Christian Service

Grade Level Requirements

The goal of the Bishop Chatard Christian Service Program is to foster the development of empathy, awareness, social responsibility and Christian community. Our mission sends us into every kind of work, reminding us once again that the further we go in giving, the more we stand to receive.

 

2021 – 2022 Freshman Christian Service Requirements

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Following in Jesus footsteps, freshmen begin service in their home.

  • 10 hours service with a family member
  • Turn in Agreement Form (due Nov. 15)
  • Submit hours in MobileServe & complete theological reflection (due Jan. 20)
  • Print this information

Jesus began his service at home with the Holy Family, and our freshmen begin their journey in the same way. Each first-year student forms an intentional relationship with a member of their immediate family and serves with that individual in a meaningful way for a minimum of 10 hours. Projects range from tutoring a sibling to helping a parent/guardian with a long-neglected home improvement project.

What is Family Service about?

Freshmen Year Service is about getting to know a family member while working on your service hours. It must be something unique and out of the ordinary; not just fulfilling an expected, household, son/daughter duty. You must select one person within your immediate family circle to form an intentional relationship with for a minimum of 10 hours.

This service is WITH your family member, not FOR your family member. It is direct, hands-on, and one-on-one.

What are some examples?

Some great examples/ideas of quality family service projects are: cleaning out the garage or basement with a family member, tutoring or teaching a younger sibling a skill, helping out with a big holiday dinner, preparing a special dinner for parents/family, serving at a soup kitchen or some sort of outside service project with a family member.

Things to avoid: projects where there is little to no conversation happening! For example, babysitting, yard work like mowing or leaf blowing, emptying the dishwasher, doing laundry, etc.

What are the timelines? How do I record my hours?

  • Turn in the ‘Freshman Service Agreement Form’ (found in the Campus Ministry course in CANVAS) to your religion teacher by the due date.
  • Submit your hours through the MobileServe app.
  • Submit your theological reflection to your religion teacher by the assigned date in January.

What should I do if I need to make a change in my agreement?

You must complete the Christian Service activity you listed on the agreement form — changing service activities will not be accepted.

In the event you need to change the service activity you are completing, you must first talk to Campus Ministry and then resubmit the approval form.

Should I record service hours that aren’t within my family contract?

There are two additional categories in MobileServe that will count toward your total service hours during your entire time at BCHS: “Campus Ministry” and “Other”.

“Campus Ministry” hours are service hours gained through participation in the Campus Ministry Team (Peer Ministry, Retreat Leading, and Liturgy Core Team).

“Other” hours include those in service outside or in addition to your year’s commitment.

Hours recorded as “Campus Ministry” and “Other” in MobileServe DO NOT count toward your year’s requirement. However, they will be recorded on your transcript, and colleges will know that you went above and beyond what is required in terms of serving the community. If you complete 75 hours of total service within one year, you will be eligible for the St. Theresa of Calcutta Distinction. If you complete a set number of hours (around 150-200, depending on COVID restrictions) by graduation, you will be eligible for the St. Lawrence Christian Service Honor Cord.

2021 – 2022 Upperclass Christian Service Requirements

General Information

To be documented, all service/outreach hour information must be submitted via our service app, MobileServe. Further information can be found in the Campus Ministry course in Canvas. Please see Mr. Kelley or Ms. Steiner in Campus Ministry if you have any questions about MobileServe.

Service hours outside of your year’s requirement can be recorded in the ‘Campus Ministry’ or ‘Other’ categories in MobileServe. These extra hours will be saved in your account throughout your time at BCHS.

Any potential switching of service commitments MUST be approved by Campus Ministry. Only certain rare circumstances justify switching once you have made a commitment. For example, if the site is not providing you with DIRECT service opportunities, then you may switch to ensure you fulfill your requirement.
DO:

  • Politely call and ask for an appointment to talk or meet with the Volunteer Coordinator or other person in a position of management.
  • Leave a message if no one answers with your name, contact info, and reason for calling. Show up to an appointment on time and well dressed.
  • Ask what volunteer opportunities are available.
  • Show your enthusiasm for serving in your faith community (Sophomores) or the population that the organization serves (Juniors/Seniors).
  • Ensure they have sufficient hours of volunteer work available for you (Sophomores: 15 hours; Juniors: 20; Seniors:25). Ask when and how often you can volunteer.
  • Ask for a full-time employee to be your supervisor (not a family member), who can verify the hours once you’ve completed them.

DON’T:

  • Demand a meeting.
  • Have your parents call or set up meetings for you.
  • Show up late or disheveled to appointments.
  • Hand over the form without explaining the purpose of your interest in volunteering.
  • Use an organization’s failing to call you back as an excuse not to turn in your form.
In the summer prior to your Sophomore or Junior year, service hours can be completed over the summer, under these parameters:

  • The site must be pre-approved by Campus Ministry. A signed Summer Service Agreement Form must be completed prior to beginning the service at the end of the current school year.
  • The service hour log sheet and reflection assignment must be submitted to Campus Ministry on the first day of school in the fall.
  • If you fail to finish your hours or to complete the essay by then, you will be required to start over.
  • All required hours must be completed either in the summer OR during the school year. No combinations will be accepted.

For Seniors, service completed during the summer will not count towards the required hours. All of the 25 required Christian Service hours for the senior year must be during in the school year, as to fulfill the Indiana Pathways graduation requirement.

There are two additional categories in MobileServe that will count toward your total service hours during your entire time at BCHS: “Campus Ministry” and “Other”.

“Campus Ministry” hours are service hours gained through participation in the Campus Ministry Team (Peer Ministry, Retreat Leading, and Liturgy Core Team).

“Other” hours include those in service outside or in addition to your year’s commitment. For instance, as a sophomore, you can log additional liturgical ministry hours in “Other” after you have maxed out your 7 hours liturgical ministry that count toward your sophomore year requirement.

Hours recorded as “Campus Ministry” and “Other” in MobileServe DO NOT count toward your year’s requirement. However, they will be recorded on your transcript, and colleges will know that you went above and beyond what is required in terms of serving the community. If you complete 75 hours of total service within one year, you will be eligible for the St. Theresa of Calcutta Distinction. You may be eligible for the St. Lawrence Christian Service Honor Cord upon graduation depending on total hours service during your BCHS career. Because of COVID restrictions on service opportunities, hours for this award will vary depending on your year of graduation and COVID developments. Current totals are: Class of 2025 & 2024: 150 hours; Class of 2023 & 2022: 120 hours.

DO:

  • Show up when you sign up.
  • Be courteous and follow instructions from staff.
  • Log your hours in MobileServe immediately following your service.

DON’T:

  • Fail to show up at your scheduled time for volunteering without calling and letting the organization know. They are counting on you.
  • Wait until the last minute to complete your hours.
  • Log all your service hours at the last minute.
Campus Ministry will host different CSI trips throughout the year. These trips allow students to understand the true meaning of poverty, service, and solidarity as we do a deep dive into communities both near and far from BCHS. On CSI trips, students will participate in different kinds of service during the first part of the day, experience community in the afternoons, and practice theological reflection in the evenings.
Why go on a CSI trip?

  • It is a worthwhile formational experience and a lot of fun.
  • The CSI trips will meet the requirement for junior or senior year Christian Service requirements. (i.e., if you are a junior, it will fulfill your junior year service hour requirements)!
  • If you wish to attend an international CSI trip (ex. El Salvador) in the future, you must first attend a domestic trip.

Sophomore Requirement

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Following the example of early Christians, sophomores will serve those in their faith community.

  • 15 hours DIRECT service in your faith community
  • Signed Christian Service Agreement (due Sept. 15)
  • Hours logged in MobileServ  & Reflection  (due. Apr. 28)
  • Print this information

At a young age, Scripture shows Jesus participating in his faith at the temple. Continuing in Christ’s footsteps, Sophomore Christian Service is focused on the student’s faith community. Sophomores must complete 15 hours of direct service acting as part of their faith community. If they are not active in a particular faith community, we encourage them to 1) join one for a new experience or 2) partner with a friend who is active in his/her worship community.

Steps To Start Your Service Hours

  1. Research potential Christian Service opportunities in your faith community.
  2. Contact a member of your faith community who would be your site supervisor while serving to see if you can serve in that way.
  3. Complete the Christian Service Agreement Form found on the BCHS Campus Ministry page and have it signed by you, your parent/guardian, and site supervisor.
  4. After being approved, begin your Christian Service. Have your site supervisor sign your hourly log sheet.

What does it mean to do DIRECT service?

It means you are interacting face-to-face in your faith community. You are building relationships with those you are serving.

Why do Sophomores serve in their faith communities?

The population Sophomores serve corresponds to the curriculum in their religion class. Sophomores study the Paschal Mystery and ecclesiology. Learning about the early Christian communities founded by the disciples and about the Church which continues to serve through missionary discipleship corresponds to the enactment of these learned principles through Christian service in your faith community. You are serving those in your own faith community to help bring about the Reign of God on earth.

What are some examples of DIRECT service to my faith community?

DIRECT service means you are interacting face-to-face with the members of your faith community. You are building relationships with those you are serving. Some examples are:

  • Religious Education — many faith communities offer classes and camps for the youth in the community.
  • Liturgical Ministries at your parish — such as altar serving, choir, cantoring, ushering, lectoring, etc. This may be used to account for up to 7 of your total hours. The other 8 hours must be done within another ministry of your parish.
  • Babysitting during events at the faith community so that parents can attend meetings, classes, or religious groups.
  • Leading (not just participating in) Youth Group meetings

What about fundraising or filing papers?
While this is service, it is not DIRECT one-on-one service helping the faith community.

In general, if you are getting paid, it does NOT count. The required Christian service hours are volunteer (i.e. free). If you are simply taking the place of a paid employee, the hours will not count. If you need clarification, see the Director of Campus Ministry for help in determining if your service will qualify.

How do I go about finding a service opportunity for the year within my faith community?

Go on the church’s website and peruse the ministries, events, and offerings. Find a ministry that you might be interested in or that really needs more help! For example, if you are interested in being a doctor, check to see if they offer a blood drive or offer small medical services at the homeless ministry.

Take a step out of your comfort zone! If you see a ministry that might be new or challenging for you, give it a try! Many parish ministries often need extra help because of the service they do. Being a member of a community means that we sometimes need to stretch ourselves and serve in areas that might not be the most desirable. This may be a great way to learn and serve in a new way! Contact either the person listed on the website, or you can always call the parish office and ask to speak to the receptionist or the youth minister. They may be able to direct you to a parish ministry that needs assistance.

What if I don’t have a faith community right now?

There are 2 options:

  1. You can elect to reach out to a faith community and establish a relationship and complete your Christian service hours through that faith community.
  2. You can partner up with a friend who has a faith community already and complete your Christian service hours through their faith community.

Must I complete them all at the same service placement and ministry?

Yes. All Christian service hours need to be completed at the same site, with the same ministry, and same supervisor. For example: if you agree to serve as a teacher in your parish’s Religious Education Program, then you will complete all 15 hours teaching religious education. However, if you choose to help out with a liturgical ministry (i.e. lectoring, altar serving, etc.), you can receive up to 7 hours of service for that. We ask that you complete the other 8 hours at one other ministry in your parish (soup kitchen, annual social, vacation bible school, etc.).
Why?
Not only does it require a significant amount of time to build relationships, you are also making a commitment to the faith community. Bishop Chatard encourages students to honor these commitments. Your local parish will continue to feed you spiritually after graduation from BCHS.

Who is my site supervisor? Must I have the same ‘site supervisor’ for the entire year?

  • Your site-supervisor is the person you will check-in with every time you serve. They are a member of your faith community who is not a parent or family member.
  • You should have the same site supervisor all year. This person will verify your hours each time that you serve.

Junior Requirement

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Applying lessons learned this year, Juniors practice putting corporal and spiritual works of mercy into action.

  • 20 hours DIRECT service for the poor and/or marginalized at one organization.
  • Signed Christian Service Agreement (due Sept. 15)
  • Hours logged in MobileServ  & Reflection (due Apr. 28)
  • Print this information

In his public ministry, Jesus focused his attention on serving the poor and marginalized of society. Juniors’ Christian service, therefore, falls into the “Life and Dignity of the Human Person” principle of Catholic Social Teaching by directly serving the “poor or marginalized” of their local community. Examples of Christian service would include serving those experiencing homelessness, food pantries, soup kitchens, assisted living communities, prisons, and hospitals.

What does it mean to do DIRECT service?

It means you are interacting face-to-face with the poor/marginalized community you have chosen to serve. You are building relationships with those you are serving.

Why am I serving the poor/marginalized?

The population you serve corresponds to the curriculum in your religion class. Junior year you study Sacraments and Morality. Learning about outward signs of inward Grace, human dignity, and social justice (among other topics) corresponds to the enactment of the principles you learn through your Christian service hours. You are putting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy into action.

What are some examples of the types of places I could do my service hours?

Hospitals

  • Often require medical testing to ensure your health before accepting you
  • Often requires more than a 20-hour commitment

Nursing homes/assisted living centers

  • One in nearly every neighborhood
  • Usually flexible schedules
  • Good for people who enjoy working one on one Soup kitchens
  • Usually require scheduling a time slot to volunteer far in advance

Homeless shelters

  • May occasionally require parent supervision

Tutoring students at low-income schools

  • Usually involves one on one interaction
  • After school hours available

Coaching kids with physical/mental disabilities

  • Great for students with an interest in sports

What about….?
Service at an animal shelter?
Boxing food or books for shipment to poor countries?
What about fundraising? Or doing paperwork for a homeless shelter?
No. The goal is for you to build relationships among our human community.

If you are getting paid, it does NOT count. The required Christian service hours are volunteer (i.e., free). If you are simply taking the place of a paid employee, the hours will not count. If you need clarification, see the Director of Campus Ministry for help in determining if your service will qualify.

How do I find a place to do my hours?

There are several options:

  • If you know the type of service you are interested in, do an internet search for placements in your area.
  • See Campus Ministry – We can make suggestions based on your interests and location requirements.
  • If you are not sure what you’d like to do – see Campus Ministry! We can figure out what might be a good fit for you.
  • Talk to Seniors – ask where they did their service and what placements they recommend.
  • Check out the Campus Ministry page in Canvas – it has a (non-comprehensive) list of potential placements.

Must I complete my service all at the same site? Why?

Yes, all hours need to be completed at the same service placement. Not only does it require a significant amount of time to build relationships, you are also making a commitment to the organization. You are sure to learn a lot from the organization and from following through on your commitment. Bishop Chatard strives for high standards for students honoring their commitments. See General Information above if a change in placement is needed, say due to lack of hours available at the original site.

See General Information above for details about service hours in the summer, procedure if a change of placement is needed, etc.


Senior Requirement

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Applying the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Seniors serve agencies that focus on social justice.

  • 25 hours service based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Completed Christian Capstone Project including: monthly capstone group meetings and 4 progress reflections
  • Signed Christian Service Agreement (due Sept. 15)
  • Hours logged in MobileServ & Reflection (due Apr. 7)
  • Print this information

Jesus passed his mission on to the apostles, who formed the earliest Christian communities. As these small groups developed into the Church, their response to social justice concerns became better articulated through the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Seniors have the option to perform Christian service based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching (Life and Dignity of the Human Person; Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; Solidarity; Care for God’s Creation). Senior year is meant to be a time to try serving others in a new way or continue serving in a way you already enjoy, within the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Why is senior service based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching?

By senior year, you have served your family, faith community, and the poor and marginalized. It is now your decision to pursue that Christian service as a means of integrating what you’ve learned in theology courses the past three years and the core social teachings of the Catholic Church.

How does Senior year Christian Service requirement differ from prior years?

As part of the Indiana’s Graduation’s Pathway program, each student needs to complete a Christian Service Capstone project. Bishop Chatard students complete theirs in senior year. To complete the requirement, you will need to complete 25 hours of Christian service at your pre-approved site, attend a monthly capstone group with other students serving in the same principle of Catholic Social Teaching, and write four progress reflections about your experience serving those at your site.

Senior year Christian Service hours must be completed during the school year, as to fulfill the Indiana Pathways graduation requirement. Hours served during the summer can be recorded as ‘Extra’ in MobileServe but won’t count towards your senior requirement.

What are some examples of Senior service hour opportunities?

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person
    Homeless shelters, food pantries, organizations that focus on being anti-war, pro-birth, anti-racism, anti-death penalty, anti-euthanasia, etc.
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
    Fairtrade organizations, community centers, youth centers, family ministries
  • Rights and Responsibilities
    Immigration agencies, refugee assistance
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
    Homeless shelters, food pantries, elderly homes, care of persons with disabilities
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
    Labor unions, agencies that focus on entrepreneurship and opportunities for poor, worker’s rights groups
  • Solidarity
    Saint Vincent DePaul, checking on an elderly neighbor, social action such as setting up a winter shelter for homeless people or campaigning to stop the deportation of an asylum seeker, or any serious engagement with people across a divide whether of race, religion, age, or social background through a BCHS Christian Service Immersion Trip
  • Care for God’s Creation
    Agencies that focus on sustainability, care for the earth, and cleaning parks and local neighborhoods
In general, if you are getting paid, it does NOT count. The required Christian service hours are volunteer (i.e. free). If you are simply taking the place of a paid employee, the hours will not count. If you need clarification, see the Director of Campus Ministry for help in determining if your service will qualify.

Must I complete them all at the same service placement? Why?

Yes, all service in your senior year needs to be completed at the same site. Not only does it require a significant amount of time to build relationships, you are also making a commitment to the organization. Bishop Chatard has high standards for students honoring their commitments.

May I continue doing service at the same site as during my junior year or do I have to switch?

You may continue to volunteer with the same organization. However, a new Christian Service Agreement needs to be submitted and the site must fit into one of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Hours completed before the end of the junior academic year will not count toward senior hours.

How do I find a place to do my hours?

There are several options:

  • If you know the type of service you are interested in, do an internet search for placements in your area.
  • See Campus Ministry – We can make suggestions based on your interests and location requirements.
  • If you are not sure what you’d like to do – see Campus Ministry! We can figure out what might be a good fit for you.
  • Talk to other students – ask where they did their service and what placements they recommend.
  • Check out the Campus Ministry page in Canvas – it has a (non-comprehensive) list of potential placements.

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