Spiritual Life

Our Catholic tradition of faith and community engagement is the foundation of life at St. Michael’s College School. It comes to life every day through the community of the Basilian Fathers.

You will also see it in the lives of our students who work together to create an environment where hard work pays off, where new and inspiring paths are discovered, where time-honoured traditions are part of life, and where new traditions are created all the time.

Spirituality is an integral component of life at St. Michael’s College School. Our Catholic, Liberal Arts education helps students discover that being a human fully alive includes being in a good relationship with God and with one’s neighbour.

Students have several opportunities to practice their faith at St. Michael’s through morning prayer, daily celebrations of the Eucharist, and other sacramental gatherings. All-school Masses, school retreats, and spirit assemblies further the spiritual growth of our community. There are also opportunities for individual spiritual direction and counselling through the Office of Spiritual Life.

Each student at St. Michael’s College School takes a Theology course every year. Theology prepares the student to understand and embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, to live a complete Christian life, and to grapple meaningfully with many of the questions our modern world poses.

Faith and spirituality flow from the consistent practice of goodness, discipline, and knowledge. Through the many opportunities to encounter the Lord Jesus at St. Michael's College School, we cultivate in our students the strong Catholic values of faith, character, and service for today’s world.

Faith Development

Faith and spirituality are an integral part of daily school life. The Basilian Fathers invite the entire school community to make prayer and spirituality a central priority. Through the Office of Spiritual Life, they ensure the coordination of all activities in this regard.

The school’s spiritual life consists of daily all-school morning prayer, daily classroom prayers, all-school end-of-week prayer, a regular routine of liturgical celebrations (daily Mass, homeroom Masses, grade-level Masses, all-school Masses, penitential services, and community service celebrations), days of retreat and recollection for staff and students, volunteer community service activity days for staff and students, and ministry to the city’s needy through food drives and other fundraising initiatives.

The Basilian Fathers are always available to staff and students for pastoral care, personal and spiritual counselling, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Office of Spiritual Life offers a safe and welcoming environment where students may receive assistance and counselling with personal challenges and difficulties. When necessary, it works with families and makes referrals to outside agencies and professionals.

The spiritual life of our community nourishes the faith development of our students. Our Catholic, liberal arts education and formation of mind, body, and soul help our students to discover and accept that human excellence is never separated from good and right relationships with God, self, and neighbour.

Each student at St. Michael’s takes a Theology course every year. Theology assists the student to grow more familiar with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church, to live a fuller Christian life, and to formulate answers to many of the challenging questions posed by our modern world. The faith and spiritual life of our school inspire us all to grow in goodness, discipline, and knowledge.

Basilian Fathers

The Basilian Fathers were established as a religious congregation in France in 1822. As a result of the closing of seminaries in France during the French Revolution, two diocesan priests opened a secret school in the mountains of central France.

After several years of operation and after a change in French laws, ten priests serving there openly bound themselves into a religious community. They reasoned that the school, by then located in the nearby city of Annonay, would have a better chance of continuing if it were conducted by a Religious Congregation that could accept and train new members to continue the operation of the school after the founding fathers' retirement.

The original members chose St. Basil the Great, a fourth century teacher, bishop and doctor of the Church, to be the namesake of the new community.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the French Basilians came to Canada on invitation of Bishop de Charbonnel of Toronto who had been a student at Annonay. They opened St. Michael's College in 1852, offering, in the French style, a combination of what we would call high-school and university education. Today, the University of St. Michael's College and

St. Michael's College School continue the work begun in 1852.

The Congregation grew in numbers and activities in the New World. Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario was opened as well as several parishes. Work in the United States began in a permanent way in 1886 at Ste. Anne's Parish in Detroit, Michigan and by the end of the nineteenth century the community was working also in Texas.

During the 1930's the Basilians in Texas began to work with the Mexican people who had settled in the countryside to the southwest of Houston. Gradually their small mission congregations developed into self-sustaining parishes.

In 1961 two priests were sent to open a parish in Mexico City as the first of many to serve in Mexico. In 1987, the Latin American apostolate expanded to include a parish, school, and health care centre in Cali, Colombia.

It is from these simple beginnings that Basilians are inspired to continue to live and serve throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Colombia.

For more information on the Congregation of St. Basil, please visit www.basilian.org.