Service is an integral part of the everyday activities of our students, parents and staff at St. John of the Cross Parish School. With multiple, ongoing projects, all directed towards community outreach it is nearly impossible to visit our school without seeing some kind of service in action. Most recently, during the Fall Mission Project, our students and staff participated in the Archdiocese of Chicago’s collecting 2,509 food items – enough food to fill the seats in two sections of Soldier Field Stadium!
The SJC Mission Committee, comprised of faculty members, also organizes two special projects each school year during Advent and Lent and is the bridge between students and staff, working closely with the Student Council and the newly formed “Mission…Service Club.” The Advent project, for example, begins with a guest speaker who introduces the focus organization to the student body, providing a tangible connection to the project for our students. Last year, the Advent Project benefited Watts of Love, a non-profit committed to empowering those in need by building a better future through safe, renewable and life changing solar lighting devices.
Throughout the school year all students work on grade level projects visiting food pantries or hosting “Breakfast with Baby Jesus” at Christmastime, for example. Twice each month, students in grades kindergarten thru eighth grade prepare sandwiches for Port Ministries, providing meals for the homeless. Student Council organizes special projects in response to needs in the local and global community as they arise such as those following a natural disaster. The Parent Association coordinates classroom projects as an alternative to the traditional Christmas party.
These are just a few examples of the many way in which St. John of the Cross Parish School students are living our mission: rooted in faith, growing in knowledge.