For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jack Welsh, and I am the Director of Service at St. Francis DeSales High School. I am excited to have been offered the chance to take on this newly-created role as I continue my work as a member of the faculty in the Theology Department. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about how my role will fit into the bigger picture of who we are as a school.
In a recent conversation with Father Stash Dailey, an alumnus of SFD and a priest for the Diocese of Columbus, I gained a new appreciation of the impact that service has had on our school community. It is not an exaggeration to say that this school was built upon a foundation of service. Fr. Dailey related to me stories he had heard from older priests in the diocese, who would, as seminarians, come to the grounds of our future school after a long day of studies to clear rocks so that the bulldozers could operate. He spoke of the Franciscan Sisters of Stella Niagara, who would live in and teach at the school for many years, helping to lay bricks. This is not to mention the countless hours and dollars invested by the laity of the school community in order to get our building up and functioning.
Why was the process of building Saint Francis DeSales High School so community-driven? On a basic level, one can appreciate the fact that those who laid the foundation were hardly flush with cash. In this sense, the building of the school was a great demonstration of the faith of our community that the Lord would provide for our material needs. Digging a little deeper, I think this story also shows how truly foundational service is to our school school. It is a part of who we are.
As the Director of Service, my goal is to connect students at Saint Francis DeSales High School with opportunities to serve. Hopefully, in doing this, we can capture the spirit of service that lives deep within these walls. One way we will do this is by offering a service fair for our students on October 9th- keep an eye out for details! In addition, I will be working in conjunction with our faculty and staff to highlight the excellent work our students already do, by doing short video profiles to share with the wider community.
I invite you to check out our recently-updated service page on the school website, where you will find information about our program, service-related news, a calendar featuring service opportunities, and a link to descriptions of our service clubs.
If you are interested in learning more about service at Saint Francis DeSales High School, or are interested in partnering with us in giving students opportunities to serve, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray for us as we begin the academic year with this exciting endeavor!