Senior Christian Service
The Religious Education Curriculum includes a service-learning component for seniors. Those who choose to apply for this course and are accepted will spend one semester visiting four sites each week. These locations include elder facilities, preschools, elementary schools, and a variety of community locations. Listed below are many of the sites Ursuline students have enjoyed during the past several semesters.
Elder Care/Assisted Living:
Included in their work for this course is an on-site evaluation from their supervisors, excellent attendance, and academic assignments in order to receive their religion credit. Each student keeps a daily journal of his or her reflections for their service work. A research project on a topic, which relates to one of their locations, a storytelling project for the children at their preschool, in-class discussions and in-service training, elementary sign language, and reflection papers on videos comprise the curriculum for this course.
Students of Stewardship
Students of Stewardship is an extracurricular service organization dedicated to serving various local charities including the Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and Casa Madre, among others. They also raise money throughout the year to defray the cost of their culminating activity, a mission trip to an area in need, such as Appalachia. Students in grades 9 through 12 are welcome to join S.O.S., although the Mission Trip is open to only upper classmen.
Another extracurricular service organization is the Interact Club, which is affiliated with Rotary International. It is open to all students who wish to enhance leadership skills, serve their community and expand international understanding. Projects address today’s most critical issues such as hunger, the environment and illiteracy.
School Wide Service Efforts
In addition to the above activities, various Ursuline organizations sponsor the following school wide service projects:
- Ursuline Day of Service
- City Wide Beautification and Clean-Up Projects
- Thanksgiving & Christmas Food Drives
- Clothing Drives
- Collections for the Ursuline Sisters’ HIV/AIDS Ministry & Beatitude House
- Ursuline Family Emergency Fund
As a Catholic High School, the spiritual development of young people is of paramount importance. Retreat days allow students to deepen their personal relationship with God and to reflect on how they can apply the Gospel message of Jesus to their daily lives.
For each class, one day is set-aside for students to leave campus and participate in a day-long retreat experience. The theme of the retreat day relates to the subject matter of that grade. Time is given for input, personal prayer and community building activities.
The freshman retreat day, schedule in the beginning weeks of school, help the class embark on their Ursuline experience as a class. The day begins with a walking journey to the nearby campus of Youngstown State University, Kilcawley Center, for a day of presentations, activities, prayer, reflections, discussions. lunch, and activities to promote class unity. The retreat presenter, Fr. Damien Ference from St. Mary Seminary Cleveland, will facilitate the retreat day. Students walk back to school in the afternoon in time for wrap of the retreat day and dismissal.
The sophomore retreat day, “The Face of Christ”, raises students’ awareness of how we encounter Jesus Christ in the “other”; the poor, marginalized, our family members, classmates and in the face of all those in need of our compassion and love. This Gospel Message theme supports the sophomore religion class of New Testament which all students take during second semester. The retreat day, held at nearby Youngstown State University, incorporates music, prayer, activities, lunch, fun and laughter, allowing for the class to build upon the unity they have begun to form in their freshman year. The retreat director, Mr. Ben Walther, Director of Campus Ministry at Walsh University, will help students begin to discern how God is calling them to be the Face of Christ for others in our world.
The junior retreat focuses on various social justice issues that students will encounter as part of their Junior religious education course of study, as well as issues that they will encounter in their lives. Some of the topics of the day are: taking care of God’s creation, fair trade, the distribution of power within society and its effects on people from all walks of life and parts of the world, and finally human trafficking which has become an ever increasing problem in the world but more specifically in the United States. Input, discussion and reflection are the major components of the day.
The focus of the senior retreat allows the students to reflect on their lives, to look forward to the many decisions they will make in the upcoming months, to repair relationships and to ask forgiveness. It is also a time to deepen their prayer life and experience new forms of praying, to walk the labyrinth with their peers, who are their companions on this journey to adulthood and to express gratitude for all the gifts they have been given. It is also a time to look inward and decide the type of adult they wish to become.