The chaplains and other adjunct members of the chapel program are trained to help students and adults in the community with a variety of spiritual and personal issues. Pastoral care is a term indicating the range of services the chaplains are here to provide students and families, from informal counseling to the marking of important life–cycle events.
Advising and Student Assistance
As part of the Health Committee, the head chaplain meets with other professionals and administrators to give heed to and advise on a range of issues affecting student life and wellbeing at the school. Formally trained school counselors are on staff to give professional advice and the chaplains are also trained to assist students in processing a variety of life issues such as change, loss, grief, uncertainty, being away from home, and other issues frequently encountered by adolescents, often for the first time during their years at St. Mark’s.
Baptism and Confirmation
Students who are considering making a faith commitment, as is customary in many traditions during adolescence, can look to the chaplaincy for support. Preparation classes are offered annually on campus culminating in Episcopal baptism and/or confirmation in Belmont Chapel; and local churches and other houses of worship offer preparation to our students in other faith traditions. Parents are encouraged to notify the Chaplain’s Office of possible interest although the decision to proceed or not to proceed remains with the student.
Weddings in Belmont Chapel are customarily reserved for immediate members of the school community and alumni/ae and are not normally conducted while school is in session. A small pamphlet explaining the use of Belmont Chapel, fees for services, and other details may be obtained by contacting the Chaplain’s Office or the Alumni/ae Office.
Memorials and Funerals
Memorials and funerals, though rare, are important to the life of a community. While such services are offered for immediate members of the school community, members of the alumni/ae body may find it important to mark such transitions during Alumni/ae Weekend or at another time as arranged through the Head of School’s and Chaplain’s offices.
The Chaplain’s Office is able to provide copies of the School Prayer and Hymn to those requesting them.