Student Spirituality


At St John Paul College, we honour the innate spirituality of every child by offering diverse experiences that nurture their spiritual growth. These experiences connect students to a faith community, providing a sense of security and belonging while reminding them of their deep worth and love.

We are dedicated to guiding students towards living responsible and just lives, embodying Gospel values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, advocacy for justice, and service to the poor and marginalised.

Our holistic approach encourages students to develop their whole selves, treat others with fairness and respect, take responsibility for their actions, and adhere to moral and ethical principles. This is achieved through Religious Education classes, daily prayer, retreats, reflection days, liturgies, and Mass.

The Emmaus Project

For each other, with each other, in Christ

Our Journey Together at SJPC. At its heart, the Emmaus Project aims to provide a pathway for our students’ formation from the moment that they enter the College until they graduate. As each student grows, we deeply desire for them to become more intellectually competent, articulate and confident in their questioning regarding faith issues. We hope that each of our students is able to identify where they can play a role in the world and be active participants in the Church of the future. 

To support this, we have developed a model based on the Gospels to help articulate the focus for each year group.

Parents - The Emmaus Project
Staff - The Emmaus Project
Year 7 - The Emmaus Project
Year 8 - The Emmaus Project
Year 9 - The Emmaus Project
Year 10 - The Emmaus Project
Year 11 - The Emmaus Project
Year 12 - The Emmaus Project

Youth Ministry

St John Paul College, a secondary school within St Augustine’s Parish, is deeply engaged in various ministries throughout St Augustine’s, Mary Help of Christians Parishes, and the wider Lismore Diocese. Our staff, students, and families actively participate in these ministries, fostering a strong community of faith.

At SJPC, we implement programs aligned with the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Student Discipleship Continuum, spanning from Year 4 to Year 12. This structured and age-appropriate continuum offers students meaningful, faith-filled opportunities to explore and grow in their faith.

Lismore Diocese Events for St John Paul College Students:

  • Year 7: Transitus Retreat (Diocesan)
  • Year 8: Festa Christi (Diocesan)
  • Year 9: Catch the Wave (YMO at SJPC) and SHINE (Offered to all students)
  • Year 10: SHINE (Youth Ministry Students attend)
  • Year 11 & 12: KAIROS (SJPC), LEAD (Diocesan), Street Retreat (Diocesan), SHINE (Diocesan)

Additional Discipleship Events:

  • IGNITE Conference: Held annually in Brisbane, this event is open to Year 9-12 students within our diocese and organized by the Emmanuel Community.
  • Australian Catholic Youth Festival: A biennial event directed by the Australian Bishops, providing a platform for young Catholics to engage in their faith.

Through these programs and events, St John Paul College nurtures the spiritual development of its students, encouraging them to actively participate in their faith communities and develop a deeper relationship with God.

For further information about any of these events, please contact our Leader of Evangelisation.

Additionally, the following programs are integral to our faith education:

Schools of Prayer
We nurture a deep understanding of the role of prayer in students' faith lives by developing a prayer focus that supports age-appropriate parish school engagement. Promoted forms of prayer in Catholic education include traditional prayers, the Rosary, Awareness Examen, Lectio Divina, and the contemplative prayer of Christian Meditation.

Music Ministry
Wildfire, the Diocesan Worship team, offers whole-school evangelisation to primary and secondary schools under the Proclaim Lismore and Ten: Ten Experience banners.

Digital Ministry
Proclaim Lismore Student digital platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, focus on youth evangelisation, praise and worship, and youth ministry digital networking through YouTube and Vimeo.

Youth Ministry Officers (YMOs)
These young adults are trained in Youth Ministry and work within our school and parish. Collaborating with the Leader of Evangelisation, YMOs provide students with opportunities to explore their faith more deeply. Throughout the year, YMOs organize before-school and lunchtime groups such as Awaken, Sisterhood, and Brotherhood, offering students a space to socialize, ask questions, and grow in their faith.

Youth Ministry Classes
Year 10 students can participate in Youth Ministry classes designed to help them explore their faith, serve the community, and engage more fully in Church life while completing their Religious Education curriculum.


The goal of our Retreat Program is to provide quality experiences for our students to explore their relationship with themselves, others and God. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 participate in Reflection Days at the College or in the local area, organised and run by the College Leader of Evangelisation and assisted by the College Youth Ministry Officer. Year 10 participates in a two-day overnight Retreat, and our Senior students participate in a three-day Senior Retreat.

These Retreats are compulsory events because they are such an important part of the spiritual, emotional, and social development of students at St John Paul College.

Mass, Liturgy and Prayer

Liturgy and prayer are an important part of the life of our school community. They are at the heart of Christian life, as modelled by Jesus himself, who often took time out to pray and reflect on his mission. We are called to do the same.

Each homeroom has the opportunity to celebrate Mass at St Augustine's Church in Coffs Harbour, and parents and caregivers are invited to accompany them. Students participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Religious education teachers and our school YMO work together to prepare students for these Sacraments and to actively and fully participate in the Mass.

Other significant events throughout the year, such as Ash Wednesday, Lent, Easter, The Assumption and Anzac Day, also allow our school community to gather, reflect, stand in solidarity with others, and pray. Assemblies, Year-level meetings, and Pastoral Care classes all feature prayer at their core.

This rich tradition of our Catholic school incorporates music, symbols and actions, and students are encouraged to participate in the organisation and presentation of the liturgies and prayer services to develop their spirituality, as well as grow in confidence in themselves and their gifts.

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"  (John 14:6)

St John Paul College, Coffs Harbour

Acknowledgement of Country

We recognise the Traditional Custodians of the Land on which we meet, the Gumbaynggirr people and their continued connection with this Land and waters. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge their stories, traditions and living cultures. We commit ourselves to actively work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for reconciliation, justice and truth telling.