Spirituality & Service
At Dominican Academy, we pride ourselves on our Roman Catholic identity. We believe that a well-rounded education must nurture our students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, regardless of faith or creed. While 80% of our students identify as Catholic, the remainder are Christian, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or non-religious.
Service learning is an academic program that combines direct service with education and classroom reflection. The goal of this four year program is to empower our students to use their voices to stand with the voiceless, to encounter God on the margins, and to realize the practical applications of their classroom learning.
Students spend a day at a local community center serving the homeless, elderly, or disabled. They prepare for this Urban Plunge day throughout the year in their theology coursework, and discuss and reflect on the experience afterwards.
Students expand on their Freshman year service trip with the Sophomore Retreat Experience (S.R.E.). Students stay at D.A. overnight and go to local community centers the next morning for a day of service. In the evening, they return to D.A. to celebrate mass and reflect on their service.
Building upon their Christian Ethics curriculum, students work in small groups to advocate for a cause about which they are passionate. They present the results of their four month advocacy to the D.A. community during the JAXPO Fair in June. Recent topics have included bullying, the portrayal of women in the media, education reform, and teenage homelessness.
Thirty Hours---All students are required to complete thirty hours of community service at a site of their choosing.
Social Justice Seminars at Regis---On Tuesday afternoons in the spring, Dominican Academy seniors join Regis High School seniors for Social Justice Seminars. Guest speakers are invited to share how they are working for justice. Afterwards, there are small group discussions. The goal of this unique program is to have students engage each other on a number of important social justice and Christian service issues around the world, and to prepare our students for the co-ed world of college. Topics have included immigration, sweatshop labor, juvenile sentencing laws, and global health issues.
Students participate in a retreat each year during their time at Dominican Academy. Retreats are student-run and take place both here at school and offsite at retreat houses nearby. The program aims to allow our students to explore their unique relationship with God and to understand that faith affects every aspect of their lives and relationships.
Freshmen retreat is held at Dominican Academy over the course of a school day. It is crucial in helping the students foster bonds with their new classmates. The Freshman Retreat is moderated by faculty members and facilitated by upperclasswomen.
The students spend the night at Dominican Academy before travelling to service centers the next day where they work with the homeless, elderly or disabled. After the day of service, students return to D.A. to attend mass and reflect on their experiences. The Sophomore Retreat is moderated by faculty members and facilitated by upperclasswomen.
Students embark on the 11th grade capstone retreat, In Via. This is one of the pivotal spiritual experiences during a student's time at D.A. The location and content of the retreat are kept secret. In Via is moderated by faculty members and facilitated by senior leaders.
To round off the retreat program, seniors spend a night at a retreat house with their classmates as retreat leaders. They spend this time reflecting on their four year experience at D.A. and prepare for their transition into college. The Senior Retreat is moderated by faculty members and facilitated by senior leaders.
At the beginning of the school year, interested seniors are ordained as Eucharistic Ministers. In preparation, students work closely with the members of the Theology Department to understand their ministry better.
Dominican Academy Preachers (DAPs)
This group is dedicated to highlighting our Dominican identity. DAPs members plan and lead the freshmen retreat, plan our Global Awareness Week each spring, and coordinate a toy drive for children in Haiti.
The largest club at D.A., students in Campus Ministry serve a meal once a month at New York Common Pantry, screen documentary films, and bring awareness campaigns to campus.
Students are invited to share their vocal and musical talent with the school community during all Masses and celebrations.
Led by Dance Instructor, Ms. Eleanor Bunker, liturgical dancers enhances our liturgies by expressing prayer through motion. The dancers lead the procession in and out of mass as well as participate in parts of the Mass.
The Big Onion: This intensive service experience takes place over the summer at Dominican Academy. Our students and students from Dominican high schools in Akron, Memphis, and New Orleans spend a week doing service and exploring the role of the Dominican Pillars – community, prayer, study and just actions – in their own lives. Each day, students go to service sites throughout the city where they encounter those living on the margins. This opportunity allows our students to respond to Christ's call to use their gifts and talents in service to others.
Service Immersion Trip to Zambia: Select rising seniors travel to Zambia to visit sister Dominican school, Our Lady of Fatima. During their two-week visit, our students immerse themselves in the community by attending classes during the day, and assisting doctors and nurses with fieldwork in the surrounding areas. This presents an invaluable opportunity for our students to engage in service and solidarity with other Dominican girls half a world away.
Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice: D.A. student representatives travel to Washington, DC to advocate for social justice issues at the largest annual Catholic social justice gathering in the United States.
Civil Rights Immersion Trip: Students enrolled in our Civil Rights in America elective travel to Atlanta, Georgia to explore the birthplace of the American Civil Rights movement through fellowship, prayer, and visits to local monuments.