Garces Memorial High School
Campus Ministry Program
In the spirit of the Gospel, Campus Ministry at Garces Memorial High School exists to support the spiritual growth and moral development of our school community. We are called to embrace the mission of Christ by:
- Opportunities for students to deepen their faith and spiritual life.
A faith community where students are nurtured and encouraged to live gospel values and share their gifts in service to others.
- Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Courage of Faith.
Participation in our Catholic tradition and practices.
Participation by our students in their parish and faith communities.
Campus Ministry Team
The following staffs work together with the Campus Ministry Director to provide leadership for the Campus Ministry Program
James Carrisalez – Director of Campus Ministry
Fr. Jim LaCasse, S.J. – School Chaplain
Cindy Gill - Community Service Coordinator
The Theology Department works very closely with the Director of Campus Ministry to assist with activities and retreats.
The Director of Campus Ministry is also assisted by the Campus Ministry Class that serves as Christian leaders who organize activities, retreats, liturgies, prayer services and social outreach that respond to the spiritual needs of our school community.
Campus Ministry Class
The Campus Ministry Class is offered to senior students who would like to participate in Christian leadership on campus. Students must apply in order to become a member of the Campus Ministry Team and be interviewed by the Campus Ministry Director. The class is limited in size and meets the theology requirement for their senior year.
The Campus Ministry program gives students in each class the opportunity to examine and deepen their faith with their classmates. As a participant, students are involved in personal reflection, group sharing, prayer, community building activities, and liturgy.
FRESHMEN RETREAT – “The Tradition Begins” The freshmen retreat is a one day retreat experience prior to the beginning of school where the students enjoy an atmosphere of community building activities, speakers, prayer and liturgy. Senior and junior students organize and lead the retreat and share their experiences of attending Garces Memorial High School and being a part of the faith community.
SOPHOMORE RETREAT– “Overcoming Obstacles and Building Bridges” The sophomore retreat is a one day retreat in Three Rivers, CA. Campus Ministry students plan the retreat and provide inspirational talks to the sophomore class. The community building activities highlight the teamwork that is necessary to overcome the obstacles, which all people face in their daily lives. Students have an opportunity to build relationships with other students in their class and see everyone as a significant contributor with gifts to offer our school community.
Kairos Retreat- The Kairos Retreat is a three day, two night experience that provides participants the chance to contemplate God’s role in their lives. Kairos means “God’s time” and the retreat is led by a team of adults and seniors and juniors who have made the retreat before. This retreat is a smaller retreat (40-50 students), which lends itself to reflection and self-disclosure. The difference between Kairos and other retreats is that it focuses mostly on helping one find his or her own personal relationship with God through faith testimonies, personal sharing, and prayer. This retreat is open to juniors and seniors.
Liturgy is the heart of our school community at Garces Memorial High School.
- Morning and afternoon prayer
- Daily masses in the St. Dominic Chapel
- Prayer services at various times during the year
- Stations of the Cross during Lent
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation for each student twice a year
(Students can also make an appointment with the school Chaplain)
- Liturgies for the entire student body twice a month
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the year
Campus Ministry organizes a number of the masses throughout the school year. Students are involved in the planning and preparation for the liturgies. Students serve as lectors, altar servers, gift bearers, Eucharistic ministers and music ministers. Our school’s Praise Band provides the music for our liturgies. Each class also has their own special masses in the St. Dominic Chapel throughout the year.
- September 10, 2014 – Mass of the Holy Spirit with celebrant Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.
- October 16, 2014 – All School Mass
- November 12, 2014 – Veteran's Mass
- December 8, 2014– Mass of the Immaculate Conception
- January 28, 2015 – Grandparents' Mass
- February 18, 2015– Ash Wednesday
- March – TBD
- April 30, 2015 – Senior Farewell Mass
- May – TBD
- May 18, 2015 – Baccalaureate Mass at St. Francis Church, 900 H Street
Holiday Outreach Program
Campus Ministry strives to lend a helping hand to our local community during the Holiday season.
November – Canned Food Drive
The entire school works to bring in canned items for our local St. Vincent de Paul Society. The collection provides needy families with food during the year. We also collect clothing and blankets that are needed in our community.
December – Christmas on Campus
For many years Campus Ministry has organized a Christmas party for underprivileged children in our community. Our students in their theology classes collect toys and candy. The hall is decorated with Christmas decorations and students gather on Saturday to welcome the underprivileged children from our community. There is arts & crafts, games, a magic show, lunch, pictures with Santa, and lunch for everyone involved. Each student is paired up with a buddy for the day and takes them around to the different activities. After lunch presents are distributed as Christmas carols are sung.
Campus Ministry organizes activities and events throughout the year that promote social justice and social outreach for our students.
Dime-A-Day Collection – During Lent Campus Ministry collects money that benefits a needy organization overseas. Students are encouraged to give a dime a day or more to this worthy cause. Some of groups that have been helped through our collections are: H.E.L.P.S. International, A mission school in Africa, Tsunami Relief Services, an orphanage in Russia, and a mission in the Philippines
Christian Life Communities (CLC) - is a group of young people who meet regularly to share their spirituality. Students are invited to deepen their relationship with God, others and self through prayer and faith sharing. The group also fulfills the mission of the school by coming together to do service in the community.
Special People Day – Each spring the entire student body at Garces Memorial High School hosts over 700 special education students for a play day. Our students are paired up with special education students and serve as their buddy for the day. There are various activities throughout the morning in which our students and their guests can participate: pony rides, petting zoo, game booths, donut challenge, face painting, etc. The day ends with lunch being provided for everyone who participates.
Through this day our students are offered the opportunity to gain many valuable life experiences. Each year the special education students return with enthusiasm ready for another great day!