Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

Our Catholic heritage includes a spiritual dimension that has a profound impact on students and teachers from all faiths and traditions. Indeed, a significant percentage of our students are non-Catholic, a testament to the inclusive atmosphere they find on campus and the importance they, and their families, place on education that fosters and values spiritual growth.

Guided by our mission, we strive to nurture a campus community that is committed to respectful dialogue and mutual support across religious and cultural differences, and that encourages students to gain both knowledge and experience with respect to world religions, which are essential to effective modern citizenship.

"God knows us from within ourselves, not as objects, not as strangers,
not as intimates, but as our own selves."

- Thomas Merton




Sacristans are expected to contribute to the positive growth of the school community by their good example; exemplifying the Five Values and ideals of Canterbury School and that of a sincere Christian. Sacristans at Canterbury will lead by their example of faith and charity. The position of Sacristan is the most respected and highly regarded student leadership position at Canterbury. Personal character, demonstrated faith, and leadership qualities define those Sixth Formers who earn a position as Sacristan. Sacristans live a life of faith and service and encourage the spiritual life of their peers through their active example.

The Sacristans help organize retreats, offer daily reflections and prayers at School Meeting, serve at Mass, and encourage others to a life of service. Sacristans, with the support of faculty involved in Campus Ministry, the Chaplain, and the Interfaith Council, serve as the most active and vibrant force in the spiritual life of Canterbury.

2019 Sacristan Installation

Liturgy & Sacramental Preparation


The heart of the spiritual life of the School is the celebration of Mass. Canterbury observes all Holy Days of Obligation. Mass is celebrated daily, and the entire community comes together for Mass on Sunday. Sacristans serve at each Mass. While the framework for spiritual life is provided by the teachings of the Catholic Church, students of all faiths are encouraged to draw on their own religious traditions

Each year, the Chaplain prepares a group of students for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Bishop makes the annual trip to campus to perform the ceremony. Catholic students may also prepare for Baptism and other Sacraments. Students not receiving the Sacraments are encouraged to play active roles in all ceremonies and liturgies.

2018 Confirmation

Interfaith Council



Interfaith Council leaders are, like their Roman Catholic Sacristan peer group, selected for their personal character, demonstrated faith, and leadership qualities. Members of the Interfaith Council have embraced and demonstrated a life of faith and service and aim to encourage the spiritual life of their peers through engagement and dialogue.

Along with the Sacristans, the Interfaith Council serves as an active and vibrant force in the collective spiritual life of Canterbury. They help organize and plan campus ministry events, share daily reflections and prayers at school meeting, foster dialogue and awareness among students of all faiths, and encourage others to a life of service through their active example.

Canterbury supports all students in engaging in their own religious traditions. There are a number of places of worship within a short distance from campus. If a student or family is interested in connecting with a local place of worship, they can contact the Student Life Office (860)210-3861 for further information.

Above: Interfaith Council 2017-18:  Will McArdle ’18, Jeaneville Quaye ’18, Ariella Haas ’18 Seidu Shamsudeen ’18


Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry

The Campus Ministry Program at Canterbury invites students to explore their faith and provides experiences through which they can share their faith with others. The Campus Ministry Program, though based in the Catholic tradition, reaches out to students of all faiths.

Campus ministry at Canterbury offers intellectual interpretations of faith combined with open discussion, group learning, and service. It offers a variety of ways for students to explore their faith.


Retreats create a space for students to reflect on their hectic lives and recognize the loving and forgiving presence of God.

Pizza & Prayer

Pizza and Prayer is a dinner gathering held on various evenings to accommodate both boarding and day student schedules. It is a discussion event in which students and faculty socialize and engage in conversation centering on spiritual topics or in service project work.

Service Trips

Service trips allow students to put their faith into action.

Read more


Lessons & Carols    

Lessons and Carols is one of Canterbury's enduring holiday traditions. The program includes songs performed by Chorale, Schola Cantorum, Canterbury Community Choir, and members of the Orchestra. It is an all-School celebration that begins with Christmas dinner. Following dinner, students and faculty gather in the School's chapel for Lessons and Carols.

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Fr. Mark Connell
Executive Director
San Miguel Academy of Newburgh

Frank Bice '77

Spiritual Heritage





Chapel of Our Lady

A space for silent reflection and prayer for our community.

Center for Spirituality, Service & Justice

"The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything."

Saints In Action

A community living its faith.