CTK Summer 2015 Christian Service Reflection

This past school year, Christ the King hosted Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ—founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and reentry program in the world. Fr. Boyle spoke to the students about the power of compassion and the importance of kinship in how we look at the world. Kinship is the idea that each of us our connected by virtue of being human

At our IGNITE program, 9 CTK students traveled with 9 Cristo Rey students and discovered Catholic Social Teaching alive in our own city. The highlight of the week included a day at Precious Blood Ministries where students learned about ministering to people who are incarcerated.

They learned about the vital role of reconciliation in our world and some of the injustices in the US prison system. Kinship requires us to find the humanity, even in people who face incarceration. The students also built relationships with students from Cristo Rey. In a city built on racism and segregationist housing policies, the opportunity for our young African-American and Latino students to bond and serve together is essential to building kinship in our own city.

In addition, 8 students spent a week at Nazareth Farm in West Virginia and 4 students spent a week at Appalachia Service project in Tennessee. These students immersed themselves in the southern hospitality of the Appalachian region of the US. They learned about the challenges energy consumption poses to the people who live in the regions where coal, and now natural gas, are harvested. They reflected on the importance of hospitality and how sharing resources benefits the good of everyone. Most importantly, prayer informed their every move. God stood at the center of their experience and His presence shined through the new kinship relationships that students built with homeowners they met.

The lesson of our summer program doesn’t end when the week ends. Our hope is that students bring their experience home. Our hope is that they begin to move and operate with a new lens—the lens of compassion and kinship spoken of by Fr. Boyle. We want our students to see the world from the point-of-view of those on the margins of society. Doing so builds empathy, empathy breeds kinship, and all of this builds a foundation for students to see themselves as leaders in their communities.

- Daniel Zundel, CTK Director of Christian Service
Source: Posted by Ms. Danyell Boyd - 8/25/2015