The classrooms across the Xavier campus are back in full swing with the new school year. Teachers and students are back full-time after being both virtual and in-person last year due to the pandemic.
Xavier College Prep was founded on Catholicism and continues to be a leader of the faith through its faculty and students, 78 years since its opening. The faculty at Xavier promotes stronger relationships with God by opening prayer time before class, encouraging students to search for the beauty of God and offering guidance.
In the classrooms, it is vital for God to be present throughout the entirety of the day, and not just included in the mornings during prayer in announcements. Students at Xavier are encouraged to not only strive for their best academically but also to strive for a stronger faith.
Prayer is a standard practice that is required of all teachers. Piano teacher Naoko Garrison says, “Starting each day with prayer is a time to prepare for the day.” Prayer provides a sense of clarity similar to meditation, and everyone can find an aspect of prayer that they enjoy.
“The Daily Liturgies of the Hours” and “Catholic Social Teachings” are also resources that some teachers refer to at the beginning of class. Senior theology teacher Michael Lueken says, “All of those can open up access for students to what Catholicism is all about.”
Lueken added that “focusing on beauty I am able to bring the attractiveness and cogency of the Christian story of Catholicism to the students on a daily basis.”
Catholicism can be found in a variety of ways on campus. Garrison said, “Music is a gift from God and I believe playing music is part of our faith.” Students participate in this shared gift through playing piano, singing and being in orchestra or band. However, even if a student is not enrolled in any music classes she is still encouraged to sing along in all-school Mass.
Garrison said, “Prayer is something significant compared to public school.” Xavier’s teachers also hold a strong belief that everyone is on the same team. Both the students’ and faculty’s goals are to better the school and to spread the word of God, as well as to help their students pursue the faith.
Xavier, though, has a vast variety of students, and teachers are able to cater to different opinions and needs.
“We’re so welcoming to all denominations that I’d have to say that the biggest point that we try to get across is just to have faith and faith in God and faith in each other and know that, as the sign says, ‘Christ is the reason for this school,’” says Dean of Students Denise Macrina.
Since Christ is the reason for Xavier, there is an abundance of love, friendship and support. This sets Xavier apart from public and non-religious schools.
“Having a history of public education I find that this school instills not only community and family, but the true faith in Christ and all the beliefs that are significant to our lives today,” said Macrina.
“We can therefore find a path forward together, all the diverse peoples of the earth,” says Lueken.