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​​​​Christian Service

1 Value of Recognizing Christian Service

"The experience of Christian community leads naturally to service" (To Teach as Jesus Did: A Pastoral Message on Catholic Education, 28).

A Christian service pro​gram is required in all high schools. See the School Policy on Christian Service (sample)​. Each high school student is required to perform a minimum of 80 hours of service spread out over four years. A component of theological reflection on service is required of all students.

Through the Christian service program, students at all class levels give service beyond the school setting in ways that further their faith, engender hope, and witness love. Christian service programs should foster an understanding of the essential connection between the Eucharist and Christian service.

Catholic educators work to form young people who will lead happy and meaningful Christian lives of faith and service. Catholic schools provide students with the tools—intellectual growth, doctrine, piety, ​an understanding of the roots of societal problems, and the practice of the virtues—to become productive and transformative members of society.

A eucharistic spirituality that propels students into Christian service will help them not only to meet any crisis of values and meaning in their lives but also to be transformative agents in the world. The Eucharist is lived daily as the faithful take Christ to others.

Religious formation and Christian service programs should inspire young people to have a vision of their mission in society and the Church. These programs should inspire young people to aspire to fulfill the vocation and mission to which God calls them​. It is not good enough for them to think that they will just try to be good. Christ asks them to be the salt and light of the earth. Religious formation and Christian service programs should transmit this vision to them.

2 Criteria for High School Christian Service Awards

Annually the archdiocese honors students from all Catholic high schools for significant contributions in the area of Christian service. For these awards: 

  • Schools with an enrollment of fewer than 500 students submit the name of one student.

  • Schools with an enrollment of 500 to 1,000 students submit the names of two students.

  • Schools with an enrollment of over 1,000 students submit the names of three students.

The awards are presented by the archbishop, or by a designated auxiliary bishop, at a special liturgy in the archdiocese. Students selected to receive the award must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in their senior year in a Catholic high school within the Archdiocese​​ of Los Angeles​

  • Have spent at least two years in consistent Christian service, which is voluntary, non-remunerative work outside the school and the family

  • Have completed all required documentation by the second Friday in February

  • Have the recommendation of the school principal and the Christian service moderator, based on the evidence of their Christian attitudes and behavior

It is the responsibility of the Christian service moderator to ensure that the names of the students for this award are submitted to the Department of Catholic Schools by the second Friday in February of each academic year.

3 Nominations of High School Teachers for Christian Service Recognition

Each year teachers from among the Catholic high schools in the archdiocese are recognized for their outstanding dedication in directing students in Christian service activities and modeling for them a commitment to the Gospel through service to others. In order to be eligible for this award, teachers need to demonstrate this dedication and modeling for at least five years but preferably for at least 10 years in a Catholic school.

The awards are presented by the archbishop or auxiliary bishop on the occasion of the Christian Service Awards celebration. It is the responsibility of the principal to nominate a teacher and submit this nomination to the Department of Catholic Schools​ by the second Friday in February.