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
Sterling House, Heritage Manor, Inn at Christine Valley, Liberty Arms, Meridian Arms, Omni West, Ursuline Motherhouse Health Care, Windsor House
Candy Cane Workshop, Goddard School, Head start: McCartney and Renaissance, Oblate Sister, St. Christine, St. Patrick, Sunny Days, Ursuline Preschool
Alpha School of Excellence, Campbell, St. Joseph and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Lloyd, St. Joseph the Provider, St. Patrick (Hubbard), St. Rose
ACLD Mollie Kessler, Leonard Kirtz School, Potential Development, Potter’s Wheel, Rescue Ministries, Rich Center for Autism (St. Charles Satellite Center), St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry
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, the Religious Education Department sponsors the following school wide service projects:
- Campus Clean-Up
- City Wide Beautification and Clean-Up Projects
- Thanksgiving & Christmas Food Drives
- Clothing Drives
- Collections for the Ursuline Sisters’ HIV/AIDS outreach
- Election Day Poll Workers
- 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.
As new students to Ursuline and to each other, the freshman retreat day is geared to help members of the class experience cooperative team-building activities, listen to inspiring gospel-centered stories, and create bonds with new friends. This day helps ease many of the insecurities and concerns that freshmen often experience. Most importantly this day offers opportunities to pray with and for each other, realizing that we are all children of God. The facilitator for the day is Mr. Bob Kloos of Beacon Street Ministry and Arts in Cleveland. Mr. Kloos says that his role is “To announce the scriptures in a way that engages, enlivens and enthuses those ‘who have ears to hear.’
Sophomores experience presentations and engage in activities that build upon their freshman retreat. Mr. Bob Kloos, of Beacon Street Ministry and Arts in Cleveland, focuses on community building within the class, recognizing the human dignity of each person, and raising students’ awareness of seeing the face of Christ in our neighbor. The day is enlivened with Scripture, Mr. Kloos’s storytelling, “Group Jenga”, juggling bean bags, balancing peacock feathers, puppet skits performed by the students, and a backdrop of music and song. The retreat location, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, provides “holy ground” for spiritual growth of the sophomore class.
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.