our evangelization is also displayed in the community. In our music ministries our children participate in the parish choir performances. During Advent, Grades K through 3 participate in weekly student-run prayer services. Throughout Lent, Grades 4 through 8 participate in the Stations of the Cross at Saint Joseph Church on Friday afternoons. Grades K through 3 participate in Stations of the Cross at Saint Joseph School, immediately following opening prayers on Friday mornings using The Way of the Cross for Children as the format.
Our very inviting weekly newsletter and website, each full of school pictures and events, serve as an initial point of contact for explorations by families attracted to Catholic schools, as well as our parish. Each Grade maintains its own website within the school website. Regular articles published in the local newspaper further evangelize our Catholic culture. Consistent display of our faith in daily life of the school and the parish and our expansive engagement within the community enables us to continue to produce graduates instilled with a solid understanding of Christian values as guiding principles throughout their lives, continuing evangelization by example.