Service is critical to the spiritual formation of the young men of the Academy. At CBA, we have arranged a program of instruction, mentoring, and prayer specifically designed to foster the life of the spirit in every student.
Campus Ministry at CBA starts at the individual level. Central to our program is the daily experience of prayer. School days are immersed in prayer, from the opportunity to attend daily Mass in the Chapel, to the schoolwide Morning Prayer, to starting off each class period with prayer. Each student is given numerous reminders of just how important it is to keep a constant dialogue with God.
The prayer life of our students is informed by a solid program of religious instruction. While academically rigorous, the faculty of the Theology department never truly separates the object and the subject of study. Religion-focused courses do more than merely feed the head.
Christian Brothers Academy is fortunate to have three Chaplains, and a Campus Minister. Father Gary Koch, Father Richard Vila, and Father John Zec are instrumental in the CBA community's celebration of both daily and schoolwide liturgies throughout the school year. Mr. Timothy Sewnig, a member of the Theology faculty since 1991, also serves as the school's Director of Campus Ministry.
Catholics are called by the Church to a "full, conscious, and active participation" in the Sacred Liturgy. To support that kind of participation by all in every celebration of the Mass, students and faculty are invited to serve the community as:
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
The young men are asked to present themselves as candidates for these ministries in May (or in the case of incoming freshman, over the summer), and those selected for the various ministries are confirmed and blessed at the Mass of the Holy Spirit early in September, to serve through that school year.
We select Altar Servers from the incoming freshmen, and only rising seniors and faculty members may be appointed to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
The various ministries each have a faculty moderator, who schedules the students, instructs them in the proper manner of serving, and encourages them to grow in the knowledge and love of God.
Ministry: Altar Server About: Lead liturgical processions; assist the priest and the deacon with the sacred books, vessels, and linens. Open to freshmen
Ministry: Minister of Hospitality Moderator: Ms. Cathleen Carroll About: Assist the community to find their seats before the celebration, and to move gracefully through the Communion procession. Also seeks out assistance for those in distress. Open to grades 10 and up.
Ministry: Reader Moderator: Bro. Peter Lagonowicz About: Proclaim the Scripture readings, lead the responsorial Psalms, and announce the petitions of the General Intercessions. They are scheduled to serve at Daily Mass, as well as the full-community Masses. Open to grades 10 and up.
Ministry: Sacred Music Moderator: Mr. Jim Tortorici About: Play instruments to support singing, and lead the community in singing the hymns and the fixed parts of the Mass. Open to all grades.
Ministry: Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Moderator: Mr. Fred DiBrienza About: Minister Holy Communion to God's people under the forms of bread and wine. Only a few will be chosen for this most sublime duty, and they will serve at Daily Mass as well as the full-community Masses. EMHCs will be selected from those in grade 12, and from among the faculty.
Spiritual retreats are an integral element of each student's personal development. Every student is required to engage in a retreat each year at the Academy.
The Freshman Retreat is an introduction to the teachings of De La Salle, which takes place the week before school begins. Freshmen are led by our senior Gurus during a day of meeting classmates, learning about CBA and our founding principles, getting a tour of our facilities, and taking part in the "Freshman Challenge." Freshman Retreats are run by CBA's Campus Minister, Mr. Tim Sewnig, the GURU instructor Mr. Robert O'Connor, and freshman guidance counselor/ co-moderator of Lasallian Youth Brother Joseph Brienza.
Sophomore Retreats are directed by Ms. Catherine Joanne Yavarone, the Spiritual Director at St. Joseph's Dwelling Place in Ludlow, Vermont. The theme of the retreat is "Remembering that we are in God's Holy Presence." St. John Baptist de La Salle asked his Brothers to repeat the phrase, "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God," every time they crossed a threshold. This retreat focuses on recognizing God's presence in our lives in both transcendent moments and deeply personal ways.
Our Junior and Senior Retreats are led by Father Paul Wierichs, a Passionist priest whose collaborated with CBA for over twenty years. The junior retreat traditionally occurs late in the junior year; the senior retreat early in the senior year. As such, they are seen as two parts of an extended retreat. The focus is on entering society as a good Christian gentleman. The junior retreat is an on-campus, day-long event; the senior retreat is an off-campus meeting that can run into the early evening.
John Baptist de La Salle had a special concern for theyouths of his day, and he inculcated that same preference to those who joined his Community. Moreover, he insisted that the young people he worked with should bear each others' concerns. Those who were brighter were to tutor those who experienced some difficulty. Those who had food would share with those who did not. In the 1960's a movement began in Spain, and spread throughout the Continent, and then to wherever the Brothers were found. This movement began among the students themselves, and came to be called the Lasallian Youth.CBA's chapter of LY was founded in 2001. Now there activities include preparing and serving lunches to poor people, and tutoring youngsters in after-school programs. Through these devoted young men, the Founder's concerns are extended to the present day. While there is an emphasis on action in the world, that action is always understood in the context of an active prayer life.
Every person is called by God to do some work in the world. We grow in holiness by being attentive to His call, and by responding to it as best we can. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ calls each baptized person to one of four vocations: marriage, single life, ordained ministry, or the consecrated life. Each vocation has its own dignity and can be a pathway to holiness. At the same time, Christian tradition has always upheld the special dignity of consecrated celibacy. In light of this, Christian Brothers Academy makes a special effort to promote vocations to the Christian Brothers and to the diocesan priesthood. CBA is proud of its many graduates who have answered Christ’s call to serve the Church as brothers, priests, or deacons. The links presented on this page should assist young men to discern the movement of the Spirit in their lives.
Christian Brothers' Contact Program Designed to help a young man (ages 18-35) discern if Christ is calling him to serve, the program has three components: retreats, spiritual mentoring, and summer ministry. A number of CBA graduates are members of this program. If you would like more information, please email Brother Joseph Brienza at email@example.com.
Benilde Club This club is for young men interested in the Christian Brothers or the Catholic priesthood. Monthly meetings are held in the Senior Lounge. Those interested in attending may contact Brother Joseph Brienza at firstname.lastname@example.org.