Sophomore year marks a big change for students in their religion curriculum. Every year at St. John’s, students are required to complete service to a different community. Freshmen year entails the completion of 10 hours of service to your family. Sophomore year, students must complete 20 hours of service to their faith community.
This can be a little more complicated to try to deal with coordinating your hours and time, but it is all the more rewarding. The campus ministry asks that students do “direct service,” meaning that you are helping those particularly in need.
“It was really meaningful because we got to see the results of our work,” said Cole Serenyi ’21, who did his service over the summer.
There are a number of ways that students can fulfill this requirement. Elena Lohsen ’21 says that she plans on participating in the youth service group at her church. Through that, she will have the opportunity to volunteer at soup kitchens. “I’m looking forward to helping people and seeing a part of the world that we don’t always see,” Lohsen said.
According to Mr. Patzke, campus minister, there is a reason why students are asked to do service specifically at their faith community. Mr. Patzke said he “hopes that students learn that their church communities are more than just places to pray. Church communities serve as houses of faith development, but also provide social services, education, outreach, and a sense of family.”
Mr. Patzke suggests for service that students step outside of their comfort zone to grow deeper in their faith. “Any direct service can be impactful because it allows us to encounter those who share things in common with and are different than us – this is where we meet the face of Christ,” Patzke said.
Some options for service include working at a vacation Bible school, homeless ministry, or helping out at mass. Students had the option of doing their service over the summer, which many took advantage of.