Why do we require service hours? Our teens today are so busy with challenging course loads, sports and clubs, outside activities and responsibilities, then why are we bombarding them with more To Do’s?
Below is an excerpt from the United States Catholic Conference Bishops web site USCCB.org. That helps us understand the importance of service.
The roots of this call to justice and charity are in the Scriptures, especially in the Hebrew prophets and the life and words of Jesus.
In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus began his public life by reading a passage from Isaiah that introduced his ministry and mission. The Church must proclaim the transcendent message of the gospel and help:
- bring "good news to the poor" in a society where millions lack the necessities of life;
- bring "liberty to captives" when so many are enslaved by poverty, addiction, ignorance, discrimination, violence, or disabling conditions;
- bring "new sight to the blind" in a culture where the excessive pursuit of power or pleasure can spiritually blind us to the dignity and rights of others; and
- "set the downtrodden free" in communities where crime, racism, family disintegration, and economic and moral forces leave people without real hope (cf. Lk 4:18).
Our, communities are measured by how they serve "the least of these" in our parishes, schools, and beyond its boundaries-the hungry, the homeless, the sick, those in prison, the stranger (cf. Mt 25:31). Our local families of faith are called to "hunger and thirst for justice" and to be "peacemakers" in our own communities (c Mt 5:6,9). A school cannot really proclaim the gospel if its message is not reflected in its own community life.
Here at St. Francis we don’t want to just talk about being Christ like we want our students to live like Christ. This month our school theme is to “Learn together in Spirit”. Mrs. Cmaylo gave a wonderful presentation where she shared that learning is so much more than what happens in the classroom. Learning is what happens when we are out of the classrooms, meeting others, experiencing new things, seeing the unknown, challenging and stretching ourselves.
This is why service hours are such an important part of the St. Francis experience. We strive to ensure excellence in academics, athletics, arts, leadership and service. When our students are performing service they are learning in a way that encourages them to be life long learners. They are learning about their gifts and talents. They are learning how they are being called and what brings meaning to their life. They are learning how to be people of character.