The Power of Service

The Power of Service
Joe Feld
By Joe Feld,
One aspect of Jesuit education that distinguishes it from others is the focus on service. Service is at the heart of what we do as a Jesuit institution.

This focus went on full display Monday, September 10, when we celebrated our Missioning Mass, a De Smet Jesuit tradition where we dedicated our juniors and sent them off to the first day of their year-long, weekly service projects. Later in the month, our sophomores will spend a school day serving our community as part of their Ascent Retreat program. Seniors are already in the midst of their 50 hours of service outside school on their own time.

In serving, our students begin to see the power they have—the power to brighten a senior citizen’s day with a game of chess, the power to put a smile on the face of a first grader by reading together, the power to help a child who has special needs by playing a simple game of soccer.

As a faculty member, I experience the joy of seeing this power firsthand when I visit junior project sites and the buddies of our students tell me how much they love it when our students are there. I see the power on Saturday mornings at the Solomon Project when working side by side with our seniors rehabbing houses in the North Grand Neighborhood. And I see the power in young men transformed by their acts of service during their time at our school.

As our students embark on the service work they will be doing, we say a prayer that they will realize the full power they have—the power to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Juniors at De Smet Jesuit spend each Monday afternoon serving the community at a specified location all year long, building relationships and expanding their perspectives. Juniors serve in nursing homes, elementary schools, and hospitals to help the elderly, the disadvantaged, and those with mental or physical challenges. To learn more about our comprehensive service program and how our students contribute to the world as men of virtue and action, please contact Fr. Schroeder, Chaplain and Service Project Team Coordinator. For more information about our junior service projects, contact John Hawkey, Junior Projects Coordinator and theology teacher.

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