Saturday Morning Service
Saturday Morning Service (formerly known as the Housing Rehab Program) at St. Xavier began in 1992 with a handful of students. At the present time, approximately one hundred and seventy students and faculty members work with a variety of agencies dedicated to improving low-income housing in our city. In recent years, we have added an environmental component to Saturday Morning Service as we partner with agencies whose mission is to preserve, restore and enhance the environment. Students commit to one Saturday each month and complete various construction tasks associated with the maintenance and creation of low-income housing and /or the preservation of the environment. Although students may lack the skills necessary for sophisticated building projects, they enjoy these projects for they feel that they are making a real difference in the lives of those in needs and our environment.
During the initial enrollment period, students are placed at one of several social service agencies throughout the city. We have worked closely with most of these institutions for many years, which allows strong relationships with people with whom we work and serve. We stress the importance of regular attendance as a crucial component to all of our programs. Students have done a good job in the past, arranging weekly carpools to their sites.
The Saturday Morning Service program is a fantastic entry point through which high school students can become involved with community service. The work can be difficult, yet it provides students with immediate gratification and a sense of closure after witnessing a project come to completion. Students attend activities collectively, so camaraderie develops among group members as they become a team.
The Community Service Program is instrumental in providing the type of transformative experience that is the hallmark of Jesuit education. In developing relationships with people different from themselves, students begin to appreciate the struggles of the poor and the disenfranchised and issues that impact the environment. These experiences call students from their comfort zones and challenge them to examine their lives in terms of Christian justice. As a result, students begin to acknowledge their many blessings.
We greatly value the time and energy that our students commit to this program. Service activities are invaluable to the success of St. Xavier's mission of forming "Men for and with Others."