IMMACULATA ACADEMY
              Hamburg, New York

            Franciscans in Service

Rev. 3/06
Philosophy of Franciscans in Service

From the moment of his conversion, St. Francis began to
imitate Jesus Christ by being of service to others, especially
to the poor and marginalized. Throughout the centuries
Franciscans have lived selfless lives in service to God and
God‟s people. As a Franciscan institute, Immaculata
Academy teaches its students this virtue through its
Franciscans in Service Program. Participation in this
program helps our students to become, as our Mission
Statement says, “instruments of positive change in society.”

Goals of the Franciscans in Service Program

       To enable each student to grow in her faith, vision
        and personal development
       To enable each student to grow in her relationship
        with God and neighbor
       To help each student learn to be a Franciscan „in
       To build a sense of commitment and empathy with
        those being served
       To have Immaculata Academy students be involved
        in service in the surrounding local communities

Process for Volunteering and Follow-Up

       Select a service „site‟ that:
            o Appeals to you
            o Challenges and helps you to grow
            o Fits with your schedule
            o Is an approved site (see list below for
            o Is people centered

      Get approval from your religion teacher for the site.
       (Please note: prior approval is necessary if the site is
       not on the list.)
      Turn in parent agreement form (2006-2007-in
       September; beginning 2007-2006-at Freshman
      Make contact with an adult at the site to schedule
       your volunteer hours and to see if there is any
       training that you may need.
      Turn in Verification Forms on time
           o First 10 hours due by January 15
           o Final 10 hours due by May 15.
           o It is important to get the adult supervisor’s
               signature when doing the service because it
               may be difficult to go back later to get it.
      Write a 3 page (double spaced) reflection paper about
       the service rendered and how it impacts your
       personal faith development. Due date determined by
       Religion teacher.

Special Note:
    Students are encouraged to “stick with” a site for
       volunteering so as to build a relationship with those
       being served over a long period of time. This type of
       commitment benefits both the giver and the receiver
       of the service.

Verification Procedures (These are graduation
requirements at Immaculata Academy.)

      Students participate in a minimum of 20 hours of
       service annually. This is in addition to any hours
       needed for any other organization such as
       Confirmation class or NHS.
      Verification forms must be signed by an adult
       supervisor at the site. It is important to get the
        adult supervisor’s signature when doing the
        service because it may be difficult to go back later
        to get it.
       All students write an annual reflection paper on their
        volunteer experience.
       Seniors also write a synthesis paper reflecting on
        their faith growth over their four years at IA.
        (Students will be given copies of all of their previous
        reflection papers to use as sources.) Additionally they
        participate in an exit interview to discuss this paper.

Possible Places to Volunteer (The following is not an
exhaustive list but any service site not on this list must have
prior approval from the religion teacher.)

   Any parish service such as lectors, Eucharistic
     minister, music ministry, altar serving, religious
   Any non-profit charity that benefits persons in need
   Any community/town environmental efforts

    Allentown Industries
    Benedict House
    Boys and Girls Club
    Buffalo News Kids‟ Day, selling newspapers
    Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center
    Burgerfest of Hamburg
    Catholic Charities, many possibilities
    Cradle Beach
    First Night Buffalo
    Food Pantry volunteer
    Gateway-Longview Inc.

   Gliding Stars, Hamburg, ice skating for the
   Habitat for Humanity
   Hope Hospitality House (prison ministry)
   Hospice of Buffalo
   Hospital aides
   Immaculata Academy Open House
   Immaculata Academy Phone-a-Thon
   Immaculate Conception Convent, FSSJ Motherhouse
   Lothlorien, horseback riding for the handicapped
   Manage/coach team
   Meals on Wheels
   Museum docent, any area museum
   Nursing Home visitor
   Penn Dixie Site
   People, Inc.
   Red Cross
   Religious Ed. Teacher/aide
   Ronald McDonald House
   Scout/4-H leader
   Soup Kitchens, Friends of the Night, South Buffalo
   Special Olympics
   Tifft Nature Preserve
   Town (beach) clean-up
   Town Youth Court
   Tutoring at an elementary school
   United Way events
   Vacation Bible School teacher/aide
   Vive La Casa, refugee center
   Young Christians at Work
   Youth Engaged in Service

Please note: All service hours are to be performed outside of
school hours. There are no early dismissals or absences
granted to perform service hours. Service should be
performed at a non-profit site unless prior permission is
given by the religion teacher and the principal.

Activities involving a student‟s family such as baby-sitting,
assisting an elderly/sick relative, etc. are not acceptable as
these are things one does as a member of a family.

Students who provide service as a club/team membership
obligation do not receive service hours. Examples of this
include but are not limited to:
NHS or Recruitment Team at Open House
Basketball Team at Lackawanna Halloween Party
Franciscan Club at Homeless Sleep Out

Students should receive no payment for any services

Reflection Paper Format

       Three typed, double spaced pages plus a cover sheet
        that includes your name, date, Religion period, and
        name of service site(s).
       Incorporate the following into your paper:
            o Tell of your experience, activities, and
                responsibilities at the site
            o How has this experience helped you to
                encourage harmony in the relationships
                between the people you worked with and
            o What have you learned about giving,
                receiving and earning respect in this

           o How did your volunteer work show good use
             of resources such as time, supplies, money so
             that there were benefits for those whom you
           o How do you see the Franciscans in Service
             Program as an essential part of participating
             in Christianity?
           o How did you make a difference? What did
             you bring to the site that enriched the lives of
             those whom you served?
           o How did your involvement help you build a
             stronger personal character? How can a life
             that includes service to others be joy-filled?
           o Include any pertinent information about this
             experience that you feel is important.

Senior Synthesis Paper Format
The purpose of this paper is to synthesize an image of the
student‟s growth as a person over the course of four years as
a result of taking part in various community service projects.
Successful completion of this paper is a requirement for
passing senior religion and for graduation from Immaculata

The following areas are to be reflected upon in the paper:
    Who am I because of my involvement in various
       service projects?
    How have I grown in the context of my community,
       school, home, and social circles?
    How have I made a difference by using the virtue of
    How can I apply the lessons I learned in future

    How has my attitude towards service, various
      people/community areas of need enhanced my
      abilities to be of assistance?
    How did service show me that in order to truly take
      part in real Christian Service an honest attempt at
      spiritual development and prayer are necessary and
      important if I truly want to follow in Christ‟s
    How have I grown in my Spiritual and Prayer life?
    How does God fit into my vision of the future?
    How did my projects lead me to a new place in my
      personal prayer life?

Format Guidelines
    Three to five pages, typed, 12 font, double spaced,
      and placed in a folder
    Title page includes title, student‟s name, date, and
      class period
    Students will be given copies of their previous
      service reflection papers.
    This is the student‟s 4th quarter project.
    Religion teacher determines the due date.

Upon completion of the synthesis paper, each student will sit
for a brief exit interview with a committee of teachers who
have read the student‟s paper. The student will discuss the
highlights of the paper as well as answer questions from the
teachers about the paper. The interview will be graded on a
pass/fail basis based on the criteria of content, poise,
presentation and communication skills.

General Guidelines for Religion Teachers

Each Religion Teacher is responsible in his/her class(es) to:
    Orient each class with regard to the Franciscans in
      Service Program
    Collect Parent Support Forms (only for 2006-2007)
    Approve all volunteer activities
    Keep track of the students‟ number of hours, using
      the Verification forms
    Assign and grade the reflection papers
    Add (or start) the papers to student portfolios and
      pass them on to the next teacher. (All four levels
      must be kept so the seniors can use them for their
      synthesis paper.)
    Arrange with department for senior exit interviews.


To top