Forming students as young women who embody the Gospel is at the center of Immaculate Heart Academy's mission. Over the four years our students spend at IHA, they are continuously invited to dive deeper into their Catholic faith, further their relationship with God, and use their gifts in service to others.
Immaculate Heart Academy boasts a robust Campus Ministry program under the direction of Mrs. Sarah Shutrop, director of formation.
Campus Ministry Opportunities include:
Small Christian Communities: Weekly discussion groups where IHA's young women come together to pray, share, and support one another through their faith journies by reading, journaling, and conversing.
Grade Level Retreats: Each class gathers annually for a grade level retreat, a requirement for all students to complete each year. On these retreats, students reflect on their call as Catholic women, hear from dynamic Catholic speakers, identify their gifts, take part in team building activities, study scripture, and participate in faith sharing and the Sacraments.
- Seniors participate in an overnight retreat each year where they focus on their call as "Catholic Women on Mission," cast a vision for the legacy they wish to leave at IHA, and develop a plan for living out their mission as women who embody the Gospel in their remaining time at IHA.
We have two special summer programs that are offered on a rotating basis, bi-annually. BELIEVE. will take place Summer 2019 and 2021 and Mission@theheart will run Summer 2020 and 2022.
- BELIEVE. Conference: A two-night, Gospel-Centered personal development conference open only to IHA students. The conference takes place oceanfront at the Icona Diamond Beach Resort in Diamond Beach, NJ. Students will have time to enjoy the pool and the beach, as well as hear from Catholic Speakers such as Lisa Cotter, Katie Prejean McGrady, and alumna, Isabella Somera'17. Participants will take part in discussions, Mass, adoration, and enjoy a formal sisterhood dinner on the beach.
- Mission@theheart: A three-day summer service immersion trip that takes place in Kearny, NJ. This trip offers IHA students the opportunity to serve a variety of local non-profits, take part in workshops and discussion on social structures and Catholic social teaching, and participate in Sacramental experiences such as Mass, adoration, and confession.
IHA gathers as a community to celebrate Mass at least once per month. Students participate in liturgical planning and serve as altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, lectors, and choir members.
IHA offers Mass in the Sister's Chapel each day for students and faculty members as an opportunity to celebrate liturgy together as a community and ground ourselves in our Catholic faith before going out into the halls each day. For the 2019-2020 school year, daily mass will be offered as follows:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 a.m.
- Tuesday: 12:10 p.m. (Second Lunch)
- Thursday: 11:25 a.m. (First Lunch)
At the end of Junior year, rising seniors are invited to apply to be trained and commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers for the IHA community. These Extraordinary ministers of Communion serve at all school liturgies and may go forward to serve in their parishes.
Each year, IHA students are invited to apply to be trained and commissioned as Altar Servers. These young women serve Mass for the IHA community and go forward to serve in the same capacity in their home parishes.
Catholic Identity is also at the heart of the mission of the IHA faculty. With this in mind, each fall, the entire IHA faculty gathers for a day of retreat. Faculty members listen to presentations by well known, dynamic Catholic speakers, participate in discussions, share their own faith journies, and celebrate Mass together. The day ends with a few surprises from our students.