Students decorate paper bags to show the recipients that someone packed their lunch with care.

A Catholic Call to Service

A day of service brought 90 high school students to St. Mike’s campus to gain an understanding of what it truly means to serve. Grade 11 and 12 students from nine high schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board answered the call to be a part of the ‘A Catholic Call to Service’. The day, led by the St. Michael’s Campus Ministry team, was designed to show high school students how small acts of service can make a big difference.

Fr. Lehman celebrates Mass
The day began with the Eucharist in the Loretto Chapel. Mass was celebrated by Father Michael Lehman, CSB who told the students that by showing up they will make a difference.
Campus ministry volunteers give tours
As part of the campus tours, students visited the residences, student buildings, classrooms and the quad. The tour was rounded out with stops at some of the sculptures on campus, including The Dante Gardens, Homeless Jesus and Let the Oppressed Go Free, which tied in with the day’s theme of social justice.
Six campus ministry students volunteered to lead the day's activities
Campus ministry students volunteered to lead the day’s activities, which included campus tours and making sandwiches to distribute to the homeless.

“The stops at the Timothy Schultz pieces provided a nice opportunity to reflect on what we’re doing here today,” said Lisa Malcolm, who organized the day through her work at the Catholic Teachers’ Centre at the school board’s Nurturing Our Catholic Communities.

High school students view The Dante Gardens.

“We had a good response to Let the Oppressed Go Free because there are lot of details that the students were pulling out like a child bride or a child holding a gun. At one point we asked the group, ‘Where are they pointing to?’ And one of the teachers said, ‘Well the government buildings are right there. They are kind of reaching to the government buildings.’ That was interesting for me as it’s like the work is asking ‘What can the government do about these issues?'” said Lydia Dillenbeck, a campus ministry volunteer who is going into her third year with a double major in music and sociology.

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The high school students also assembled sandwiches that were packed into paper bags to be distributed to those in need.

Students decorate paper bags to show the recipients that someone packed their lunch with care.
Then they decorated the bags with encouraging messages and pictures to show the recipients that they mattered.

“Something I was reflecting on today as I saw teenagers volunteer to come out today was that this wasn’t something I did in high school. Now being in university and being more involved, I’m seeing the value in it. It’s inspiring that these students see the value so early,” said Bridget Bowles, who will be entering her third year and majoring in English with minors in Christianity & Culture and Mediaeval Studies

Packed lunches to be distributed to those in need
As they left, each student took two packed lunches to give to someone in need that they met on their way home.