March 21, 2018 — On February 19, students from four Chicago area Jesuit high schools — Loyola Academy, Christ The King Jesuit College Preparatory School, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and Saint Ignatius College Prep — participated in a Jesuit Day of Service. In total, nearly 200 student volunteers worked at 12 service sites.
“Every year the Jesuit Day of Service provides an opportunity for our students to live out the values of Ignatian spirituality — specifically, to care for the person and to be women and men for others,” said Loyola Academy campus minister Lyle Baier.
Christ the King hosted this year’s event, which began with Mass celebrated by Fr. Dave Mastrangelo, SJ; Fr. Jim Shea, SJ; Fr. Stan Czarnecki, SJ; Fr. Brain Taber, SJ; and Deacon Wojciech Bojanowski, SJ, at the Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Christ the King.
Students were then assigned to one of 12 service sites including Catholic Charities Warehouse West; Su Casa Catholic Worker; Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry; Our Lady of the Angels; Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly; and A Safe Haven.
“I thought that the most interesting part of the Jesuit Day of Service was getting to meet students from other schools,” said Loyola Academy senior Delia Hulseman. “We all came from different backgrounds, yet many of us were able to bond and form new friendships.” Hulseman spent her day of service at St. Leonard’s Ministries, an umbrella agency that provides residential and supportive services to men and women exiting Illinois prisons.
Ngozi Okoli, a senior at Loyola Academy, described her Jesuit Day of Service at Catholic Charities Warehouse West as impactful and enjoyable. “The group I was working with sorted through probably over fifty boxes of clothes, shoes, backpacks, and towels for the victims of the hurricane in Puerto Rico,” she said. “It was also impactful because we were able to provide quality items, making us all think more about what we donate and the humanity of the people who receive the donations. It was a great way to end the four day weekend.”
“I am fortunate to attend a great school like Loyola Academy which has taught me it is important to give back to the community,” said Andrew Locke. “I will keep the great relationships I have built with students from other Chicagoland Jesuit high schools over the past three years through the Jesuit Day of Service.”
“The Jesuit Day of Service is all about experience. Experiencing new people. Experiencing new places. Experiencing new emotions,” said Loyola Academy campus minister Christopher Knoth. “It brings students from around the city together, strips them of the (at-times) routineness of service and drives them to further understand what it means to be in community and why they serve.”
After a full day of service work, groups returned to Christ the King where student leaders offered reflections on the experience and the impact of service work. The day ended with a closing prayer. [Source: Loyola Academy]