"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will say in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ " Matthew 25:34-40
It is in this Gospel of Matthew, that we find the basis and rationale of the Works of Mercy Service Program at Pope John XXIII High School. This program is one of the tangible ways that Pope John XXIII seeks to educate the total person. As the parents and primary educators of your children, we will seek your involvement and assistance in achieving this goal.
Every student, as a component of their education at Pope John XXIII, is required to complete a minimum of 100 Works of Mercy Hours according to the following schedule:
Freshmen – 15 hrs Hours & Papers due January 7, 2014
Sophomore – 20 hrs Hours & Papers due March 25, 2014
Junior – 30 hrs Hours & Papers due May 1, 2014
Senior – 35 hrs Hours & Papers due April 15, 2014
At least 1/2 of the hours must be earned interacting with the people that the agency serves!
Students will be encouraged to choose their service opportunities each year, with the understanding that they must serve a variety of populations during their four years with us. For example, a student may only use VBS or teaching CCE (or similar) once during their 4 years. In addition, students need to be working with an approved agency, organization, church, shelter, or at a Pope John sponsored event identified as a Work of Mercy. As the hands and feet of Christ on earth, we are striving to provide a wide array of experiences for our students. The key point to remember is this:
In order for service hours to fulfill the requirements of our Works of Mercy program, they must be spent working with the POOR at an approved agency. Keep in mind that individuals may experience poverty in a variety of ways….poverty can be defined in terms of income level, physical disability, spirituality, education, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, etc.
Working with sports teams/cheer teams etc. will NOT fulfill your requirement unless the individuals are disabled. In addition, caring for members of your family or caring for animals will NOT fulfill our Works of Mercy requirement. Also, no more than 10% of your total hours may be earned directly helping our school.
Students should spend at least half of their required hours serving face to face with the people that the agency serves. Of course, we would encourage our students to participate in any and all service opportunities that they can, but only those as described above will count towards completion of their annual requirement.
Whenever possible, we will provide service opportunities throughout the school year. All opportunities will be posted on our school website, announced after weekly Mass, and communicated through the Houses. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each student to schedule their service projects. Please be sure and have your project approved by the Campus Minister before you begin!
Once the student has completed his or her service requirement for the year, the student will write a Reflection Paper that will serve as a TEST GRADE for Theology. See above for important grade level deadlines. Late papers will have points deducted. Grade level guidelines for the paper can be found on the actual instruction sheet. Students will not be allowed to graduate or to advance to the next grade level without fulfilling this requirement!
In addition, all Junior and Senior students are required to make a short oral presentation on the topic of their service project. This will take place in the student's Theology class during the second semester.
HOW CAN PARENTS GET INVOLVED? We could not provide such worthwhile service opportunities without the assistance of our parents! We will need parents to drive students to service venues and to help with organizing opportunities. We will also need volunteer chaperones!