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***The Service EXPERIENCE submission on ManageBac requires the supervisor’s valid email address and phone number. Know this before serving so students can get the necessary information to report their experience. It is up to the student to keep an accurate record of service experiences.
A Statement on the Philosophy and Objectives of CHRISTIAN SERVICE at Notre Dame Preparatory/ Marist Academy
CHRISTIAN SERVICE is an integral part of the Notre Dame Preparatory/Marist Academy experience.
As a school conducted by the Marist Community we learn from our good mother, Notre Dame and from her experience at Nazareth and in the early church how we can be effectively present as disciples of the Lord in our world today.
Students are encouraged to increase their interaction and direct contact those with whom they seek to benefit. This opens opportunities for students to personalize issues of inequality and injustice, both of which we are called as Christians to be concerned about.
Archbishop Oscar Romero once said, “You say you love the poor…name them.” If someone provides a service or engages in charity without ever knowing the people they are helping, it is very easy to disengage, objectify, and distance oneself from the situation. But when these issues have names and faces, it becomes harder to ignore. This is why our service program focuses on getting our students to have personal encounters. We want them to talk with residents at a nursing home, visit with clients at the food bank, and laugh with kids while tutoring spelling words. Knowing names and faces makes it harder to turn one’s back.
This also leads us to a deeper desire to do whatever we can to help….which can mean doing some pretty unpleasant tasks. When we know who we are working for, we will go the extra mile; and do so cheerfully. We lose the language that makes us say, “those poor people,” and we start thinking in terms of Jonah and Juanita whom we met at the shelter. Our personal relationship with them puts the situation in a whole new light.
In keeping with our mission statement “Work with God to help form Christian People, Upright Citizens, and Academic Scholars” and our IB philosophy of experiential learning, we believe the changes in our program will better reflect both.