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St. John Vianney's Service, Justice, and Peace Projects

Michaela Rodriguez, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at St. John Vianney High School, St. Louis, MO, sends us this update.

The Service, Justice, and Peace Program at St. John Vianney High School was changed and renamed this year to reflect the Marianist Characteristics of Education - Educate in service, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. The requirements were adjusted slightly to help students identify an area of need in their community that they desire to serve. The hope is that they can form longer-term relationships with local agencies that will continue beyond their time at Vianney. They are required to do service both at Vianney and in the community outside of Vianney, starting Freshman year. 

As Juniors, a long-held tradition at Vianney is that students finish the year by serving in the community for three weeks rather than working in the classroom. Each student works directly with people in need within the St. Louis community at an agency of their choosing. Their service and reflection on the experience acquaint students with their local communities and create the sensitivity and skills they need for future leadership.  

This year, students served at a wide variety of locations, including retreat centers, Catholic schools, nursing homes, and food pantries, as well as other specialized ministries for domestic abuse, addiction prevention, and families with chronically ill children. Two Vianney Juniors reflected on their experiences: 

"I believe service is so important because giving back to one person can create a domino effect and make our world a better place. By helping one person, they can start to do well then they can help the next person and then the domino effect begins. I think my understanding has changed a lot. In middle school, I thought service was just giving money to a dress down day or a can to the food drive. That is service, but there is a bigger meaning in helping someone get off their feet and really help them to be healthy." - Jason Dohrmann

"I think service is important because Jesus served his disciples and was on this earth to serve us. We can emulate that humility by being there to serve others. I've learned to take a more spiritual approach to service, rather than just as a requirement." - Joe Eilerman

Together, the Class of 2025 poured into 33+ local service sites.  

 “The service of God and neighbor should dominate the whole educational program.”

-E. Baumeister, S.M.

Below are some photos from the Vianney Juniors' Service Justice and Peace projects: 

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Dear Michaela, Jason, Joe, and the rest of the junior class at Vianney....GREAT JOB! I'm proud of you all and grateful to all of you for helping other, serving them with lots of generosity. That's what Jesus asks us to do...and YOU DID IT!

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