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Forming the Future: Serving the 'least favored' at Central Catholic High


Central Catholic High School students participate in the 2016 Spring Service Day at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence. Pilot photo/courtesy Central Catholic High

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LAWRENCE -- Service to the underprivileged in society is a pillar at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence.

As soon as students enroll at the Marist high school they are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of St. Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist order, by focusing on serving others, especially "those who are excluded from the mainstream of society, and those whose material poverty leads them to be deprived also in relation to health, family life, school and education in values," according to Earline Tweedie, director of campus ministry.

According to Tweedie, students are required to perform a minimum of 24 hours of service "to the least favored" in society. She noted that "that this is not a very big time commitment to ask of students," but added that the hope is to "have the students catch a desire" to continue serving those in need.

It seems the desire to serve has certainly been caught by students at Central Catholic High School. Since 2006, when the service requirement was first introduced, students have logged in 135,343 hours of service.

"That adds up to 15-and-a-half years of service in that timeframe," Tweedie said.

She noted that the actual number of service hours is likely greater since "many students do not continue to log in their service hours after they have fulfilled their 24 hours of service."

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