To that end the BCHS Christian Service Program takes a graduated approach to training our students to serve. Students will begin their service close to home, in their school and parish communities. These hours are intended to give students experience serving others within a familiar space.
Additionally, we recognize that, as Catholic Christians we are called by the Gospel to serve beyond the range of Bishop Chatard and our faith communities. Christ and his Church teach us that we must adopt a preferential option for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized. Therefore, as students progress throughout the BCHS Christian Service Program, service requirements transition to focus on service to these communities.
All students are required to complete 20 hours of service each academic year.
Everyone is called to serve
We serve because Jesus tells us that serving others is an important part of being a faithful Christian disciple: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40); “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:15); and “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31), to name a few.
We all need practice
An athlete could not be considered strong if she only worked out her legs and not the rest of her body; a pianist could not be considered musically adept if he only practiced with his right hand; a student cannot move on to calculus before first mastering the basics of algebra.
Similarly, our program seeks to provide students with opportunities to develop their capacities for living as Jesus did, in service to others. Accordingly, the type of service required of students at BCHS develops over the course of the high school journey.
Early in a student’s high school career, service focuses largely though not exclusively, on areas closest to home, namely the student’s own parish/faith community and Bishop Chatard. As students progress through their time at BCHS, service requirements begin to call students beyond their comfort zones, requiring them to engage in service opportunities that place them in contact with the poor and marginalized. Like lifting weights, practicing the piano, or studying math, our expectations within the Christian Service Program might stretch students outside of their comfort zone, but this is necessary so they can advance in their understanding of serving as Christ calls us to.
As a Catholic high school, we are proud to set high expectations in the formation of our students: academically, athletically, in extracurriculars, and perhaps most importantly, spiritually. The Christian Service Program is an integral part of the spiritual formation of our students. It always goes back to Jesus, who is both Teacher and Servant: “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
It fulfills a Graduation Pathway required by the IN DOE
We also serve at Bishop Chatard because it fulfills a Graduation Pathway required by the Indiana Department of Education to demonstrate employability skills. This means that, starting with the Class of 2023, in order to graduate, Bishop Chatard students must fulfill these expectations.View Graduation Pathway Information
It’s part of who we are
The four pillars at Bishop Chatard are faith, learning, leadership, and service. It’s no coincidence that we start with faith and end with service. Faith is the fertile ground in which other virtues spring up, and service is the perfection of everything that we hope to achieve at Bishop Chatard: faithful, educated leaders giving themselves for others. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
- Modeled on what Jesus calls us to do: ‘Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)
- Just as important as attending class and doing the required academic work.
- A ‘service based learning experience’ required by the IN Department of Education for graduation. View IN Requirements
2023/24 Service Deadlines
- December 8, 2023: Ten (10) hours of Christian service need to be logged via MobileServe
- April 19, 2024: An additional ten (10) hours need to be logged for a total of 20 hours for the academic year.
|Type of Service||Freshmen||Sophomores||Juniors||Seniors|
|Area 1: To Parish/Faith Communities or BCHS||15 hours||10 hours||10 hours||5 hours|
|Area 2: Service rooted in Catholic Social Teaching (CST)||5 hours||10 hours||10 hours||15 hours|
|Total Yearly Service Hours||20 hours||20 hours||20 hours||20 hours|
Types of Service
Bishop Chatard service hours are organized into two areas. The first area is service to the parish or faith community and Bishop Chatard High School. The second area is service associated with Catholic Social Teaching principles of concern for those in need. Open each area below to see further description of service types.
Below are some examples of service that would fit into Area 1. These are only examples, there are many other ways to serve in parishes/faith communities and at BCHS!
Service to Parish / Faith Communities
- Helping with a liturgical ministry during Mass or Sunday worship
- Lector / Altar Server / Usher
- Sacristan / Hospitality
- Member of the Band/Choir
- Eucharistic Minister (Confirmed Catholics)
- Cleaning / decorating the church
- Participating in a church-sanctioned service with other parishioners
- St. Vincent dePaul
- Urban gardening
- Prison ministry
- Helping with a church event
- Vacation Bible School
- Socials or festivals
- Lenten Fish Frys
- Pancake Breakfast
- Sunday school
- Babysitting at church so adults can attend church functions
Service to Bishop Chatard
- Assisting BCHS Campus Ministry
- Peer Ministry
- Helping BCHS programs
- Annual Fund Dinner
- Open House
- Dance Marathon
- Other Ambassador-related activities
- Athletic camps providing North Deanery outreach
- Life and Dignity of the Human Person
This theme highlights the belief that all human life is sacred, created by God out of love and in His image. Service in this category would include any act that helps to recognize the dignity of people. For example:
- Working with organizations that recognize the worth of individuals with special needs like Gigi’s House and Best Buddies through Bishop Chatard
- Call to Family, Community, and Participation
This theme highlights the fact that human beings are social and made for community. Service in this category would include any act that supports the family as the basic social unit, and the common good for all, especially the poor and marginalized. For example:
- Supporting refugees by providing child care through Catholic Relief Services while parents take classes in English
- Welcoming new-comers to our parishes and school through hospitality ministries
- Working with younger parishioners at Summer Vacation Bible Schools
- Rights and Responsibilities
Rooted in our human dignity, human rights must be protected and responsibilities met. Therefore we all have a right to life and those things required for a human being to flourish such as food and shelter. Service in this category would include any act that supports human dignity and helps meet responsibilities to one another, our families, and our community. For example:
- Feeding the hungry at the Cathedral Soup Kitchen
- Working to protect the rights of the marginalized with organizations like HOOP (Helping Our Own People)
- Preferential Option for the Poor
A good way to tell how a society is doing morally is to ask how well its most vulnerable members are faring. The Gospel calls us to put the needs of these individuals first. Service in this category would include any effort to recognize the special needs of those experiencing poverty, homelessness, or other disenfranchisement. For example
- Sheltering the homeless with organizations like Wheeler Mission
- Helping to provide basic clothing needs for individuals and families with Mission 27
- Feeding families with St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantries
- The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
The dignity of work is rooted, not in the salary earned or the prestige given, but rather in the fact that the person performing the task is made in God’s image. Therefore all work has dignity, and all workers’ rights must be protected. Service in this category would include any action that supports helping others support themselves. For example:
- Supporting Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality like House of the Little Flower on the near east side of Indianapolis and the Bloomington Catholic Worker Farm
- Working with Nine2Five ministries through Cornerstone Christian Church to support the unemployed and underemployed find meaningful work
In our world, loving our neighbor has global implications. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict. Service in this category would include any action that promotes peace and justice among neighbors, near or far. For example:
- Serving with parish missions to other parts of the world
- Participating in CSI trips through Bishop Chatard
- Supporting Catholic Relief and Immigration Services
- Care for God’s Creation
One way we show our love for God is by loving and respecting his creation. Environmental challenges are moral issues and cannot be ignored. Service in this category would include any action that recognizes our responsibility to God’s creation. For example:
- Serving the city of Indianapolis through efforts at the Indy Humane Society
- Participating in beautification projects through local organizations like Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
- Sharing in the mission of faith based organizations such as Catholic Climate Covenant.
MobileServe – Record Your Service Hours
MobileServe is an app students can download to their phones and iPads that allows them to easily record their service hours. Students can sign in to their school-created account using the Google single-sign in feature on the home page of the app (do NOT type in your credentials to the username and password; instead, click the Google “G” icon and sign in with your student account).View MobileServe Instructions
Exceeding Class Service Expectations
Many Bishop Chatard students serve their school and communities in ways outside of the class expectations. This is a good thing! We will honor those experiences and encourage students to log these extra hours on MobileServe. To log extra hours on MobileServe, continue to log as usual, choosing Area 1 or Area 2.
St. Lawrence Honor Cord
Students who exceed class expectations are eligible for the St. Lawrence Honor Cord. This is a distinction received at graduation that acknowledges students who went above and beyond what they were required to do and logged 200 hours or more over the course of their four years at Bishop Chatard.
Christian Service Immersion Trips (CSI)
Campus Ministry offers a variety of Chrisitian Service Immersion (CSI) trips during summer, fall, and spring breaks. These are excellent programs that integrate service with learning, reflection, and prayer.
Juniors and seniors who participate in these programs will not only have a hugely beneficial and formative experience, but they will also instantly meet their Christian Service Class expectation for that year.
This trip will only satisfy the service expectation if it is made during that year and will not rollover (ex. If a student attends two CSI trips during their junior year, one does not count toward their senior year expectation).View Details about Christian Immersion Trips at BCHS