At Sacred Heart School, students are encouraged to understand how service fits into a larger picture of the world.
This year the continued call for service was made more concrete and official, with a 100-hour service challenge to students in grades 9-12. In the fall, it was announced that seniors who have achieved 100+ hours of service by graduation will be recognized with a special white honor cord. This is done in conjunction with the school’s philosophy to foster students who become “citizens who are responsive to the needs of society.”
Last week high students gathered on a Saturday morning to help clean a stretch of highway the school has adopted. The students clean this adopted stretch along highway each fall and spring — and don’t seem to mind doing the task.
In addition to the challenge to serve others, Sacred Heart is unique in the offering of a Christian Service Learning Class, which fosters the call as Christians to serve others.
Christian Service Learning explores the Christian foundations of service as found both in Scripture and in the Tradition of the Church. Their teacher, Roger Pieper, explains that, “students have been especially studying how all Christian service is a continuation of the mission of Christ to bring all of humanity into relationship with God, which is only possible by recognizing the dignity of each person.”
On Tuesday, the CSL students spent their first day at their service sites, the Women’s Pregnancy Center in Grand Forks, Altru YMCA, and assisting Fr. Bill Sherman.
The call to service does not start in just the high school. In the elementary, students are constantly encouraged to serve and are provided ample opportunities through events such as Rake-a-thon, Advent clothing, food, or toy drives, visiting the nursing homes, and various other volunteer opportunities during the year. During Rake-A-Thon, the younger students in Preschool-2nd grade pick up litter around the community, while older students in grades 3-12, faculty, and administration rake the lawns for over 30 homes in the greater Grand Forks community. This year’s Rake-A-Thon will be held October 23rd (weather permitting).
School President, Carl Adolphson, says, “we plan to continue volunteer opportunities such as ditch cleaning, Rake-a-thon, and food and clothing drives. By giving our students the opportunity to serve others we hope, upon adulthood, they will be compassionate, selfless, caring and giving individuals.”