For many young people, the college years are a time of spiritual questioning. We are committed to helping them remain connected to the church and nurturing their spiritual growth during these formative years. We realize that our cadets will go on to be leaders in their communities and parishes; they are people who will make a difference in the years to come. Therefore, we see this ministry as having far reaching consequences for them, personally, and for our church. We at Holy Innocents believe we are helping to grow future generations of lay leaders, vestry members, and wardens for the Episcopal Church. We are delighted that the cadet ministry continues to grow and that the cadets participate in the life of the congregation.
One of the important features of our cadet ministry is Canterbury Club, comprised primarily of cadets and some members of the Academy's staff and faculty. We meet Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:15pm in Thayer Hall, Room 347, for pizza and soda, prayer, and discussion of issues of interest to the cadets. All members of our parish are welcome at these meetings.
Ministry to cadets takes place year round. During the school year (August through May), the cadets worship at Holy Innocents Church and participate as lectors, acolytes, choir members, and Sunday School teachers. We also have cadet representation on the parish Vestry. During Cadet Basic Training, (in July and August) there is a Sunday 8:00 a.m. service at West Point in Thayer Hall near Robinson Auditorium, so the new cadets (freshmen) can attend. We also conduct Sunday services at Camp Buckner for the new sophomores usually in the early afternoon.
We offer two retreats each year. The first retreat, in mid-August, introduces the freshman class to the upper class cadets in Canterbury Club. It builds friendships that will carry throughout the four years at West Point. In February, we go on a retreat to rest, relax and have a lot of fun. This strengthens community and friendship among club members.