About 200 students, faculty and staff recently joined forces from the four Chicago-area Jesuit high schools to launch a new tradition with our first ever “Jesuit Day of Service.” On President’s Day the students, faculty and staff gave up their day off to serve, underscoring the words of St. Ignatius and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which rang loudly. ”Love is made more manifest in deeds rather than words,” St. Ignatius tells us. And Dr. King also reminds us: “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
Anchored in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition of service, students and community members from Loyola Academy, Saint Ignatius College Prep, Christ the King Jesuit Prep, and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School paused to help others in their struggles at almost 20 organizations across the city, contributing more than 600 hours of service work. The gamut of good works ranged from serving young children at Marillac House to helping at Deborah’s Place, which is dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness for women, to playing bingo with the elderly at Bethel New Life, and much more.
“What are you doing for others?” That should be life’s most persistent call, Dr. King suggested. Daniel Zundel, a member of our Jesuit Alumni Volunteer Corps describes the Presidents’ Day day of service this way: “Our students met new friends and even met up with ones they already had. Besides the important service component of the day, it was so great to see all of our Jesuit students mingle and discover the commonalities that bind them together. It is the beginning of a worthwhile partnership between our four schools that will help build positive relationships between all corners of our city.”
Along with bettering the community, the Jesuit Day of Service helped form bonds between students from all four Jesuit schools. “The Jesuit Day of Service has allowed me to not only participate in service outside of my community, but I was able to form deeper connection with my fellow Jesuits, from all our local high schools,” explained Sophia Rago, Loyola Academy class of 2013.
Day of Service
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