Service at Santa Maria College
Why is Service important at Santa Maria College?
Santa Maria College requires all students to complete a service program every year. The service program is designed to help students make a difference in their families and the wider community. By helping others, we can make meaningful contributions to those we serve and, at the same time, make others feel both good and loved. There are many proven benefits to helping others, including:
- improved mind and body health
- connectivity and relationship building
- development of social skills and
- a sense of joy and purpose
Who inspires us?
We have several role models who inspire us to serve others and who lead the way with their servant leadership. Jesus, as our teacher, modelled perfectly for us what it means to be a servant leader by what He said and did. He cared deeply for the people He led and calls all Christians to do the same. Through His words and actions, He modelled compassion and concern for the needs of others. Perhaps His most outstanding example of servant leadership was when He washed the feet of the disciples and implored them to do the same.
Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, inspires the values and traditions that continue at our College today. Catherine inherited significant wealth, but instead of spending it on herself, she built a large house to shelter homeless girls and women, educate poor children, and help the sick. In 1827, this house became known as the House of Mercy, which provided much care and support to the vulnerable. The Sisters of Mercy were to continue her mission of educating, caring and feeding the poor. Catherine McAuley inspires us to continue serving others and helping those in our community who are in need.
How do we serve at Santa Maria College?
Students from Years 5 – 11 complete compulsory service programs, which include a required number of hours and a written reflection. Students are encouraged to complete activities at home and within their neighbourhood in their younger years. In contrast, in senior years, students are asked to contribute to the broader community by partnering with social justice agencies and organisations. It is always pleasing to read student reflections where they enjoyed their service, learned a new skill or made a new friend.
We also have a variety of faith and service-based co-curricular activities available for students to sign up to. This is an excellent way of addressing social justice issues, serving our community, making friends and developing new skills.
This year the following faith and service co-curricular opportunities will be available to students:
- Student Ministry Team
- Altar Servers
- Chapel Choir
- Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion
- Seeds of Justice
- Just Leadership
- Celebrating People & Diversity
- Young Mercies (Cook Ups & Making A Difference)
- Young Vinnies
Beginning this week and into Week 4, students will be sent sign-up forms via email by the co-curricular coordinators. We encourage girls to join these worthwhile groups where their God-given gifts and talents will be provided with opportunities to shine.
Elizabeth Van Der Zanden | Service Learning Co-Ordinator