Catholic Life at Edgewood High School
Spirituality is an important part of our students’ journey through this school, and we take pride in fostering a connection with God and one’s faith. Students are also welcome in leading prayers and carry with them the inclusive spirit of our school. Campus ministers and religious studies faculty, with the support of other faculty and staff, facilitate our spiritual activities and carry on our daily mission of wholeness in the school community.
In addition to religious studies courses, we understand the importance of ministry programs and retreats that allow our school community to engage in non-academic, faith-based experiences. With these, we seek a deeper source of fulfillment and developed sense of purpose. Students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to enrich their lives through prayer and service as well as the various programs we offer.
EHS has a religiously diverse student body, so courses reach out to all students, teaching the Catholic tradition, examining other faith traditions, and discussing commonalities and differences. Courses are academic in nature and graded. All students are capable of success in religious studies courses, regardless of faith background. For a list of all religious studies course offerings, please see the Curriculum Guide located in the Resources section on our Academics page.
Peer Ministry & the Dominican Preaching Team
An elective upper-level course in Peer ministry prepares students who want to take a more prominent leadership role in faith activities. Peer ministers help in the planning and leading of liturgies, prayer services, and retreats.
Edgewood’s student Dominican Preaching Team integrates the ministry and teachings of our founders into student life through service and leading prayer in partnership with Campus Ministry. We invite four students who choose to take Peer Ministry as juniors to attend the annual national Dominican High School Preaching Conference, led by lay and vowed Dominicans during the summer. At the week-long conference, they explore the Dominican charism more fully through study, common life, prayer, and preaching. When they return to school in August, they are the leaders in these areas for their peers.
Liturgies, Prayer Services, & Prayer Requests
Prayer requests such as special intentions or prayers for loved one's may be submitted online through our prayer request form (coming soon) or by emailing us. These requests will be silently included in the intercessory prayers of our school liturgies and prayer services.
Memorial prayer services open to attendance by any in the Edgewood community who have lost loved ones are held six times a year, and all present have the opportunity to light a candle in memory of a friend or loved one. A special All Souls Mass is held in November and anyone who wishes is encouraged to Request Prayer in Memory of a Loved One.
Ministry & Service
Faith development is much more than academic and liturgical; it is a life-long experience one should foster and grow. The Campus Ministry Office plans all-school liturgies and prayer services, operates the Service Program, and plans and carries out retreats. EHS academic courses provide students with background understanding and moral decision-making processes. Students apply what they learn in the classroom in activities and through the school’s service requirement. Read more about Edgewood’s Service Program.
All students are required to go on the retreat designed for their class each year. Retreats help us take time for spiritual and emotional development and renewal. These programs provide a range of options to make the opportunity meaningful for everyone. There are components that support the Catholic faith and Dominican tradition, but the focus is on our human abilities to connect with each other in various ways. We simply ask that students allow themselves to be open to the experience and be present in the activities. We distribute permission slips about a week in advance of each retreat.
Freshmen take a day off-campus as an entire class to focus on community. This retreat incorporates large and small group activities, including many opportunities to get to know one's self and each other. Campus Ministers, several EHS faculty/staff, and junior/senior mentors facilitate this retreat, giving freshmen a nice introduction to the emphasis that Edgewood places on community. Students should bring their own lunch.
Sophomores choose from one of the published dates for their retreat focused on scripture and human dignity. Groups of approximately thirty go off-campus for a day of reflection activities, games, prayer, and opportunities to discover the inherent dignity in all of us. Campus Ministers and Peer Ministers facilitate this program, and we provide lunch.
Juniors engage in a required day of service for their retreat, which is coordinated through the Morality classes. Groups of about four to eight students and one faculty member spend the day at a local non-profit agency providing service. We begin and end the day with prayer and discussion in the EHS chapel, led by Peer Ministers. Students should bring a lunch and dress appropriately for the service they will be doing.
There are two additional retreat and service opportunities available to juniors:
The Junior Mission Trip is an optional 4-day retreat and service experience in Chicago. There, participants serve at a variety of places, including a Dominican elementary school, an after-school program for Latino youth, a nursing home, and a soup kitchen. The goal of this retreat is to introduce students to some of the challenges facing an urban center, but also some of the successes that come out of those challenges. Participants stay at the Br. David Darst Center. Space is limited and participants are selected through an application process. There is a fee to participate in this experience, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Partnering in an Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) is an optional 3-day retreat and service experience in Madison. The goal of this retreat is to introduce students to some of the social issues, including poverty, homelessness, hunger, and access to resources, that are faced by some in the Madison community. Students gain a greater understanding of these issues, as well as information about organizations where they can continue to volunteer. Space is limited and participants are selected through an application process. There is a fee to participate in this experience, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Seniors choose from two different retreat options to fulfill the graduation requirement:
Senior Christian Retreat of Shared Spirituality (Senior CROSS) is a 4-day retreat at the Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque, Iowa. The theme of Senior CROSS is “Shared Spirit: Community, Reflection, Action, Connection.” Retreat activities include team-building exercises, adult talks, prayer, student talks, small reflection groups, leadership formation, and lots of fun! Students come away for this retreat transformed, inspired, connected, and ready to begin their senior year. Applications are available at the end of a student’s junior year. There is a fee to participate in this experience, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Camp Gray is the second option. Seniors travel in groups of approximately thirty to a 2-day retreat at Camp Gray where they are offered the opportunity to discover the value of relationships with self, others, and God. Meals and lodging are provided, and the program includes games, crafts, and a variety of reflective activities that help participants discover the depths of God’s presence. Campus Ministry recruits several faculty/staff to join this retreat.