McCarthy Catholic College is a member of the Armidale diocesan system of Catholic schools, drawing students from seven local parishes.
During Mentor Group each day, McCarthy staff and students begin the day with prayer. Students learn about the nature and importance of prayer in Religious Education classes and also pray in many other lessons during their day. All meetings and the weekly whole-school assembly begin with prayer also.
The school hosts a community Lenten prayer group each year.
The Rosary is a focus for prayer in May and October.
Intercession is made of the diocesan Patron Saint, Our Lady of the Rosary, at the end of each prayer.
Students are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the parishes to which they belong. The whole school attends Mass once a term during school time, to celebrate significant feasts in the Church.
Staff, students and families are encouraged to attend First Friday Mass each month, led by the St Vinnies members, at St. Nicholas Church.
The school supports significant events in parishes.
Twilight retreats are held for senior students twice a year. Retreats for junior students are held periodically. Selected students assist in the running of the St Nicholas Confirmation Retreat each year. Staff attend Diocesan retreats on a voluntary basis.
McCarthy Catholic College supports a number of charitable appeals each year. Primary beneficiaries are St Vincent de Paul, Caritas and Catholic Mission. The school donates around $40 000 a year to charities.
The Family Support Group provides specific pastoral care to families in particular short-term need. This includes meals, clothing, vouchers and personal support.
St Vincent de Paul
McCarthy Catholic College has its own conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (St Agnes). The conference is actively involved in the community and within the school.
All students in Years 7 – 10 study Religious Education as part of the mandatory curriculum. In Years 11 and 12 students select either Studies of Religion I or Studies of Religion II as part of their Higher School Certificate study program.
Staff members are involved in all areas of the Catholic life of the school. A Spiritual Development Day is held for staff annually and fortnightly staff meetings begin with professional development related to an aspect of the Catholic faith. The weekly Briefing begins with all staff joining in prayer.