Jesuit Mission

Service

Our Ignatian Service Program facilitates opportunities for our students, and colleagues to serve the needs of others in our immediate community and beyond.
In line with our mission we invite the whole of the Prep to purposefully encounter the world around us in the names, faces, and experiences of our fellow sisters and brothers thus encountering the Lord. For Christ tells us that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,” and that whatever we do for the least of His people, we do for Him. Our call to discipleship requires an active response to the needs of others and a full recognition of God’s presence in all people, places, and things.

Service Requirements

Ignatian Service is an integral part of our curriculum. Our students will graduate having immersed themselves in what it means to be a man for and with others. During their four years they will complete a minimum 75 hours.
  • 5 hours for Freshman
  • 10 hours for Sophomores
  • 20 hours for Juniors
  • 40 hours for Seniors

Virtual Service Opportunities for Staff and Students

Given the Prep’s hybrid model, the Mission and Ministry Office will continue working hard to provide our students with meaningful service experiences that will help them to see the face of Christ in themselves and in those whom they serve. There is a great deal of service to be done in the Philadelphia area, and our goal is to encourage our community to press forward safely for the good of others in these trying times.
  1. Virtual/online opportunities to volunteer
    a)      Tutoring school-aged children
     i.            Gesu School
    ii.            Philadelphia School District
     iii.            Lindley Academy
     iv.            Mastery Charter Schools
    b)      Reading club with school-aged children
    c)      Senior citizen assistance and maintaining connections
    d)     Nursing home letter-writing
    e)      Prep talent sharing: Prep students share, teach, model their gifts and abilities to younger children, (Art, Technology, Music, Carpentry, Athletics, etc.)

  2. In-person service opportunities with local organizations will be available.
    • Listed below are the organizations where St. Joe’s Prep students will have opportunities to volunteer on-site while practicing social distance guidelines.
      • New Options More Opportunities
      • Philadelphia Anti-Drug Anti-Violence Network
      • Caring for Friends
      • Oak Street Health
      • Grands as Parents
      • Everything Must Change
      • Senator Shareef Street
      • Councilman Malcom Kennyatta
      • State Rep Joanna McClinton
      • **Additional Organizations TBA

  3. Community relief events will be held on-site to serve surrounding communities.
    a)      Prep food giveaway conducted by students, staff, and parents
    • Bi-weekly initiative
    • Serving North Philadelphia families
    • Serving capacity for approximately 200 people
    b)      Prep toiletry giveaway
    • Items donated by Prep families
    • Students prepare special care packages for homeless shelters
    c)      Prep school supply giveaway
    • Items donated by Prep families
    • Prep students prepare backpacks to give to school-aged children

  4. Prep Serving Prep Opportunities
  • Prep students volunteer their time to offer childcare to Prep families, friends, and neighbors if school is closed.
  • The Office of Ignatian Service will provide a list of students who will volunteer.
  • Prep Family Project: The Prep student arranges for his family to provide an act of service from the heart, which will be shared with the community and posted on IS social media.
  • Declutter and Donate: A Prep student cleans up personal and family space and donates unwanted items to a charity of his choice.

Our Program's Goals

Cura Personalis

This fundamental Ignatian value is at the forefront of our program. Though the material need of others is great, we understand that people’s needs extend far beyond basic necessities. While providing food, shelter and other resources we should also seek to minister to the human heart, serving people’s spirit by acknowledging their blessed humanity and dignity. Furthermore we realize that these encounters allow for an exchange where oftentimes we receive more than we give. Engaging in service gives our students and members of our community an opportunity to be formed by an experience--to be served by the Son of Man in others.

Cura Urbi

St. Joe’s Prep finds itself amidst a community that is abundant in need but more abundant in grace. With that in mind, our program seeks ways in which we can be in solidarity with the people of Philadelphia. Regular community outreach coupled with the opportunity for service immersion trips will give our students and the school community the ability to see the need wherever they go and respond generously.

A Face to the Faceless

To serve is to be present to the needs of the person in front of you, wherever you find them. Some types of service lend themselves specifically to the poor and marginalized--people who our students and members of our community may not encounter outside of the periphery of their everyday lives. We hope that during these experiences participants recognize themselves in those that are in much greater need than they, and are moved to see them as individuals rather than a population.