Minds to Lead – Hands to Serve – Hearts to Love

Student Life

Christian Service

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten
to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the
sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”  St. Augustine

The goals of Austin Catholic include developing mature young men and women who will use their
God-given talents for loving and grateful service to each other, to society, and to God. The Christian
Service program serves the community by bringing Christ to the community and seeks to instill a

life-long commitment to service in our students. Our objective is to teach students about social
justice and the effects of injustices in our world. The most effective teachers of these lessons will be
the people our students serve, those people who understand what injustice means.
Each year, the board of directors, alumni, faculty and staff, families, and students of ACHS
contribute hundreds of hours of service to different populations, representing who we truly are as a
faith community. We seek to grow in love of God and neighbor through the process of education,
participation, and cooperation by working within the school and community, and with the poor and
vulnerable. Students are encouraged to diversify their service to have a meaningful and worthwhile
experience of the world around them, while contributing to it.
The Austin Catholic Christian Service Program is a fully integrated 4-year program with the goal of
fostering service, justice, and spiritual growth. Through specific programming and graduated
experiences, each student will broaden their understanding of, and commitment to, faith in action,
culminating in the “Social Justice Caritas Project”. Students will have numerous opportunities to
fulfill the requirements, but we hope that Austin students go above and beyond the requirement for
service and actually participate out of desire to do good for others.

Requirements

Each student must complete 100 hours of Christian Service before April 15 th of his/her senior year. Students transferring into ACHS as sophomores are required to complete 75 hours of service; transferring juniors are required 50 hours of service by May 1 st of senior year. In addition, each year students are required to write a reflection paper on their service experiences for that year.
Reflection papers are due by spring exam week. Failure to complete the reflection papers will result in a withholding of report cards.

Requirements/Focus By Grade:

Freshman Year--“Personal Faith Development”

The freshman year Christian Service experience is focused on the “personal faith development” of
each student. Students will be asked to reflect on their role within families, faith community,
school, and greater community. The Office of Campus Ministry will work closely with students to
find their unique gift and calling to serve through exposure to a variety of opportunities and
experiences. Students in their freshman year must complete a total of 25 hours of service.
Freshmen will work in direct service to all groups (home, school, parish, community) paying
particular attention to school and parish to help freshmen take stock in what they are a part of and
truly invest themselves in the community in which they spend most of their time. By spring exam
week, all freshmen will write a reflection paper on their “personal faith development” and their
experiences during the year.

Sophomore Year--“Service with Friends”

The sophomore year Christian Service experience is focused on serving with friends. Building on
Luke 10:1 “He sent them out two by two,” each student will collaborate with his/her peers to serve
others. Beginning each year with the sophomore retreat, students will focus on how the scripture
calls us toward social justice and serving those less fortunate. Going beyond the parish and school,
sophomore teams will work in direct service to the community: volunteering at hospitals,
recreation centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes, MCREST, Gleaners, tutoring at-risk youth, etc.

All sophomore students are required to complete 25 hours of service in their local
community to certified non-profit agencies. By spring exam week, all sophomores will write a
reflection paper on their “personal faith development” and their experience “serving with friends”
during the year.

Junior Year--“Salt and Light: Devotion to Those in Need”

The junior year Christian Service experience challenges students to leave their comfort zones and
enter into relationships with people who are sick, alone, homeless, from broken homes, or
otherwise marginalized by society. The hope is that students will develop relationships with not
only supervisors, but also those who the students most directly serve. It is during the junior year
students will begin to reflect on injustices and their own call to build a more just world. All juniors
will complete 25 hours at non-profit locations of their choice, ideally somewhere that serves a
cause students are called to support.
Additionally, students will spend 10 or more hours during the summer following their junior year
focusing on their senior Social Justice Caritas Project. The Social Justice Caritas Project asks
students to take a critical look at the world around them. The project asks students at the end of
his/her junior year to narrow a world issue as it relates directly to their local community. Students
will develop and write a proposal laying out their plan to complete their last 25 hours focusing on a
particular disadvantaged or marginalized group or social justice issue. (See Senior year and Social
Justice Caritas Project below for detailed information)

Senior Year--“Salt and Light: Social Justice Caritas Project”

The senior year Christian Service experience extends students’ service towards a location of
personal interest as well as stretch beyond the boundaries of how they served in 9 th , 10 th , and 11 th
grades. The senior year curriculum takes a broad look at the world through a variety of courses and
experiences. Austin Catholic strives to create socially and ethically responsible leaders who
welcome, appreciate and respect others and use their God-given talents to make a difference in an
ever changing world. Our goal is to strengthen each student’s unique gift and calling to serve
through a tailored project of his/her choice that addresses a global issue that is also an issue of
social justice in their local community. All plans for their senior Caritas Project must be approved by
the Director of Campus Ministry by August 30 th of senior year.
The Social Justice Caritas Project asks students to take a critical look at the world around them. The
project asks students at the end of his/her junior year to narrow a world issue as it relates directly
to their local community. Students will develop a plan and write a proposal laying out how they will
complete their last 25 hours focusing on a particular disadvantaged or marginalized group, or social
justice issue. All plans for their senior Caritas Project must be approved by the Director of Campus
Ministry by August 30 th of senior year.
During the senior year students will complete the remaining 25 hours by:
A. Picking a challenging setting that involves 25 hours of direct contact with those the students
are serving.
B. Designing their own initiative that directly aids or helps a particular group or person(s) and
logging verified 25 hours completing the project.