“…Whatever you did for one of these least [people] of mine, you did for me.”
Mt. 25: 40
We look to Jesus Christ and the example of St. Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursulines, as our inspiration. Angela spent her life reaching out to women, children, and families suffering from the injustices of her time, and inspiring other women to do the same. For Angela, a life of service and works of mercy was living the Gospel. It is central to the mission of St. Ursula Academy and to the spiritual growth of every student.
THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY include:
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To house the homeless
To visit the sick
During your years at St.Ursula, you are required to engage in a variety of service projects. These acts of service should expand your awareness of those in need and develop your skills in responding to their needs. A crucial part of the growth process is to reflect upon your service, and to express it in writing. This reflection on your experience allows you to discover its impact on your own life and to realize the joy and grace that God can bring to you through your service efforts and the people working with you.
1. To encourage the student to see the value of service and the contribution they can make to society and the local community following in the spirit of St. Angela Merici.
2. To help the student broaden their personal vision of the work of social justice as modeled in the Scriptures.
3. To create a positive association and working spirit between St. Ursula Academy and local agencies serving those in need in the community at large.
4. To foster personal growth as the student uses their time, talent, and resources to serve others, and to encourage the student to find meaningful service utililizing their individual and unique abilities and interests.
BASIC CHRISTIAN SERVICE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
*Completion of all service hours is mandatory for graduation.
1. SIXTY (60) HOURS (minimum)-may be accumulated in one place or at several qualifying activities. There is an approved agency list for recommendations. An extended commitment at an approved agency (see list) during Junior year is recommended. The majority of students exceed the required hours as they find opportunities that are meaningful and fulfilling.
2. EXPECTATION- 20 hours by the end of the freshman year. 20 hours by the end of the sophomore year. 20 hours by the end of the junior year.
3. COMPLETION TIME- hours completed during the summer prior to Freshman year may be counted. Each year all hours need to be completed on or before April 1. Each term students should submit completed hours.
4. The Coordinators of Christian Service will track DOCUMENTATION of service hours. Forms need to be:
- Signed by a parent and or agency representative and include all requested information.
- Completed soon after service has been rendered, not later than April 1.
- A two-page written reflection is required. The reflection details what service has been completed for the entire year.
Possible questions: What was your service, what did you learn, how were you challenged, how did your service this year impact you and others in the community? In what way was the service reciprocal? How did this experience help, strengthen or challenge your faith life?
5. SERVICE MUST BE TO PEOPLE
- Pet therapy programs- taking animals to nursing homes/day care for residents (within an established program).
- Horseback riding lessons for physically/mentally challenged persons, for example, Vail Meadows.
- Training of assistance animals (see Assistance Dogs of America).
6. EXAMPLES OF SERVICE AREAS: the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick and infirmed, the marginalized; soup kitchens, food banks, schools, churches/parishes, nursing homes, after-school programs; non-profit organizations and events that focus around a cause (Salvation Army, muscular dystrophy, Habitat for Humanity, etc.). Again, please refer to the Corporal Works of Mercy as excellent starting points (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, etc.).
EXAMPLES THAT DO NOT FIT THE SERVICE DESCRIPTION:
Volunteering for political campaigns, volunteering for family members, times of worship (serving at Mass, ushering, etc), any volunteer time for corporations, companies, or individuals whose purpose is financial gain or profit (for example, teaching dance lessons at a dance studio, filing papers in a corporate office). Please note: simply doing something without pay does not necessarily qualify as Christian Service under these guidelines. Generally speaking, ideas for service should be approved before beginning (see attached list for reference).
For additional ideas or assistance, see the Coordinator of Campus Ministry.
7. SERVICE REQUIREMENT is not considered complete until all required paper work and reflections are submitted and accepted.