Apostolic Works - Service Learning Program
The Apostolic Mission
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade said, “We are all missionaries and we consider ourselves on a permanent mission” witnessing the Good News of Jesus Christ. The word “Apostolic”is derived from the root word “apostle,” meaning “to be commissioned, sent out”. The early Apostles of Jesus Christ were commissioned and sent out to deliver the Good News to all nations. In this same way, our students continue the works of the Apostles of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ, as their missionary spirit leads them to give a direct service to those in need through various methods of outreach and transformation.
An alliance with Mary as Service Learning
In alliance with Mary’s mission of nurturing Christ in others and communities, Marianist schools form individuals and communities empowered to transform the world. Although Mary’s fiat (yes) to the Angel Gabriel's message from God was strong and forceful, and although she was her Son's perfect disciple, it is clear from scripture that Mary did not understand all that Jesus said and did. She pondered upon the Angel Gabriel’s message of bringing her Son, Jesus Christ into the world. When Jesus was lost and found in the Temple preaching, Mary pondered upon the meaning of her Son’s response, “that He was doing His Father’s work.” Yet, she kept these things in her heart, pondering on them. Mary accepted that what was at work in her Son was a mystery she could never fully understand but grew in discipleship to her Son, learning from Him the Good News He would eventually share with the world.
And so, the Apostolic Works Service Learning Program is not only a call to action, but also to ponder as Mary did. This program is linked to the Religion instruction at Chaminade College Preparatory and offers students an opportunity to connect the knowledge or skill they learn in a classroom with how it can be used to help others or transform conditions in their community. The reflection component of Service Learning spurs students to question why service and transformation are necessary, what changes have to be made, who needs to be served, what motivations move one to serve, and act upon how adaptations and changes might be practically affected. Thus, through this exposure of an alliance with Mary, a sense of solidarity with humanity is fostered in students’ minds and hearts as well as the realization that they, individually and communally, have a responsibility for the betterment of society as agents of change.
The Discernment Process of Apostolic Works
The Apostolic Works Program empowers students to discern their gifts and apply them to organizations that expose them to life situations different from their own in order to become agents of change. Given that this is a continuation from our Middle School program, students will experience a progressive growth in their responsibility of service from one grade level to the next. Finally, students will discover an appreciation for their own dignity and self-worth, as well as the dignity and self-worth of others.
Integration of the Apostolic Works Service Learning Program in the Religion Curriculum
Marianist education is apostolic activity, in that students will be steeped in faith and will discern a variety of ways of becoming agents in order to transform their communities provide for service, justice, and peace. Given this, the Apostolic Works Service Learning Program is integrated into the Religion curriculum to help facilitate this experience. As a result, students will engage in the following:
- A discernment process that will guide students to discover their gifts and passions;
- An Action Plan that will identify and address the needs of a non-profit organization that will benefit from the students’ gifts;
- A Rite of Commissioning to “send forth” students to serve in their Apostolic Works;
- Accurate and timely tracking of Apostolic Works hours using Naviance/x2VOL
- Progress updates/check-ins each semester.
- A Final Reflection component that will demonstrate the students’ outcomes and impact from their Apostolic Works experience.
- Consequences of Incompletion of Apostolic Works Component
Since the Apostolic Works Service Learning Program is integrated into the Religion curriculum, satisfactory completion of Apostolic Works component is a requirement for completion of the class. A student will receive an Incomplete (INC) for the course until Apostolic Works hours and Final Reflection are complete. Students will be referred to the Director of Campus Ministry if these requirements are not met by the semester deadlines.
There is no pre-approval needed for Apostolic Works served during the summer, provided the site is a non-profit organization and the type of service given applies to the grade level theme for the upcoming school year.
Please be aware that since we have integrated our Apostolic Works into the Religion curriculum, students can receive credit for up to the 1st Semester requirement (7.5 hours for 9th/10th Grade, 10 hours for 11th Grade, and 12.5 for 12th Grade) during the summer; that would mean that students would still need to serve the remaining hours during the upcoming school year.