In order to foster in our students the habit of Christian service, and give students an opportunity to reach out to others who are in need, a certain number of service hours (below) are required each school year for our upper school students. There are numerous ways that students can volunteer their time and effort to help others. Visiting the elderly, working with the homeless, and assisting unwed mothers are only a few of the activities that the students become familiar with. It is our goal that students will carry these activities with them when they leave school and into their lives as adults.
Service projects must be approved by the faculty advisor of the Student Council and the number of hours served must be signed by a parent before being entered on the student’s Christian service record.
The Legion of Mary Youth Group
The Legion of Mary Youth Group meets once a week after school at Ville de Marie Academy. The Legion of Mary, begun by Frank Duff in Dublin, Ireland in 1921, is an international Catholic organization of laity engaged in Christian service. Ville de Marie Academy calls its praesidium (presence) Our Lady of Kibeho. Only students attending Ville de Marie Academy participate in this school group of the Legion.
The Legio Mariae Handbook guides the youth group leaders and recommends a mixture of amusement, technical instruction, and religion for the meetings. Founder Frank Duff advises “unmixed amusement represents dubious training for the young… `All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ – runs the well-known saying. But this has been wittily complemented by another one which is still more true: `All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy’” (Handbook, 247). The Legionaries who conduct the Ville de Marie youth group strive to make the meeting both fun and educational. The meetings follow a strict agenda with the reading of minutes from the last meeting, a roll call, a treasurer’s report, service reports, old business and new business. Marking the beginning, middle and end of the meeting are the prayers of the Tessera which includes the Holy Rosary, led by the student president, to begin the meeting. (For the Roman Legion the word tessera signified the square tablet on which the watchword was written and circulated.) Under new business is a lesson and learning assessment game from the adult leader.