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.
Our Program’s Goals
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.
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.