What is “Faith in the Presence of God”?
The term describes one of the five core principles of a Lasallian school, and at St. Paul’s School, faith is a fundamental aspect of the community and education of the students. As a core value of St. Paul himself, as well as Lasallians everywhere, a strong focus is put upon it in the everyday life of the school, whether it be through morning prayer, chapel services, or celebration of the Mass.
“Faith is essential,” SPS Campus Minister Barrett Baumgartner said.
“St. John Baptist de La Salle taught his students to put a strong focus not only on educating themselves in academia, but also in faith.”
St. Paul’s can trace its faith ideals all the way back to 1679 to the founding group of Christian Brothers led by St. John Baptist de La Salle.
“We should have frequent recourse to prayer, and persevere a long time in it. God wishes to be solicited. He is not weary of hearing us. The treasure of His graces is infinite. We can do nothing more pleasing to him than to beg incessantly that He bestow them upon us,” St. John Baptiste De LaSalle, founder of the Christian Brothers, wrote.
Retreats at St. Paul’s are a constant occurrence, and they are one of the prevalent ways St. Paul’s preaches and increases the faith of students.
“The best retreat I took part in was 9th grade retreat last year as a facilitator,” junior Ross Allbritton said. “It showed how willing students are to participate in their faith and their want to grow in their faith, which I thought was reassuring for what our school is trying to accomplish faith-wise.”
“We already have a good faith tradition, but I am a firm believer that there is always room to improve, so I intend to continue to improve our faith here at St. Paul’s as much as possible,” Baumgartner noted.
Some examples of ways that students can currently actively participate in their faith on campus include student groups like Lasallian Youth Leaders, who coordinate a number of faith-based events and class retreats; Liturgical Band, which provides music for all school Masses and prayer services; and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, who distribute communion at all school Masses and also as act as both liturgical readers and Eucharistic ministers for the Sunday community Masses held in Our Lady of Peace chapel on campus.
The faith ideals that are taught at St. Paul’s stick with students even after they complete their St. Paul’s journey. This is evident in the wooden crosses traditionally distributed during senior retreat that often adorn the necks of alumni years past graduation.
“St. Paul’s has and will always be a second home to me,” senior Eric Boudet said. “And, just like my family at home has instilled a strong faith in me, my St. Paul’s family has helped to instill that faith.”