St. Joseph Academy has as one of its goals to not only educate the student in their Faith, but to also encourage the student to live their Faith to the fullest. Our catechism asks: “Why did God make you?” And the answer is: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” Another question asks “Why is it necessary to know God?” And the answer given in the catechism is: “It is necessary to know God because without knowing Him we cannot love Him; and without loving Him we cannot be saved. We should know Him because He is infinitely true; love Him because He is infinitely beautiful; and serve Him because He is infinitely good.” We cannot love what we do not know. And without love we cannot serve with the proper disposition. Our motto, Scire, Amare, et Servire Deo (Know, Love and Serve God) lays the foundation of living one's live as a Catholic. First one must Know God in order to Love Him. The Knowledge and Love of God then leads to a deep desire to serve Him. And how do we serve Him? Our Lord makes that clear:
... 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you wel-comed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'...And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." Matthew 25:34-4
We serve God in this life by serving our neighbor. It is when we see Our Lord in each of our fellow mankind that draws us to serve Him with our whole heart, soul and mind. This can be illustrated by the example of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. A rich business man was passing by Mother Teresa tending to the sores of a poor, dying man with leprosy in the gutters of Calcutta. He said to her "I wouldn't do that for a million dollars!" She responded "Neither would I".
Here at SJA, we have set up a program to encourage service to our fellow mankind by our high school students. Through this program of Christian Service, students are encouraged to take that first step in reaching out to others who they do not know. We have found that once they do, the activity becomes so rewarding and fulfilling that is becomes compelling and enjoyable for the students.
Our high school students are required to submit 30 volunteer hours/year in order to graduate. It is our hope and prayer that our Seniors will continue to participate in these apostolic activities after graduation and serve Christ, as He has commanded us to do.