Community service, community service, community service.
More and more high schools are requiring their students to do community service, many districts even making it a graduation requirement. Without a doubt, I am sure many of these students involved are truly affected by this service. Obviously, serving others is a good thing.
Sadly, I am equally sure that some students really don’t embrace the spirit of such service; reluctantly giving their time, but not truly embracing the true spirit of charity. Equally as sad, being involved in education for 27 years, I have heard and experienced students outright refusing to serve or maybe even worse instead forging their required volunteer hours.
At Royalmont Academy Classical Prep our high school students too participate in community service, although we don’t really call it community service.
Because what we do is so much more than community service.
Instead, at Royalmont Academy Classical Prep, we do Apostolic projects. You see, we believe going out into the community to serve is so much more than just serving. We believe that instead, we are meant to be Apostles-to serve Christ by bringing Christ to those people we serve.
Don’t get me wrong, serving the community is good. But serving the community by being apostles to the people we meet; by bringing Christ to them is so much more a service. For we are a society in need of community service, to be sure, but we are a society in need of Christ so much more. People need God. People need witnesses to God. People need to see joyful apostles serving because God is the ultimate answer.
With that being the case, our Royalmont high school students have made it a priority to visit our local Mason Health Care Center Nursing Home each month bringing our service, our charity, but most of all, our love of Christ… and our students and the patients at Mason Health Care Center are loving it.
Or should I say, are loving God.
Statistics show that 1 of 3 of the elderly are in nursing homes, and that almost 1 of 5 of us will end up in a nursing home before we die. People like you and me, people like our students; great athletes, great scholars, great musicians, great people with so much potential. Many will live incredible lives. But many also will end up needing assistance and help in the twilight of their lives. And those once bright, optimistic people will feel neglected, neglected by society, neglected by their loved ones… neglected by God.
Saint Mother Teresa once said, “In Haiti just as in England, Spain, Italy or India---there are unhappy people everywhere. Not only because they don’t have any bread to eat. No, they hunger for love, understanding, and companionship. They suffer from loneliness, the feeling of being unwanted and rejected, a poverty of the soul. These are the things that can be far worse than being hungry or not having enough material goods…..Sometimes we see how joy returns to the lives of the most destitute when they realize that many among us are concerned about them and show them our love. Even their health improves if they are sick.”
God is allowing our students at Royalmont to be these type of people. Apostles. Messengers of love.
Messengers of God.
For us at Royalmont Academy Classical Prep, there is no better community service.
***Dedicated to all the wonderful people at the Mason Health Care Center, especially Mr. Tom Williams who in his youth, refused to take a back seat to Roger Staubach.