A Catholic perspective on Service and College Visit Day

On Monday, September 17, Scecina has its annual service and college visit day. Freshmen and sophomores will do community service, and the juniors and seniors will visit colleges to determine which one will serve best their needs for academic (adult) formation. Allow me to discuss briefly about our students’ academic (adult) formation and service to others, which are two of the main aims of a Catholic education.

The Second Vatican Council’s Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration on Christian Education) declared that “a true education aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his ultimate end and of the good of the societies of which he as man is a member and in whose obligations as an adult he will share.”

We (the bishop, parents and teachers) have an awesome responsibility of cooperating in the formation of our children. The bishop is responsible for fostering an education that the “Christian faithful” will think highly of because it is the primary means for the Catholic Church to assist parents in with the responsibility of educating their children, according to the Code of Canon Law.

Parents must work closely with their children’s teachers, who they have entrusted to share in the responsibility of educating their children. Our teachers must be outstanding in their subject areas and “grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine” to instill in our students our Catholic values and morals.

For these reasons, Scecina sends its upperclassmen to visit colleges and universities to give them the opportunity to think about their transition from high school to college.

 On that same day, the underclassmen will perform works of service in the community. Pope Francis stated, "Love and charity, are service, helping others, serving others. There are many people who spend their lives in this way, in the service of others. … When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love!" (Jubilee audience, March 12, 2016).

The pope’s statement reminds us to teach our children to forget their own needs, and out of love, to serve others. An example of service to others for our children to emulate is Father Thomas Scecina, for whom our school is named. He was onboard the Arisan Maru, a Japanese warship, taking prisoners to a concentration camp when it was sunk by friendly fire. While the Arisan Maru was sinking on October 24, 1944, Father Scecina was hearing confessions and giving absolution until his premature death. It is important that we work together to teach our children to serve others out of love, charity, and duty. Most importantly, God calls us to serve others, and this is why it is so important for Scecina to have an annual service day. When we accomplish this aim, our children, as adults, are more likely to serve others for the good of society.

Please pray for our students as they perform service in our community and visit colleges. Also, pray that all of our children may hear God’s call and do His will.

Joseph Brettnacher,Ph.D.
Principal