The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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What is it like attending a Catholic high school as a non-Catholic?

Grace de Souza
Students and teachers convene outside of the Chapel of Our Lady during lunch. Mass is often offered to students during lunch throughout each week.

Although Xavier College Preparatory is known across Arizona for being an all-girls Catholic high school, there are many non-Catholic students who attend Xavier. 

Students who aren’t Catholic choose to attend Xavier for a variety of reasons, such as sports or academics. “Since I’m not Catholic, what really made me want to attend Xavier was 8th Grade Day,” said Lena Durette ‘24

Throughout all four years, there are various religious activities one can experience at Xavier, such as the Kairos retreat for seniors; the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior prayer days; Mass; reconciliation; and the Winter Pageant. 

Xavier also provides a class for non-Catholic students who choose to become Catholic. This year, eight students are in the process of converting. 

Many of Xavier’s non-Catholic students still choose to attend religious experiences that are offered. “I really enjoyed the Kairos retreat even though I’m not Catholic,” Durette added. 

Regardless of religion, all students are welcomed and encouraged to attend Kairos. At this retreat, students can deepen their faith and create long-lasting friendships. 

“As a Kairos leader, I wanted all of the girls to feel comfortable and leave the retreat with a positive experience. It was important to me to make the girls who aren’t Catholic feel accepted and welcome,” said Carla Bueno ‘24

Xavier requires students to complete four years of theology classes, which explore Catholicism and philosophy, and provide a place to discuss relevant topics from a religious perspective.

Micheal Lueken, Theology teacher, welcomes the wide range of backgrounds at Xavier. “The diverse insights and perspectives create a really rich environment in the classroom as well as on campus. It’s important to have an approach of invitation and mutual respect. With that, we can celebrate diversity and find the important things we have in common,” Lueken said. 

“The things we talk about in theology are pretty interesting and helpful, even for a student who isn’t Catholic,” said Durette.

As a Catholic school, Xavier encourages its students to do acts of charity. All students are required to complete at least 50 hours of service by the end of their junior year. 

“Most schools don’t require students to do service hours, but I think it’s really good that Xavier encourages us to help our community. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy volunteering as much as I did. I ended up doing even more than the required amount of hours,” Durette said. 

Xavier instills many foundational values of Catholicism in its students, such as generosity, love towards others and acceptance. These values can be carried forward into non-religious aspects of life. 

“I’ve never felt misunderstood or judged because of my Jewish heritage. It has been a really welcoming experience at Xavier,” said Rachel Shprecher ‘25, a student with a Catholic mother and Jewish father. She plans on attending Kairos during her senior year.

 “My mom is Catholic and she went to Xavier before me, so I really wanted to learn about Catholicism. Having a balance between my Jewish and Catholic identities allows me to experience religion more fully,” Shprecher added. 

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