On the last official day of summer time, the sun shone brightly on the 4th annual Great Day of Service for Holy Cross. It was a day when the doors of Holy Cross Catholic High School, on Dixie Highway, shut and the 270 students and 25 faculty members went out into our community to serve the following agencies: Dare to Care, Uspiritus, Harbor House, Nazareth Home, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, Americana Community Center, Sacred Heart Home and St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities of Southern IN.
The day was not just about service, there was a great emphasis placed on awareness. Each of the 8 organizations the students served gave a tour, and a presentation concerning the mission, and remedies to the injustices within our community. Jackie Loftus, Alumni Director, served at Uspiritus: “After hearing about the children and here, we all left there feeling blessed for what we have and for having people who love us in our lives.”
The students were divided into their guilds; students from each grade level working side by side with teachers and faculty learning about child abuse, dementia, homeless mothers, refugees, neglected children, and the hungry of our community. They were given ideas and tools of how to break these cycles that plague the lives of so many. Then they served; playing with toddlers, sorting fabric that would be used for refugees to sew, pulled weeds to beautify areas, sorted 20,000 lbs. of food to be donated to local food banks, painted with the elderly, listened to the advice of an elderly football coach, who gave tips to our football players, wheeled the elderly down to Comfy Cow for an ice cream, and so much more.
Adyson Medley, a senior, said “We organized the material in the Fiber Works room at Americana Community Center. By the end of the day we had it cleaned and set up like a conference-style classroom so the children could learn just like we do at Holy Cross.”
The students are given the opportunity each year to take the values and lessons they learn in Theology class and act them out in the world. They do this more than once a year through the Holy Cross Christian Service program. Upon graduation they will have given at least 84 hours of service back to our community, culminating in a Senior Service Capstone project. Each senior chooses a non-profit organization to live the circle of faith in action; becoming aware of an injustice, completing research and interviews to analyze the injustice, and then taking action as a partner with a local non-profit. Each senior presents a thirty-minute presentation of the experience and how it has altered their perspective and compassion for those marginalized in our community. It can be a life-changing experience.
Between the Great Day of Service and the Service Program at Holy Cross our students learn how to live out the values of the Gospel in their everyday lives.
Copyright 2016 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp