The founders of St. Stephen’s intended to provide a “Christian education.” While these words mean different things to different people, at St. Stephen’s the phrase expresses the School’s conviction that factual knowledge is a good thing only to the extent that one has a moral sense of what to do with it and a sense of holy mystery to accompany it.
The Chapel is the primary place where students have the opportunity to witness to their faith and to celebrate it in worship. Students and faculty are invited to share in planning and accomplishing these events.
Chapel attendance is required. St. Stephen’s takes its religious responsibilities as seriously as its teaching responsibilities. Students are expected to participate fully within the bounds of their own religious affiliation.
These services are conducted by St. Stephen’s clergy, with participation by faculty, students, and other members of the community. Services of Holy Communion are offered each Sunday, and attendance at these services is required for boarders. Special services of Holy Communion will be held to observe high feast days and the seasons of the Church calendar. The chaplain may be contacted for any matters related to the services of the Episcopal Church, such as Baptism, Confirmation, or Confession.
The St. Stephen's Chapel, designed by the architectural firm of Fehr and Granger, was nationally recognized after its completion in 1953 for its simple, powerful response to its Central Texas site. The building, situated on the highest point on campus, was conceived as a natural outgrowth of the terrain and climate and stands today as both the physical and spiritual center of the school.
A former chaplain at St. Stephen's wrote the following about the significance of the Chapel at St. Stephen's:
|The St. Stephen’s Chapel was built to the greater glory of God. It was built to be the center of life on this holy hill. Bishop Hines once said that “academic freedom and freedom of religion are twins born out of the same matrix . . . sharing the same bloodstream and some very vital organs.” The Chapel stands at the center of the school to witness always to that relationship.|
|The Chapel . . . should be open to all persons of every faith who would share their insight into what makes the world and its peoples what they are. Again, Hines wrote that “If religion is a source of reverence for the significance of every human being, just because he or she is a human being [then] we are gripped by a preoccupation with living and suffering men and women; [We must be] hostile to everything that is weighing them down; [we must] find it intolerable that anyone should be morally sacrificed, that any life should be remorselessly used up and flung aside as worthless. No group should be more passionate than the church in seeking the ends of human justice . . . that will enable all to live their lives well and participate in their God-given destiny.”|
Download the School Prayer, arrangement by Mark Kazanoff by clicking the image below.
|On several mornings per month, the MS and US gather for hymn sing. Everyone is invited to grab a hymnal and sing enthusiastically. Make a joyful noise!|