Our Service-Learning Program at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur flows directly from our Mission and Belief Statements: “The Academy, rooted in the faith tradition of the Catholic Church, and the charism of Saint Julie Billiart, provides its students a challenging academic curriculum within a rich spiritual community in order to: inspire them to live the prophetic nature of the gospel, with a passion for justice and love for the poor; enable them to develop the skills and desire necessary for life-long learning; and to empower them to be honorable, compassionate leaders. We believe that individuals have an inherent responsibility to embrace the ideals of service and stewardship.”
Our mission impels us to provide both sound intellectual training and spiritual and moral formation in the Catholic Christian tradition to the young women entrusted to our care. Through baptism we are called to ministry, to service in the name of Jesus. Service-Learning teaches us to live out the Gospel message by putting our faith into action. This is an ‘awesome’ task in both the contemporary and traditional meanings of the word.
Spiritual formation is difficult to measure. Percents and scales don’t work. But one thing is fairly certain, we develop our strengths and discover our weaknesses when placed in an unfamiliar situation that challenges us to pay attention to our response, reflect upon it and ponder what God might be saying to us in it. It’s a process~a human and spiritual process. It happens over time. Growth is like that.
We live in a fast-paced world, with time constrains, conflicting commitments and a limited amount of energy. Schedules nibble at the fabric of life. Our desire is that the students who graduate from Notre Dame become so imbued with a spirit of loving service that it becomes a natural response, reflective and generous, offered to those most in need. We are about the task of developing passionate and compassionate women who will take their place in family, Church and society with competence and courage. To serve is a lifelong, life-giving choice. Caught up only in ourselves, we wither and die. The Service-Learning Program of the Academy of Notre Dame asks each of us to prioritize and choose how we spend our time and resources. Jesus is our model. The gospels are our guide. The mystery of life is that we belong to one another. The needs are myriad. Let us make known the goodness of God. Let us have “hearts as wide as the world.”
Completion of 30 service hours by the end of junior year is a requirement for those who seek to run for Five Main positions on Student Council and Executive positions on Campus Ministry. Click here to read more about the process required.
Click here to access the Service Reflection Coversheet used to track service hours.