Ignatian spirituality permeates all aspects of life at St. Thomas More. Students are taught to seek God’s presence in all things. Through an active prayer life, students explore all the love that God has for them, and they are encouraged to share God’s love with others. Students are taught to be people for others willing to help those in need. The faith life of St. Thomas More Catholic School is rooted in Ignatian Spirituality.
Six Characteristics of Ignatian Spirituality:
- sees life and the whole universe as a gift calling forth wonder and gratefulness
- gives ample scope to imagination and emotion as well as intellect
- seeks to find the divine in all things—in all peoples and cultures, in all areas of study and learning, in every human experience, and (for the Christian) especially in the presence of Jesus
- cultivates critical awareness of personal and social evil, but it points to God’s love as more powerful than any evil
- stresses freedom, need for discernment, and responsible action
- empowers people to become leaders in service, men and women for others, whole persons of solidarity, building a more just and humane world
From An Ignatian Spirituality Reader, edited by George W. Traub, SJ.
What is “Magis?” It is a Latin word for “more” and is taken from the motto of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” which translated means— For the Greater Glory of God. Magis is an important element of Jesuit spirituality, encouraging all to do more for others. Jesuit tradition calls everyone to seek God in all things, to presuppose the good in others and to become men and women for others.
At St. Thomas More Catholic School, teaching religion is a curriculum priority, as is integrating religion into the day-to-day activities of the school. We lead students to an understanding of Catholic principles and virtues, guiding them to engage in his or her own personal relationship with God. Christian values and moral teachings, passed on through the Catholic faith are the foundation of all programs. From that awareness comes a deep respect for the dignity integral to every human being. Together with students and their families, we build a faith-based community rooted in the Gospel of Christ and His command to love one another.
The doctrines of the Catholic faith presented at every grade level in an age-appropriate manner. Lessons help students experience and develop their Catholic identity, integrate their Catholic values into their daily lives, and express their Catholic beliefs, and know the teachings of the Catholic faith.
Students actively participate in liturgies, reconciliation, and assist in the planning of weekly community prayer, the Rosary, and the Stations of the Cross. Students from all grade levels participate in monthly school liturgies throughout the year by singing, lectoring, as altar servers, writing prayers of intercessions, bearing gifts, and other ways.
As a school community we:
- Attend Mass on the first Friday of each month and on Holy Days of Obligation. This schedule is set under the guidance and direction of the pastor. For those of you who would like to attend daily Mass with your children, St. Thomas More offers these on Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Adoration Chapel and at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you attend the 7:30 a.m. Mass, it concludes in time for the students to arrive at school by 8:00 a.m. Additionally, each grade level hosts a Mass throughout the year. The students plan it, read, altar serve when appropriate, and lead the Communion Meditation.
- Gather together for Community Prayer every Wednesday in the gym. Students plan and host these as well.
- Attend a Respect for Life Rosary once a month. Students also plan and host the rosary.
Check out our 1st grade balloon rosary in the Georgia Bulletin.
- Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent and Lent. (Grades 3-8)
- Participate in the Stations of the Cross during Lent.
- Spend time in the Adoration Chapel.
- Participate in various service projects throughout the year as we “reach out to the world as the hands of Christ.”
- Set aside an entire day at the end of Lent for a student religious retreat. Each grade level chooses activities that are meaningful for that grade to focus on for Lent, leading into Holy Week.
- Integrate our faith into every curriculum area.
- The Assessment of Catechesis Religious Education (ACRE) is annually administered to the students in grades 5 and 8. The ACRE is produced by the National Catholic Educational Association and serves as an integrated approach to assessment offering both faith knowledge (cognitive domain) as well as beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and practices (affective domain) sections. Results of the ACRE are used by Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to guide the implementation and development of religious instruction and formation. Our students score very favorably on the ACRE test. To see the results for the Archdiocese of Atlanta Catholic Schools click on www.archatl.com/education/ocs/testing.html
We strive to emulate the teachings of Proverbs 22:6 — “Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.” STM is in compliance with the standards set by the National Catholic Educational Association. But more importantly, we believe our efforts are pleasing to God.