SPS’ commitment to graduating academically prepared students who are also exemplary Christians is evidenced by our 2014 Sadlier Catholic Identity Award – a national honor recognizing excellence in Faith Formation programming. Our flagship ANGEL Way Virtues Program is an excellent means for students to learn their faith by “doing.” In addition, students actively participate in weekly Mass, in monthly GRACE services (Gifts Reaffirming a Catholic Education), Prayer Partner / Shepherd & Lamb Programs, Stations of the Cross, Benediction, and several All-School liturgies and services commemorating key Catholic traditions and beliefs.
Angelway Virtues Program
Achieving Natural Goodness in Everyday Life - The “ANGEL” Way
The Angelway Virtues Program is inspired by our courtyard statue of an angel guiding a young child that has served as a beloved symbol of SPS for over 100 years. The angel's outstretched arm points directly to the tabernacle of St. Philip Church.
The Angelway Virtues Program calls for students to practice one of 12 Christian virtues in each 9-week period of the school year, cycling through all 12 virtues every three years. The virtues are: self- discipline, generosity, responsibility, friendship, stewardship, courage, perseverance, honesty, faithfulness, belief in God, work and respect.
ANGEL Way Virtues Pin
The ANGEL Way Virtues Pin was cast exclusively for St. Philip School and includes an inscription of the program name. All children receive the pin when they enter Kindergarten and are encouraged to wear it on their uniform shirt collars daily.Students are rewarded for wearing their pin, and for their awareness and practice of the current virtue, by being called to the office to receive a treat and holy symbol. All students in Grade K-8 thoroughly enjoy recognition by this program. Replacement pins are available in the school office for a $2.00 donation.
GRACE program - Gifts Reaffirming a Catholic Education
The GRACE program presents an open invitation for the St. Philip School and parish communities to request prayers from the school children. Each month, the students read the list of prayer requests and pray together at an all-school GRACE Service. Once annually, during the Catholic Schools Week Open House, the schoolchildren present a special GRACE program in the evening. To enroll someone you're thinking of into the GRACE program, please click here for the form and instructions.
Shepherds and Lambs
These separate programs position our oldest students as role models for our youngest students in the daily practice of ANGEL Way virtues and the Catholic faith. Each 8th Grade student is partnered with a Pre-K child (Shepherds & Lambs) while each 7th grade student is partnered with a 1st grade child (Prayer Partners). Teachers work in cooperation to plan fun activities and service projects that reinforce Catholic tradition and values and foster a closely-bonded school community.
Devotionals and Liturgies
SPS students participate in weekly Masses and other faith-based services throughout the year that commemorate key Christian traditions and beliefs. These include:
- Respect Life Program - All students participate in activities during Respect Life Month which focus on the unborn, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The Living Rosary for Life is the central prayer experieince of the program in which all students in Grades K-8 participate.At the conclusion of the Rosary, the students plant a bush or flower in the school’s Respect Life Garden in honor or memory of friends and loved ones who have made significant contributions to our school or parish.
- Christmas Spanish Service – Integrating Spanish curriculum with faith formation, this program features performances from all students in Grades K-8. The service includes a narration and reenactment of the Christmas story, liturgical dancers, musicians, and solo and group singing in Spanish.
- Middle School Shadow Stations – Beautiful in its solemnity, this annual re-enactment in shadow tableaux of the Stations of the Cross is always a moving and memorable experience for all in attendance. Eighth graders serve as narrators, liturgical dancers, soloists, and re-enactors, while Sixth and Seventh grade students participate as singers and musicians.
- May Crowning – In this joyous celebration of our Blessed Mother, recent First Communicants lead the procession, followed by our newly confirmed 8th graders, with both classes in their respective Communion/Confirmation attire. Second graders perform a song in tribute of Mary, and each 8th grade student lays a rose at the foot of her statue. A May Court and May Queen has the honor of crowning Mary. The court is selected by vote of the entire 8th grade class for female students who best exemplify the qualities of Catholic womanhood.
SPS students participate in varied acts of community service throughout the school year, including but not limited to:
- Penny Wars – An annual competition run by the Student Council in which homerooms compete to collect funds for the poor in Chimbote, Peru. (Grades K-8)
- Toys for Tots – Coordinated by Student Council, toy and monetary donations are collected for less fortunate children. (Grades K-8)
- Various projects for our parish mission in Appalachia, West Virginia (Grades K-8)
- Halloween Candy collections for local senior centers and residences for the persons with disabilities (Grades K-8)
- Food collections for St. Vincent de Paul at monthly at All-School Mass (Grades K-8)
- Lenten Mardi Gras Bake Sale and Classroom Mite Boxes Collection for the Parish St Vincent dePaul Society and missions in Haiti (Grades K-8).