Reflections on Service

I was in Grade 7 at St. Ann School in Neponset the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. Like many in my generation, his death, the death of the Kennedys, and the Vietnam War deeply affected me. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of deep and abiding faith, compassion and dedication. His life is a reminder that “the time is always ripe to do right.”

A central aspect of Catholic education is learning the importance of service to others. When students take part in service activities—both local and beyond—they demonstrate the values and faith they gain through their Catholic education and learn how to make the world a better place. Jesus encouraged us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and perform other works of mercy as an essential part of being his followers. “Whatever we do to the least of our brothers, that we do onto him,” he told us.

On Friday, January 18th, led by Grade 3 and Mrs. Shannon Mazza, the students at Sacred Heart School had a “Dress Down Day” to support Nurse Julie in her annual trip to Rwanda. For the last several years she has gone to Rwanda for two weeks as part of a cardiology team called “Team Heart” to help eradicate a leading cause of death in that country…rheumatic fever. This illness is caused from untreated strep throat, an illness that responds very well to antibiotics. The students and staff dressed in red and brought in donations to join in support of the team’s goals and needs as well as the needs of those they will encounter in Rwanda.

Last year, Aidan O’Driscoll asked that the children coming to his birthday party bring a donation to “Team Heart” instead of gifts. He alone raised over $500 for this humanitarian trip to Rwanda. Service to others is fundamental to who we are! On Friday, the students and staff raised over $1,000! Go Team Heart!

Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we “will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and nagging question, he said, is `what are you doing for others?’” He would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture in which Jesus of Nazareth tells James and John “…whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant; and whosoever among you will be the first shall be the servant of all.”

Whether it be the selflessness of Nurse Julie, or our little first grader, or the many teachers, parents and volunteers who are constantly sharing time, treasure and talent for others at Sacred Heart, we are a people who do for others.
As we remember Dr. King on his birthday, let’s recommit ourselves to the standard he set, the legacy that lives on and the challenge that remains.

We hope that you are able to join us on January 27, 2019 at the 9:30 a.m. Mass to celebrate Catholic Education and the education of mind, body and spirit that children have received here for over 100 years! I look forward to seeing you there!


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