One of the five Xaverian values is humility, which "allows all members of our community to accept and affirm their giftedness, as well as to acknowledge the giftedness of others. Likewise, humility enables one to accept personal limitations in oneself and others. Humility inspires a sense of connectedness, not only within the community, but beyond. Humility is not a passive attitude, but an attitude leading to action, and that action is service" (from the Spiritual Values of Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools).
Throughout the school year and into the summer, campus ministry provides opportunities for students of all ages, grades 7-12, to share their gifts with a world in need, from serving as leaders inside the walls of Xaverian, to going out into the local community, to lending a hand throughout the world. Here's a few:
All members of the eighth grade participate in a day-long service experience instead of attending classes. Following their opening prayer service which commissions each participant to serve others, all students, as well as their teachers and members of the campus ministry team, travel to various agencies throughout the Boston area. Past agencies have included the Greater Boston Food Bank, Cradles to Crayons, Benchmark Senior Living and Ellis Nursing home. In addition to the opportunity to reflect on their experience, the day concludes with a closing mass which firmly centers the call to service as a response to God’s love and mercy.
Xaverian’s Global Encounter is a week-long service retreat offered during February and April breaks, open to members of the sophomore, junior and senior classes. Following formation meetings to prepare for the service experience and develop community with their fellow participants, students and faculty leaders spend their vacation serving the less fortunate and reflecting on God’s presence in their daily life and service.
Past Global Encounter opportunities have taken place in both domestic and foreign locations and help the participants to not only understand the reality of poverty, but also to grow in solidarity with those they encounter. Past locations include Alderson, West Virginia; Caribou, Maine; Chicago, Illinois; Camden, New Jersey; Durán, Ecuador, and Tecate, Mexico.
Throughout the course of the academic year, the entire Xaverian community has the opportunity to reach out to those in need in ways integrated within the school day. All of these programs are organized by student leaders in collaboration with the campus ministry team.
Participation can be as simple as contributing to the Brother Bede fund on designated dress down days, to bringing in toys to be donated to various local agencies during the Santa Hawk Toy Drive each December. November brings a Thanksgiving Food Drive, while the liturgical season of Lent provides an opportunity to collect new and gently used clothing for those in need. A blood drive rounds out the year, in addition to other student-led initiatives that are proposed on an ongoing basis.
X-ACT is a student initiated and directed organization that provides weekly opportunities for all members of the Xaverian community to become more involved in issues of peace, social justice, and service. Students and a faculty mentor travel to various local agencies to serve those in need. Whether it’s spending time with the elderly residents at Ellis Nursing Home or Benchmark Senior Living, helping to organize and deliver furniture with My Brother's Keeper, or tutoring students at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Boston, students have the opportunity to participate in direct service and develop a greater understanding of compassion and solidarity with those they meet.
X-CEL (Xaverian Community Encounters Life) is an urban immersion retreat program for members of the junior class. Participants spend three days during the school week living in Boston and ministering to a wide range of individuals within various social service agencies. Accommodations and food are intentionally humble to keep in solidarity with the people they serve. Along with their faculty leader, students take part in prayer and reflection throughout their time in Boston as they seek to respond to the Xaverian Brothers’ call to manifest God’s “care and compassionate love to…the poor, the weak, and the oppressed of this world.” Through this experience, participants are encouraged to reflect upon and discover their own unique gifts and talents and to integrate them to serve others in need.
The Christian Senior Service program is a faith experience that is conducted during the last term of senior year. It is a unique opportunity for those seniors who meet the requirements to put their faith into action through service.
Beginning with meetings designed to facilitate proper discernment, students are encouraged to see their service as a means to bring God’s healing to those most in need. Instead of attending classes, students serve in over 50 different agencies in the communities surrounding Xaverian. Throughout the service experience, students meet regularly with a faculty mentor and journal daily to actively reflect on God’s presence in their lives and in the people they serve.
For me, campus ministry programs are a way to learn about people's stories, to learn why they're here, and to work together to help provide for the community.
Xaverian is a Catholic, college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7-12. As an inclusive community, we embrace diverse experiences and perspectives, welcoming students and families from all faiths and backgrounds. Through exceptional academics, athletics, the arts, faith formation, and service opportunities, we help young men discover their unique gifts and talents so they can share them with a world in need.