“Men for Others”: A Call to Serve

"Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and his Christ - for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that the love of God which does not issue in justice for men and women is a farce."

These words of Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, give focus to the education that is offered to the young men of De Smet Jesuit High School.

Students are led to understand that talents are gifts to be developed, not for self-satisfaction or self-gain, but rather, with the help of God, for the good of the human community. Students are encouraged to use their gifts in the service of others, out of a love for God.

To achieve this, De Smet Jesuit offers a four-year, comprehensive service program, which encourages students to become other-centered.

Freshmen learn more about the De Smet Jesuit community by giving of their time at school events. Sophomores offer time at school, and are encouraged to help in neighborhoods and church communities. Each Monday juniors leave campus to work at one of more than 120 area service agencies. On Tuesdays they bring these experiences into class and relate them to their readings. Often, as seniors, the students continue their work with these service agencies in other capacities. Many students participate in our service-learning trips to Honduras, Belize, South Dakota, or New Orleans to learn from and help those in need.

Junior and Senior class service projects typically focus on these areas:

Disabled Adults

Students are given the responsibility of helping mentally and/or physically challenged adults on field trips, tutoring, teaching job skills and aiding them in everyday tasks.


Agencies in this category will bring students into contact with underprivileged children. They include shelters for the homeless, homes for children from dysfunctional families, Catholic schools in low-income neighborhoods and inner-city grade schools. Students primarily tutor and recreate with the people there.


Students are in a unique position to be of service to the elderly in nursing homes and day care centers. Students at these agencies are involved in friendly visiting, helping conduct activities, reading letters to the residents, and generally taking an interest in their lives.

Head Start Programs

Head Start is a federally-funded program which provides pre-school education for economically disadvantaged children who may not otherwise receive the intellectual stimulation needed to thrive when they get to school. De Smet Jesuit students interact with the children and become male role models.

Health Care

These agencies focus on children who have been afflicted with a health problem, ranging from hearing impairment to recuperating from injury or operation. De Smet Jesuit students provide tutoring, play games with the children and attempt to instill a positive attitude.

Special Education

Students in this area of service will work in special schools (both public and private) in which all students have a special need. Working with a classroom teacher, De Smet Jesuit students interact with children who have a variety of special needs, such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, mental disabilities and behavior disorders to help provide individual attention that the students require.

De Smet Jesuit Mission Week

Since its inception in 1971, the De Smet Jesuit community pauses collectively for seven straight days to reflect on our Catholic, Jesuit mission for what we call Mission Week.

Mission Week is the time set aside to recall our larger purpose by deepening our commitment to Gospel values and spiritual tradition of St. Ignatius Loyola. It inspires deepened reflection on De Smet Jesuit High School's mission to form men with and for others, and hopes to put our shared commitment to service in a global perspective. Our primary objective is to help students grow as companions - friends with the Lord and friends with the poor.

To aid our reflections, Mission Week activities invite the De Smet Jesuit High School community to reflect on these values:

Prayer: To grow as friends in the Lord;

Education: To cultivate an awareness of the experience of the poor and marginalized;

Solidarity: To develop our experience of being friends with the poor;

Stewardship: To recognize that our gifts are not our own, but are meant to be shared with others.

Mission Week is also a time to “let down our hair” and have some fun. Some such Mission Week activities include featured motivational speakers, a talent show, a coffee house, a father-son poker night and the annual basketball game of members of the senior class versus De Smet Jesuit alumni.

Service Project Forms