Religious education permeates every facet of school life at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School, and all programs, courses, and activities flow from, and are rooted in, the context of a Catholic community of faith.
We invite others who do not share our Catholic heritage to become part of our community, and we respect the rich traditions and the energizing diversity that result from their presence.
St. Thomas Aquinas High School is foremost a Catholic school operated by the Diocese of Youngstown and supported by the Catholic community of eastern Stark and Portage counties, and the religious education of each student in the Catholic tradition is the primary mission of the school.
The Religious Education Department of St. Thomas Aquinas achieves the goals of this mission through the Proclamation of the Word, the Building of Community, and the Call to Christian Service.
Proclamation of the Word
St. Thomas Aquinas shares in the mission of the Church by proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Aquinas community is devoted to the spiritual growth of young adults through formal instructional programs as well as through experiential activities leading to faith formation.
The curriculum of the Religious Education Department includes course work in the areas of Scripture, Morality, Sacraments and Prayer, Social Justice, Church History, World Religions, Contemporary Issues and Lifestyles.
The students of Aquinas receive many opportunities to befriend the elderly, the poor and the dispossessed. The Proclamation of the Word, who is Jesus, enables the students to grow to a greater awareness of themselves and others.
Community building embraces all of the curricular and extracurricular programs so that students are provided with a faith context within which to grow, learn, and develop. The Aquinas community seeks to reinforce Catholic Christian values as the basis for decision-making and as the model for personal relationships.
The celebration of the Liturgy is central to this community. Our identity as a faith community is most visible on those occasions when we gather for communal prayer. Above all else, respect for one another is the guiding principle for our interactions: respect for our differences in race, gender, creed and nationality; respect for our various gifts abilities; and respect for one another’s ideas and beliefs.
The dimension of service is a direct result of the love we have for ourselves and others, and the realization that all we have is a gift from God.
The class projects demonstrate the willingness of students to share their time and talents with others. These projects undertaken during the school year include support of the Catholic Community Services and its programs and makes visible Christ’s message. “When you have done this for the least of my sisters and brothers, you have done it to Me” (Matt. 25:40).
Worship and Prayer
The school day begins by recalling God’s presence in our midst through morning prayer. All students and faculty are invited and encouraged to attend morning liturgy when offered. The entire school community gathers for liturgy on special occasions throughout the school year: Opening of school, All Saints Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, and Ash Wednesday. Liturgy and prayer are scheduled during the seasons of Advent and Lent. Students are encouraged and given the opportunity to plan and develop liturgical and prayer services as part of their formal religious education classes. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered to students during the seasons of Lent and Advent.
Religious Education Policy and Books
As a Catholic school, St. Thomas Aquinas shares the teaching mission of the Church. The community of young adults, staff, and students, work together, energize one another, and through these personal relationships grow to become who they have been called to be.