All one has to do is take an overview of history to realize that we are living in the most gifted times of recorded human existence. Those of us in the so-called “first world” can even look at our fellow companions of the journey worldwide and realize we are in the top percent of all this planet has to offer as a “standard of living.” If we are blessed with any sense of gratitude for all this, then we feel compelled to give back in the form of service. For most of us who do not have the means to travel worldwide, we can easily see those who suffer with less living in our own communities and find ways to serve their needs. In doing so, we give thanks.
History has many examples of individuals who have given their entire life to serving the needs of others. Here at Damien we seek to follow the example of recently named Saint Damien, father to the lepers on Molokai, who has continuously offered the Damien community an example of Christ’s compassion and charity in action. Saint Damien stands as a model of what our students are called to be in the world, regardless of what path they choose to take.
Christian Service offers students the opportunity to move beyond the walls of the classroom, taking academic theory and Christian faith into the local community. Service engages students in socially responsible action that offers substantive, compassionate, and faith-filled service that seeks to make a difference. Students are challenged to take leadership in new and ongoing projects in collaboration with nonprofit organizations working to bring healing, hope and transformation to those living on the margins. We are grateful, so we give thanks.
Christian Service seeks to empower students to take responsibility in the wider community and to act as an embodiment of God’s love for all creation. Research is clear that doing so leaves a lasting imprint on their character. It is our expectation that these values will remain a fundamental part of their lives as they make their way in the global society.
Damien’s Christian Service Core is an exceptional group of Spartans who are looking to make Christian Service a significant part of their high school experience. Together this team gains extensive experience in developing and administering the programs supported by Christian Service. Those involved at this level become project managers, working together on and off campus with community partners to provide Christian Service opportunities for the entire Damien student body.
Dr. Merritt Hemenway, Principal, Damien High School
Service to Give Thanks