Pastoral Ministry seeks to serve all students, faculty and staff as a beacon of hope, strength and guidance in their spiritual lives. It strives to provide regular encounters with Jesus Christ, particularly through the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration, Retreats, Days of Reflection, Acts of Service, Motivational Speakers, Spiritual Clubs and other programmatic initiatives.

Pastoral Ministry truly exists and takes on the mission of helping every individual of the Bishop Dwenger community to better know, love and serve Jesus Christ through fulfillment of His will for their personal lives.

“...The laity must make progress in holiness in a happy and ready spirit, trying prudently and patiently to overcome difficulties. Neither family concerns nor other secular affairs should be irrelevant to their spiritual life…The Lord renews His invitation to all the laity to come closer to Him every day…”

(Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Pope Paul VI, November 18, 1965, Chapter 1, Article 3-4; Exhortation)

Calendar of events related to Pastoral Ministry include: Holy Mass, Reconciliation and Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel multiple times per week; Daily student lead prayer before each lunch period; Monthly All School Masses; Annual school-wide Bishop’s Pastoral Visit; Foreign Language Balloon Rosary; Saints on the Move Service Day; Advent and Lenten Reconciliation Services; Stations of the Cross, Vocations Day, May Crowning and more.

Pastoral Ministry is available to offer spiritual guidance to students, faculty and staff members or parents who may be experiencing grief, peer or dating relationship difficulties, peer pressure, parental divorce and other related issues. It is also available to provide support on issues related to vocational discernment, faith development, prayer life, and more. A professional counselor is available to assist with more serious emotional and/or psychological issues.

Contact Information:

Campus Minister:
Jason Garrett, 260-496-4736,

Service Coordinator:
Nancy Yorke, 260-496-4742,

Student Life Counselor:
Melinda Cochran, 260-496-4716,

Class Saints

Each class has a patron saint which represents the gifts of Mary to the Church.

saint simon stock freshman saint

FRESHMAN- Their Saint is St. Simon Stock, and they receive the Scapular at the Freshmen Mass. The Scapular promise is based on the two elements of Mary's spiritual maternity and her mediation of grace, that is that she is the 'spiritual' mother of all mankind, as well as the 'channel' by which all grace comes to us, understood in the sense that she too is dependent on the sole mediation of Christ, her son. This promise implies that Mary will intercede to ensure that the wearer of the Scapular obtains the grace of final perseverance, that is of dying in a state of grace.

saint catherine laboure sophomore saint

SOPHOMORES- Their saint St. Catherine Laboure and they receive the Miraculous Medal. This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady's intercession for those who wore it.

saint dominic junior saint

JUNIORS- St. Dominic and the Rosary It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.

saint juan diego senior saint

SENIORS- St. Juan Diego. As the tradition of each Bishop Dwenger graduate receiving a flower when they graduate the Seniors will also present a flower to Mary on their senior retreat. This gift to Mary is in gratitude for all the gifts they have received at Dwenger.

Professional Counseling & Peer Mediators

Counseling Services are confidential within limits. Parents are kept informed while maintaining necessary confidences with students. Referrals are generally made by parents.

Reasons for referral include:

  • Sadness or irritable most of the time
  • Loss of interest in activities or friends
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Extreme worrying
  • Extreme restlessness or agitation
  • Severe test anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Extreme moodiness
  • Constant conflicts
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Complicated grief or loss issues
“If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.”

(Romans 12:18)

Students learn to handle conflict in a peaceful way which resolves the conflict and meets the needs of everyone involved. Training to be a mediator takes place at the beginning of the school year. Being a Peer Mediator is considered a school leadership position.

Mediation is: A process involving two mediators and two people having a conflict.

Goals of Mediation: To help people resolve their problems. To come to an acceptable agreement. To treat each other with respect. To improve relationships. To speak honestly about feelings.

Service Hour Guidelines for 2022-23

As part of a Christian education, our Catholic identity, and our mission statement, all Bishop Dwenger students are required to complete service hours outside of school hours for human beings. Dog sitting is not accepted, nor service to animal shelters for either semester.

Each student is required to complete a minimum of 20 service hours each school year. 

  • 1st Semester - Junior and Senior students need 10 list hours, all ten from one site from the list provided. These hours will target the poor, needy, underserved.
  • 1st Semester - Sophomores and Freshmen will need 10 flex hours of service to any population, as church, school, neighborhood, family.
  • 2nd Semester - ·Juniors and Seniors need 10 flex hours to any population, such as church, school, and neighborhood.
  • 2nd Semester – Sophomores and Freshmen will need 10 list hours, all ten from one site from the list provided. These hours target the poor, needy, underserved. 
  • Any ‘list’ exceptions need to be reviewed w/ Mrs. Yorke before beginning your service, use email to make requests.

Why Required Service?

A life of service is Catholic social teaching in action. “True power is service,” says Pope Francis. As a pillar of our school, we realize that through service we more closely follow the footsteps of Christ. As Pope Emeritus Benedict urged our youth; “the love of Christ should increase our joy, so go in search of those less fortunate.”

The entire student body is involved in required service projects through their religion classes. All classes perform twenty service hours each year, ten of which must target the poor, indigent and needy. 

We share a list of different social agencies that have agreed to partner with our students for service opportunities. A service learning reflection paper or project is also part of the service commitment. An example would be: tutoring children at the Euell Wilson Center, an after- school Christian based program located on Oxford Street in the mid-city. Our students help their members to raise their literacy level. Our students read aloud to their Euell Wilson buddy, or the other way around. Although many of “buddies” reading aloud might be noisy, it is a beautiful sight!

There are many benefits of performing service work in our community. As stated by Ted Sanders of the Education Commission of the United States, more than 80% of the schools with service learning programs report that participating students’ grade point averages improve. Another study from Springfield, Massachusetts, found the drop-out rate in their school decreased from 12% to 1% and the percentage of students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher, increased from 12% to 40%, with service learning as part of their school’s curriculum.

When students start the process of completing service hours, they must first contact the organization of which they will be serving. This provides an opportunity for them to learn and practice how to make a self-introduction. They must also learn to ask essential questions about location, time, supplies, and orientation. Afterward the student may reflect and evaluate how things went, how things could work better next time, the gifts and talents they have used in the process, and what would benefit them more next time. Communication skills, time management, and responsibility are all employed and strengthened in the process of doing service.

As parents and guardians of our Saints, you are their #1 teacher. Thank you for being good mentors, in many ways, including service. If you would like to try a family service project, I strongly recommend it. Mother Teresa says, “A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty us of ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, and the fruit of service is peace.”

Nancy Yorke, Service Coordinator (260) 496-4742

Click here for the list of service sites and other service information.