- Charism Themes
- Prayer to St. Joseph
- Theology Program
- Special Religious Activities
- Service Policy
- 2022-2023 Service Requirements by Grade Level
Each year, the St. Joseph’s Academy community is guided by a charism theme which supports the vision and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and SJA.
2022-2023: Leadership: Weave One Heart
2023-2024: Great-Hearted Love: Serving the Dear Neighbor
2024-2025: We Are All One: Gifted and Transformed by God's Spirit
2025-2026: Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect
On Mondays, we recite Pope Francis' Prayer to St. Joseph:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil.
Every Wednesday morning, the St. Joseph’s Academy community joins together in this prayer:
Lord Jesus, in the person of St. Joseph, both the simplicity and greatness of life were shown. We pray to you, Joseph, for all members of the Academy community: alumnae, parents, friends, present students and faculty.
Keep us in your tender care, strengthen our faith, heal our sorrows and guide us, finally, to the fullness of joy and peace. We pray in the name of Jesus.
While religion and faith development permeate all aspects of St. Joseph’s Academy, theology is taught at each grade level in a classroom setting. All students take a full credit of theology and meet each day. At the beginning of each school day, the entire student body unites in common prayer led by the Student Council president over the public address system. Each class period begins with prayer. On special days, the school gathers as a community in the Academy Student Center for community prayer. The principal determines these days based on requests.
Specified school days are devoted to student reflection, prayer, guidance and discussion. Seniors participate in an out-of-town, two-day retreat. The junior retreat is held on or off campus but within the city. Sophomore and freshman retreats are usually held on campus.
Participation in retreats is required for promotion to the next grade level and to graduate from St. Joseph's Academy. Appointments, extra-curricular activities and travel should not be planned on a student's retreat day(s). These absences will not be excused unless they are part of a school-sponsored event, and approval is given by the campus minister.
All absences, excused or unexcused, must be made up with a full Catholic retreat of equal or greater duration by the last regular day of school (not including exam days). A student who is absent from her grade-level retreat should research a retreat she can attend to fulfill the make-up requirement. She should submit the retreat request to the campus minister for approval. Retreats attended as mandatory elements of preparation of a sacrament (i.e., confirmation retreats) are not eligible to be used to make up a missed grade-level retreat.
Retreat questions should be directed to Campus Minister Jade Spears at email@example.com or (225) 388-2296.
The Examen is a spiritual practice developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. As a Jesuit priest, Father Jean-Pierre Medaille shared this form of prayer with the Sisters of St. Joseph, whose charism is rooted in Ignatian spirituality. Father Medaille gave it to the Sisters as a guiding tool to keep their actions rooted in an intimate encounter with the living Christ in their daily lives. The Examen is a sharing of the heart, a daily prayer practice to help us review the day with God, grow in faith and become aware of God's sustaining presence in our everyday lives. Within the Examen prayer, we thank God for the gifts of the day, walk through our entire day with the Holy Spirit, acknowledge the areas in which we can improve and then look forward to the day to come by asking for God's grace.
SJA's desire is to share this prayer and other forms of prayer with all members of our community. Each day, we will pray as a community at the end of 7th period.
Throughout the school year, students, faculty and staff come together to celebrate the life they share as a high school community in the liturgy of the Eucharist. School masses are celebrated on special occasions, especially during liturgical seasons such as Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, and always on holy days of obligation. Dress uniform is required for students at mass. Visitors are welcome to attend any school mass. School masses and prayer services are livestreamed on SJA's Facebook page.
An assembly is held in late April or early May to celebrate the crowning of Mary.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is made available to students twice during the year in Advent and Lent.
Student Ministry is a club open to juniors and seniors who are interested in growing in discipleship and evangelization in the context of the spirituality and mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The charism of the Sisters, since their founding in 1650, has been and continues to be unity, as in oneness, that all may be one in relationship with God and one another. Student ministers are given opportunities to experience spiritual growth and encourage this growth in their peers and the Academy community.
Parents Who Pray
Respect Life Club
This club is committed to a consistent life ethic that respects the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. The club meets monthly and often hosts guest speakers on topics that deal with adding value to the human life. Members sponsor several events including service opportunities and lunchtime events to share Respect Life issues with the school community. Club members also participate in the Bishop's Pro-Life Rally, Louisiana Life March and March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Wednesday Morning Rosary
Every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., the Rosary is recited in the Chapel at SJA.
Mission/Service Immersion Trips
The goal of the SJA Service Immersion program is to provide an encounter with Christ in the poor that leads to conversion and propels students to a life of service in their local community. In order to foster an encounter with Christ in the poor whom we serve, students are immersed in prayer and the sacraments during the experience, and relational service is prioritized. After a mission trip experience, students are challenged to take what they've learned and invest it in meeting the needs of the Baton Rouge community. Mission/service immersion trips may be offered to students during the school year, including holidays, and summer breaks. Students can do mission work in the United States or overseas. Mission trips are offered according to chaperone availability. In the application process, first priority is given to students who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in an SJA mission trip, and second priority is given to upperclasswomen. Among those who have not attended a mission trip and have equal seniority, placements will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Rising sophomores will not be eligible to participate in international mission trips.
Students who complete the point requirements of the Student Ministry Club during both the junior and senior years will be recognized at the service assembly.
CSJ/SSJ Leadership Conference
This opportunity began in the summer of 2015 to enable students from the Congregation of St. Joseph’s three schools to come together to deepen their understanding of the Sisters’ charism and the founding history. The leadership conference is held each summer in the city of a host school. The opportunity is open to eight rising juniors and seniors selected by the administration.
The St. Joseph's Academy service program is a vital component of the faith development pillar of the school's mission statement. Our Catholic faith calls each student to serve the dear neighbor as an overflow of the love of God in them. "We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, 'I love God' but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:19-21)
Jesus has identified himself with those most in need in saying, "Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:45) The goal of the SJA service program is to foster an encounter with Christ in those most in need and a desire to sacrifice oneself for them with acts of charity and through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Students will form sustained interpersonal relationships with the dear neighbor that allow them to see all as created in God's image and likeness and to serve them through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
All service hours must be done through a non-profit agency or through a for-profit business, with prior written approval, that serves those most in need. Service performed through a for-profit business must be non-clerical in manner. Tasks such as filing, answering the phone, etc., will not be permitted as part of the service program.
Visiting with patients in nursing homes or hospice facilities does not need prior approval. All service hours must be done outside of normal school hours. Donations of any kind, including Sticker Sacks, are not eligible for the service program. However, SJA may offer a schoolwide donation opportunity for service hours. SJA reserves the right to limit the number of hours earned on mission trips; hours earned on SJA mission trips will be determined and applied after the trip is complete. This will ensure students receive accurate credit for the number of hours served.
The Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory and the Junior and Senior Service Directory can be found on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. These directories include approved agencies. Students may only participate in opportunities outside of those included in the service directories after receiving written permission via email from the Assistant Campus Minister.
All students will receive a MobileServe account to log service hours. These accounts will be set up during Student Orientation. User guides for the website and cellular application can be found on the Service Hour Project Moodle page.
The 2022-2023 service year began April 2, 2022, and will end on March 31, 2023. However, due to a change in software programs, students will not be able to digitally log hours until the fall semester. Students earning service hours between April 2 and Student Orientation must secure proof of hours served on agency letterhead or on St. Joseph’s Academy letterhead that can be picked up in the main office. Students will need one form per service activity. At Student Orientation, students will receive further instructions on how to upload letterhead. Failure to complete service hours by the deadline will be examined on a case-by-case basis. However, the completion of SJA’s service-hour requirements is necessary to advance to the next grade level and is a requirement for graduation.
In conjunction with their senior retreat, members of the senior class participate in a day of service in the Baton Rouge community. This experience serves as an opportunity for the class to give back to the community as a group. Student are assigned to a service site for this day. Senior Service Day is considered part of the senior retreat and is a requirement for graduation.
Please direct questions about service to Assistant Campus Minister Chelsea Colomb '07 at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2255.
Class of 2023
Students will choose one agency whose primary focus is those most in need and will earn 20 hours from their chosen agency. Approved agencies can be found in the Junior and Senior Service Directory on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. Students wishing to earn the 50-hour service award must obtain 30 additional hours from their chosen agency or any of the approved agencies included in the Junior and Senior Service Directory whose primary focus is those most in need.
Class of 2024
Students are required to earn 20 hours from agencies whose primary focus is those most in need. Approved agencies can be found in the Junior and Senior Service Directory on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. Students wishing to earn the 50-hour service award must obtain 30 additional hours from the same approved list of agencies in the Junior and Senior Service Directory whose primary focus is those most in need.
Class of 2025
Students are required to earn 15 hours. Approved non-profit agencies can be found in the Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory, located on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. Students may only participate in opportunities outside of those included in the Service Directory after receiving written permission via email from the Assistant Campus Minister. Students wishing to earn the 50-hour service award must obtain 35 additional hours from the same approved list of agencies in the Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory. Beginning in the summer of 2023, mission trips not sponsored by SJA will need written approval to be eligible for the 20 required hours for seniors.
Class of 2026
Students are required to earn 15 hours. Approved non-profit agencies can be found in the Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory, located on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. Students may only participate in opportunities outside of those included in the Service Directory after receiving written permission via email from the Assistant Campus Minister. Students wishing to earn the 50-hour service award must obtain 35 additional hours from the same approved list of agencies in the Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory.
Service Hour Award by Grade
Class of 2023: To receive the four-year service award, seniors must have completed 20 hours their sophomore year and complete 50 hours their junior and senior years. Freshman-year hours were waived due to COVID-19.
Class of 2024: To receive the four-year service award, juniors must have completed 20 hours their freshman year and complete 50 hours their sophomore, junior and senior years.
Class of 2025 and Beyond: To receive the four-year service award, students must complete 50 hours during their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.
Continue to the Introduction section of the Handbook.
Continue to the Academic Excellence section of the Handbook.
Continue to the Personal Growth section of the Handbook.