- Charism Themes
- Prayer to St. Joseph
- Theology Program
- Special Religious Activities
- Service Requirements
- 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.
2021-2022: Relationships: Sacred Threads that Connect
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
On Mondays through December of 2021, 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. Junior retreats are 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 Alise Alexander Ruch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2265.
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 practice with all members of our community. Our bell schedule has been adjusted for the 2021-2022 school year so that we can pray the Examen each school day at the beginning 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 will be 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
Chair: Coila Esposito
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. The members of the club also participate in the Bishop's Pro-Life Rally 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
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. 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 attend international mission trips. Students who complete the point requirements of the Student Ministry Club for both junior and seniors years will be recognized at the service assembly.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, mission trip rules and requirements will change to accommodate the needs of our student body. Information will be provided as it becomes available.
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.
As we strive to educate young women in the spirit and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, service is a vital part of our curriculum. The service program is designed to demonstrate that experiential learning is a critical component of classroom learning and faith development. Service calls forth personal responsibility to both civic and faith communities. The gospel message to serve the outcast, the lowly and the poor is a valuable lesson that is best taught through experience. The service component of our curriculum is the way by which we foster these values.
Students will be given instructions in their theology class regarding how to log their hours into the X2vol software.
Please direct questions about service to Assistant Campus Minister Jade Spears at email@example.com or (225) 388-2296.
Class of 2022
For the 2021-2022 school year, seniors must complete 20 total hours (10 in fields related to hunger, poverty and homelessness and 10 in a Christian service of their choice). To receive the four-year service award, seniors must have completed 50 hours their freshman year, 25 hours their junior year and 50 hours their senior year. Hours were waived due to COVID during their sophomore year.
Class of 2023
For the 2021-2022 school year, juniors must complete 20 total hours (10 devoted to individuals with special needs or in a healthcare field and 10 in a Christian service of their choice). To receive the four-year service award, juniors 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.
Class of 2024
For the 2021-2022 school year, sophomores must complete 15 total hours (10 in child development, education or literacy and 5 in a Christian service of their choice). To receive the four-year service award, sophomores must have completed 20 hours their freshman year and complete 50 hours their sophomore, junior and senior years.
Class of 2025
For the 2021-2022 school year, freshmen must complete 15 total hours (10 in elderly care or environmental concerns and 5 in a Christian service of their choice). To receive the four-year service award, freshmen must complete 50 hours during their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years.
The Service Directory, which can be found on the Service Hour Project Moodle page, is an excellent starting point for contacting agencies and locating places to serve. Students may participate in opportunities outside of those included in the Service Directory but only after meeting with the Service Hours Coordinator.
Because our service program values and supports direct, personal contact, there will be parameters on service which entails activities such as donating to diaper drives, fostering an animal, making homemade food items, etc. There will also be a limit to the number of hours earned on mission trips. SJA reserves the right to limit hours pertaining to donations.
Service hours are due in April. The date is set each year by the Service Hours Coordinator. Service hours for the following year will begin on June 1 of the current year.
Failure to complete service hours will be examined on a case-by-case basis, but meeting St. Joseph’s Academy’s service-hour requirements is necessary to advance to the next grade level and is a requirement for graduation.
Senior Service Day: 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 whole. Each student is assigned a placement. Senior Service Day is considered part of the senior retreat and is a requirement for graduation.
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.