Judge Memorial CHS students put faith into action with a day full of service projects
Friday, Nov. 29, 2019
Courtesy photo/Judge Memorial CHS
Judge Memorial Catholic High School students volunteered at more than 25 locations in the Salt Lake Valley during their Nov. 21 Service Day. Among those locations was The Madeleine Choir School. Courtesy photo/Judge Memorial CHS
Derek P. Jensen
Special to the Intermountain Catholic
SALT LAKE CITY — For the second consecutive year, the entire Judge Memorial CHS student body fanned out across the Salt Lake Valley on Nov. 21 to serve meals, scrub floors, stock shelves, rake leaves, read to children and build fences at a goat farm for a day of service to honor Judge patron Christ the King.
Braving frigid temperatures and some snow flurries, the students offered their service at more than 25 locations, including rescue missions, shelters, schools, cemeteries and a host of nonprofits as part of Judge’s Christian Service Program.
“You might be doing little things – cleaning or reading a book to a child – but when you look at all of us doing this together, 535 people, it makes a huge statement,” said Celina Poppe, director of campus ministry.
Led by faculty and parent chaperones, students wore gray, long-sleeved shirts that read “Faith in Action.” Some of the work was demanding, including a trek to survey beaver damage along the Jordan River and building goat pens on a farm west of the international airport.
“It was pretty powerful to see how interested the students were,” said Kate Wright, Goat Project coordinator for the International Rescue Committee. “They wanted to engage on a deeper level than what I was expecting with our program.”
Known as the East African Refugee Goat Project, the idea is to house goats that will eventually be harvested by African refugees to feed their families.
Another highlight was working with the men at the Salt Lake Rescue Mission to prepare and serve meals, she said.
“To work alongside them and see that they’re joyful – that makes a big difference,” Poppe said. “The kids are really affected.”
Christ the King Service Day was launched last year and has been embraced by the faculty and student body as a living example of the Judge Memorial mission to make builders of a more just society.
Bishop Oscar A. Solis praised Judge students the day before the service projects, while celebrating the Feast of Christ the King during a school Mass. The bishop said going into the community to offer food, work and love to the poor and marginalized is a way to show Christ is in the midst of today’s world.
“What a beautiful gesture to show that you are followers of Christ,” Bishop Solis added. “You are beacons of light, hope and love in our troubled world.”
Derek P. Jensen is director of communications at Judge Memorial Catholic High School.