Faith & Service
“What good is it, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”
– James 2:14
Here at St. Michael Academy, all that we do – everything – is infused with the teachings of Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Rather than relegate religion to a single course, or a single event during the week, opportunities to demonstrate and live-out our faith in tangible ways occur all throughout the school day, on the athletic fields, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities.
Below are some primary ways that Faith and Service form the centerpiece of our mission at SMA.
Prayer throughout the Day
Prayer permeates the school day at SMA. Each class period begins with prayer. On days without Mass, we conduct a student-led prayer service and convocation we call Forum, which consists of the morning offering, the St. Michael Prayer, the student prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Gospel Reading, and the Saint of the Day. We follow that with the Angelus at noontime, and we conclude the day with the Divine Mercy Prayer at dismissal.
We also pray a “Living Rosary” at least once a month and our “Living Stations of the Cross” are an annual Lenten tradition. Through persistent prayer, our students are reminded continuously of the power of prayer to combat “evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself. For this reason, we celebrate Mass twice a week (Tues & Thurs at 11:30am at SMA), on First Fridays at St. Francis Xavier Parish (at 8:00am), and on other days, as possible.
It’s our tradition to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint! Festivities include includes Mass, student council elections, and various competitions between the students, divided into teams of Athenians and Spartans. We pause in the midday for a magnificent feast, with Roast Goose and all the fixings! “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!”
The SMA Pro-Life Club is active in promoting the cause of life – in the public square, through its prayer vigils at Planned Parenthood, and in the lives of at-risk mothers and fathers, through support of the Petoskey Pregnancy Care Center.
Retreats and Mission Trip
Each school year, we conduct at least one student retreat and one out-of-town mission trip to allow our students to reflect on their faith in light of contemporary concerns, and how to serve and love their neighbors in communities which suffer from poverty and hopelessness.
Our Chaplain is Father Peter Wigton, Pastor at nearby St. Mary Parish in Charlevoix. Fr. Wigton is a blessing for our students, in his holy and towering presence at Mass, as confessor, and as counselor and mentor. He has also been instrumental in partnering with SMA to expand our programs at his parish school in Charlevoix.
Brown Cord Ministry
All SMA students are required to practice love of neighbor through service to the local community. Inspired by St. Francis, our students volunteer at food pantries, retirement homes, hospitals, pregnancy care centers, and for other worthy local causes. As charity begins at home, our students also provide service to our academy, performing daily chores and larger monthly maintenance projects. Students who complete 20 hours of service are recognized at graduation.