Christian Service Program
At St. Michael High School, the Christian Service Program helps students grow as servant-leaders modeled after Jesus Christ. This program is responsible for providing avenues in which the students give back more than 20,000 volunteer hours of service to the community annually.
Serving others is at the very heart of the Christian life, for Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Jesus teaches us again and again that in encountering and serving people in need, we are meeting and loving God.
Accordingly, the students, faculty, and staff work hard to create a culture of service at St. Michael High School, where Christian service is integrated naturally into everything we do. Students help coordinate service projects through the Student Council, Key Club, Beta Club, Campus Ministry, and many other student organizations.
Faculty and staff encourage Christian service through the visible example of their many volunteer activities in the community, and coaches encourage team service projects to build unity and leadership. Throughout the year, students have countless opportunities to serve their school, church, and community.
In 2017, students volunteered over 20,000 hours of community service including visiting shut-ins, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, maintaining a pro-life prayer ministry, and adopting a sister Catholic school in New Orleans, in addition to traveling abroad for international mission trips.
Purpose of the Program: To provide for the kinds of powerful interpersonal experiences that can change the hearts of our students and teach them to readily see the dignity of every human person.
Service Hour Forms:
There are two types of service hours corresponding with Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Direct Hours - involve direct face-to-face human interaction with and service to those who are disabled, poor, elderly, handicapped or disadvantaged. These direct hours are required of each student (see chart below) and reflect the Gospel call of Jesus in Matthew 25 to help “the least among us,” or most in need.
Certain Pro-Life activities can count as “direct hours” - such as participating physically in a pro-life walk, prayer outside a clinic, etc. This is due to the importance of this injustice and lack of face-to-face opportunities to serve for our students. Other walks (hunger, cancer, etc) will count as indirect hours, because students can interact with this injustice more directly.
Indirect Hours - involve any number of good works where students provide assistance and service with and through community organizations, church, or school. Hours must be with an organization and able to be documented. These hours do not involve direct human interaction with the poor, elderly or handicapped.
One indirect hour may be done at home, for the student’s family. Examples would be helping with needs within students’ home without pay.
Freshmen: 10 Hours Required / Number of Direct Hours Must be At Least 5 (all done through theology classes)
Sophomore: 15 Hours Required / Number of Direct Hours Must be At Least 6 (3 done through theology classes)
Junior: 20 Hours Required / Number of Direct Hours Must be At Least 7
Senior: 25 Hours Required / Number of Direct Hours Must be At Least 8
*** Direct hours above reflect reduction in 2021-2022 due to Covid restrictions.
COVID Policy: As we evaluate the opportunities for direct hours with the pandemic restrictions, Theology teachers may offer opportunities for service that will count as direct hours, if the need arises.
- All documentation will be turned in to student’s theology teacher by December and April deadlines (see below)
- Students must record service hours on a cover sheet each semester and provide letterhead documentation/printed email of their service hours from the organization where they completed their hours
- Documentation must contain the name and contact information of the person who supervised the service
- A student’s family hour may be signed on the cover sheet by a family member
- The Missionaries of Charity at St. Agnes have a roster sheet and letterhead for all students from St. Michael. Please ask them for this
- Freshmen: Freshmen will complete their “Direct Hours” through activities coordinated in their Religion classes.
- Sophomores (2021-2022 only): Sophomores will complete half of their “Direct Hours” through activities coordinated in their Religion classes.
- Seniors: During their senior year, students will focus at least FOUR of their required hours with a specific injustice/topic. From this experience, students will prepare their Senior Social Justice Project
Fall 2021: Monday, December 6, 2021. Half of required hour documentation must be turned in to religion teacher at this time.
Spring 2022: Friday, April 25
Fall: Students who have not met requirements by December 6th may not take the midterm exams in any of their classes until they have met the requirements.
Spring: Students may not take the final exams in any of their classes until they have met the requirements.
Students who go above and beyond the requirements are recognized with Christian Service Awards each spring at the Christian Service Mass. The categories and requirements for these awards are:
Bronze Award: 10 hours above the minimum requirement
Silver Award: 25 hours above the minimum requirement
Gold Award: 50 hours above the minimum requirement