Spiritual Life

At Canterbury, we recognize that spiritual growth is a vitally important part of a complete education—touching every aspect of learning and life at the School and key to the overall experience of personal growth that defines us. We prepare our students not only for success in higher learning and in life, but also to step forward as moral leaders in a complex, secular world.

We are open and inclusive.

Canterbury is a school with a foundation in the Catholic tradition that is warmly welcoming to students of all backgrounds and beliefs. We guide and encourage each student to pursue his or her own path of spiritual growth. Here, students’ individual explorations are enriched by encounters with friends who hold different beliefs as well as those who share their own. Canterbury provides transportation to various local places of worship.


We take pride in our core values.

Inspiring all we do at Canterbury is a set of five core values: Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Spirituality, and Self-Reliance.



We honor our Catholic heritage.

We offer Catholic students many opportunities to practice and deepen their faith: through celebration of Mass in The Chapel of Our Lady, class retreats, campus ministry events, and a program for those seeking to serve as sacristans. Read more about our spiritual heritage.


We encourage intellectual exploration.

A challenging theology curriculum explores the Catholic faith in depth as well as other world religions and topics in ethics and social justice. Read more about our theology course offerings.


We are dedicated to service and justice.

We put our beliefs into action through service to others in the cause of social justice. We take pride in the heartfelt commitment to service that unites our school community and in experiences of that service many Cantuarians describe as life-changing. Read more about our service trips and opportunities.


Learn more about Canterbury



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Fr. Mark Connell
Executive Director
San Miguel Academy of Newburgh


Center for Spirituality, Service & Justice



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

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. Learn more about our retreats.

Pizza and 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

Sacred Space

The Chapel of Our Lady

The Chapel of Our Lady is open during the day and on designated evenings for silent reflection and prayer.