NMH is home to a diverse community of spiritually minded students and adults. The school’s goal is to provide students with the opportunity to follow the spiritual journey of their choice, whether that means supporting the traditions they come from, their exploration of new faiths, or simply acting as a sounding board if they want to talk.
We try to nurture those students interested in religious practice, contemplation, and discovery, and we offer a rich, inclusive experience—from Catholic confirmation classes to Sunday chapel services modeled on a broad Protestant tradition; from the food, fellowship, prayer, and inspirational singing of the Friday night Breakaway group to Passover Seders; from visits to a local Unitarian church to Buddhist meditation sessions. Support and guidance for all groups comes from Chaplain Michael Corrigan.
- Sunday Interdenominational Chapel is a traditional Christian service designed to meet the broad needs of students, faculty, and staff. Services are planned and led by the NMH chaplain with the assistance of the Board of Deacons, which includes students and faculty members. People from all faiths and backgrounds, as well as those who are simply curious, are welcome to attend. The service includes instrumental music and hymns, prayers, readings, and a weekly reflection. Regularly scheduled services of Holy Communion occur throughout the year. Families and visitors are always welcome.
- Breakaway is a weekly student-led, music-saturated, high-octane worship hour. Everyone is invited—even those uninterested in questions like, “If there is a God who loves me, would I want to know Him?” Held on Friday nights, students in Breakaway discuss issues like faith, friendships, and living through it all.
- The Buddhist Group is open to anyone interested in exploring the Buddhist practice of silent meditation. Weekly gatherings, as well as occasional field trips off campus to attend meditation retreats helps students find personal insight, stress release, and rejuvenation of energy and vitality.
- Deacons of the Church of Christ (Protestant) at NMH are chosen by the NMH chaplain from both students and faculty to assist with all aspects of the services held in Memorial Chapel for the school community. Services are held at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings during the academic year (no Summer Session services). Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Easter are also observed each year. The deacons set up the chapel for services, lead prayers, serve as readers of the appointed Scripture passages, greet people, collect the offering, serve as chalice bearers during Communion, and clean up following the service. Each term, the deacons are responsible for planning and executing one entire service, including having a senior student deacon give the Reflection. It is a goal to have each senior deacon give one reflection during the school year.
- The Jewish Student Alliance welcomes any community member who identifies themselves as Jewish, though guests are always welcome. There are Sabbath gatherings every Friday evening at 6:45 p.m., with singing, prayers, and blessings over wine and challah. There are opportunities to attend services at a local synagogue during the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, build a sukkah during Sukkot, cook latkes for a Hanukkah party, and celebrate Passover with a community Seder. Recently, the JSA sponsored a film night and welcomed the entire school; on another occasion, the group invited students from another school to celebrate the Sabbath at NMH with a meal and a guest leader of services.
- The Muslim Student Association provides an opportunity for Muslims to gather for fellowship, dialogue, and prayer. The association also works with the chaplain to make arrangements for fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. The main goal of the Muslim Students Association is to enable Muslim students to stay connected to their faith and to the local Muslim community. The group meets as often as possible to discuss different aspects and rules of Islam, and to travel to the Hampshire or Springfield Mosque. During the holy month of Ramadan, group members support one another.
- Spiritual Seekers include any student who wishes to explore his or her spiritual direction. The group is led by Chaplain Michael Corrigan.
- The St. Edmund Campion League of Catholic Students is a diverse group of students who identify themselves as Roman Catholics and of those who perhaps are not Catholic but wish in some way to be affiliated with students who are. St. Edmund Campion is one of the better known English martyrs, a brilliant Oxford graduate who became a Jesuit during the reign of Elizabeth I of England at a time when Catholicism was outlawed and punishable by death. St. Edmund returned to England secretly with the intention of encouraging and nurturing the Catholic faithful, but was executed for his beliefs.
League members attend Mass on Sundays at one of several local parishes. A confirmation class is offered on campus.
We also try to observe all Holy Days of Obligation by attending Mass together. We seek to understand the Catholic Faith better by practicing devotions and disciplines. One tradition we have, for example, is to walk to a local cemetery in early November to pray the Rosary for All Souls. The League also raises funds for Food for the Poor, which provides housing, medial care, and education for destitute families and children in the poorest Caribbean countries. At Christmas, we sponsor gifts for local families in need.
- Nature-Based Beliefs (Neo-Pagan), Native American, Hindu, and Unitarian groups are available locally if there is interest.