Catechesis Service Requirements
(SPC School students see your school teacher for your requirements)
Below is a link to download a Service Form
6th, 7th & 8th Grade REQUIRED Service for Confirmation
You may start your service beginning May 1st for the next year. Each time you finish a service activity, you complete a Service Form. The Service Form is a reflection on the service you performed and should be completed, by you, the student.
We look at the three years of 6th, 7th and 8th grade as a whole – as service is required in each of these years for Confirmation.
For EVERY STUDENT IN 6th, 7th & 8th grade, EACH year you must complete 8 activities, 2 each from four different categories (see the Service Hour Form). Each time you complete an activity, you fill out our Service Form, indicating what type of service you completed and when. Then reflect on why it would be considered service. All Service Activities require a Service Form (this includes altar serving, the Centennial Garden, etc)
8th Grade must complete their service by their first class in December
6th & 7th grade must complete their service by their first class in March
We’d love to see photos of the students performing their Service Projects – please email us the photos to email@example.com
SERVICE PROJECT PROCEDURE
- Download the Service Form – see above
- Look over the list of activities and see what interests you
- Remember that not all the activities are available throughout the year and some have limits on participation. So if you see or read or hear of an opportunity for service, do not delay in contacting and scheduling a time.
- The STUDENT completes the Service Form and gets all the required signatures. A Service Form is needed for EVERY service activity. Only two exceptions: Vacation Bible School (not offered the summer this past summer) and Centennial Garden – those you may write up on ONE form.
- Hand the forms in – we would prefer you hand all 8 Service Forms together but you may hand them in as you complete the service. Service Forms may either be dropped off at the Kinane Center or you may scan or take clear, close photos of them and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I tell if what I am doing is service?
Ask yourself a key question, who does it help? Service gives aid, in some form, to those that are disadvantaged or promotes faith and/or good works. It should NOT directly benefit you. So for instance cleaning your room is not service but cleaning your Grandparents home is service.
How long do I have to work to get credit for one activity? Because the activity that I did was really long, so can I use that for more than one activity?
The minimum is one hour. However, if it is over the the hour minimum, we don’t count hours worked. So if you are at one event and you are there for say 4 hours, or even all day, or off and on during a particular day, the work you perform there is worth one activity.
Can I be paid for my service?
No you cannot be paid for your service. Because you are directly benefiting (by getting paid) it is not service.
Do I really need to fill the form out, or can one of my parents write it up, since I did do the work?
No you, the STUDENT, need to write the Service Form up yourself. From your perspective, it should be a short reflection on what you did. Even small acts of kindness can make a difference, so while you are writing this up, it is our hope that you realize the difference you are making and you continue to help others after your time in Catechesis is over.
Do I need to complete a Service Form for ALL of my service?
YES! You should be reflecting on your service – whether it is doing Feed My Starving Children, Adopt-A –Family, the Centennial Garden, Vacation Bible School, altar serving, a scouting project, helping in a classroom etc.
What if I was going to be doing the work anyway, can I count that?
Service should be something also given by your heart, but only you will know if you took a shortcut. So for instance if you are at recess and you play with someone you wouldn’t normally play with, it is still recess and you would be at recess anyway – so that’s just being a nice person.
I see there are four categories of Service (St. Paul, Family/Friends, School/Sports, Greater Community) do I have to do service activities in all of them?
Yes! Unless your service is considered an Exception (see farther below for what we accept as Exceptions) you must complete 2 activities in each of the 4 categories. However, if you are having difficulty with the School/Sports category you may make-up this category by doing additional ST. PAUL ACTIVITIES or GREATER COMMUNITY only. We ask that you note this on your Service Form.
What is Greater Community Service?
Greater Community Service is helping people that you may not know, because it is helping on a larger scale. For instance, volunteering at the library. You may know patrons at the library, but you don’t know everyone. It is also for activities at another Parish – a St. Paul activity must be sponsored by St. Paul!
I see Nursing Home under Greater Community, what if I visit a relative in a nursing home?
Visiting a relative in a nursing home or hospital setting is NOT considered service. That should be something you are doing because you care for them.
Then what is Nursing Home service?
Service at at a nursing home can be helping a group of seniors with a craft project, or a game such as Bingo. It can be singing with the residents or bringing them crafts that you made at home and are handing out and talking with the seniors.
I see a type of service I did at another church under the St. Paul category, can I use that for St. Paul credit?
NO, a St. Paul activity is either here at St. Paul or is sponsored by St. Paul’s. If you did service at another parish it would be Greater Community Service.
How do I find out about St. Paul service?
We send home weekly email blasts. These almost always have some type of service. Call or email the Contact Person for that particular Service Opportunity. Also, when you go to church, take one of the weekly bulletins, there are service opportunities listed inside it (bulletins and family parish activities are always on the Parish website spc-church.org).
I have heard, for a St. Paul activity, you can be a classroom aide, how does that work?
Email the office (email@example.com) with your request to be a classroom aide. Include in the email, your name, grade and what day(s) you would like to help on (Sunday morning, Tuesday afternoon. Class Dates can be found on the links on the Calendar page of our website – the calendar is posted starting in late August). It cannot be when you are in class. You will receive a confirming email with a date.
I heard you can collect food for the St. Paul food pantry, how does that work?
You come up with a note (Food Pantry Donation Letter) that you give out to neighbors, that states you are collecting food for the St. Paul Food Pantry. Include the day you will return to pick up the food and have them sign the letter, if they donated food. The signed notes should be stapled to their Service Form – for this activity these signed forms act as the Service Form required signature.
When you write up the Service Form, state how many letters you sent, how many people responded and how many bags of food you collected. Staple the signed sheets to the back of the completed Service Form. Drop the food off at the new Food Pantry. It is the garage like building at the corner of Summit and the entrance/exit of St. Paul’s alley. This may be used for a St. Paul activity or a Greater Community activity. We do not want you to do to houses where you do not know the families, please choose only friends &/or neighbors.
What about service ideas for something other than St. Paul?
When groups in the community need service help, that we are familiar with, i.e. Newcomer’s, School PTO’s, etc., we put it in our weekly blasts. Call or email the Contact Person for that particular Service Opportunity. Feel free to look for service opportunities in town yourself – from/through Facebook, your school or neighbors.
Can I just contact your office to sign up for these other Service Opportunities?
No. The only service activities that we take sign-ups for are Classroom Aide and Vacation Bible School. All other Service Opportunities require you to contact the person listed. Do not contact our offices with questions or to sign-up for these activities, since we will be unable to help.
When Lenten Almsgiving begins, can I give money and use that for a service activity?
No you CANNOT use Lenten Almsgiving for service. As Catholics, we believe in the three pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Therefore, it is a requirement of our faith to give to the less fortunate during this sacred time of year.
Do you have other suggestions on where to get service ideas?
The Park Ridge papers, websites and social media pages sometimes have opportunities and you can Google ideas. And you can call the local agencies and talk to someone at each agency. And ask your friends they might have some good ideas!
What about helping at the Library?
The library has various service opportunities, some are drop-in times and others you need to talk with the staff and sign up for them – please know they have their own requirements regarding service and contact them.
I saw under School/Sports that you can help after school in a middle school classroom, how do you do that?
The student should ask one of his/her teachers if they can help out afterschool. The teachers at Lincoln and Emerson are used to the students needing service, so they have been accommodating.
Can I do an activity more than once?
Yes, you can do an activity more than once.
How do I sign up for Vacation Bible School?:
Vacation Bible School sign up is usually on Palm Sunday. The information is in the bulletin on our website and we send it in an email blast. Spaces are very limited, so once they are filled, we do not take any more volunteers.
What is the exception to service for Vacation Bible School?
- VBS is worth 5 service activities – but ONLY St. Paul’s VBS (not from other parishes)
- You complete ONE Service Form for VBS service. You do NOT need an Activity Supervisor Signature since you checked in each day
- You will STILL NEED TO CMOPLETE THREE (3) other Service Activities: 1 each in School/Sports, Family/Friends & Greater Community
- Any otherparish’s VBS can be used for 2 Greater Community activities
Are there any other Service Exceptions?
Yes, such as when you are an Altar Server (in your 2nd or 3rd year) or the Centennial Garden.
Altar Serving – in your first year of altar serving you may use two masses for service in your St. Paul category. In your 2nd and 3rd year of altar serving you may use 8 masses for ALL eight of your service requirements. You need to complete a SF for EACH of your Altar Serving dates. If you have questions about being an altar server, contact the Rectory 847-825-7605. Click the following link if you’d like to download an application to be an altar server: Altar Server Application
Centennial Garden – You may use this work for ALL of your service but you need to complete ONE SF for Garden Service.
If you think a service project you will be doing should be an Exception, you MUST EMAIL the office BEFORE the service is completed and get it approved by email. Occasionally, we announce service activities that can be used for more than once activity, but we will specify that in the announcement. If the Service Activity is not listed as an Exception, then it is worth ONE activity.
You have a list of activities under each category, but I want to do something that is not listed.
Under each category is a choice of “Other” check that off and then write on the line, what it was. As always, put the details in the written section at the top of the Service Form.
I don’t see my question listed here…
Email our office with your questions, we are happy to help! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org