Our mission at St. Dominic Savio is to “prepare young men and women to become faith filled, visionary and inspirational leaders in service to the Church and the world.” Christ's sacrifice on the cross is our model of how to make good decisions, treat one another with love and respect, and to serve those in need. More than this, we recognize that Christ is the source of strength and grace for all those created in His image and likeness. Christ is the perfect human who perfects our humanity.
Our vision for our school is "Forming Servant Leaders in the Image of Christ." To truly live as a Servant Leader with the heart of Christ is the goal our students, faculty and staff strive for each day. We believe that:
With prayerful consideration and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a Servant Leader recognizes and fulfills needs in a loving and selfless manner, and motivates others to act as well.
Whether it is saying hello to one another as they walk down the hall, cleaning up after themselves at lunch, or waking up at 3:00am to travel downtown to serve breakfast for the homeless, St. Dominic Savio students are actively seeking to become true servant leaders - with Christ as their model and strength.
Imago Christi Day - Annual All-School Day of Service
Imago Christi means "in the image of Christ. On Imago Christi Day the entire St. Dominic Savio community sets asides the concerns of the normal academic year to give of themselves in service and reflect on what it means to be a Servant Leader in the Image of Christ. Students and faculty travel to more than 20 service sites around the Austin area to offer more than 1000 man-hours of service in a single day. Additionally, students may hear from a keynote speaker, participate in community building activities, and spend time in communal prayer during this unique tradition. Typically Imago Christi Day is scheduled during Catholic Schools Week at the end of January.
The Diakonia Program - Christian Service in the Image of Christ
The Diakonia Program of St. Dominic Savio is an opportunity to explore the many service and ministry opportunities of the Church and the wider community outside of one's normal circle of friends, family and neighborhood. The program is comprised both of loving action and prayerful reflection.
Diakonia is a Greek word found more than 30 times in the New Testament. It is translated as “service” or “ministry” and it captures the Christian notion of service for the least of our brothers and sisters to which we are all called as followers of Christ.
There are several important components to the Diakonia Program including:
- The spirituality of service - Diakonia is the freely offered gift of one's time, talents and personality. We can be Christ for others in many ways. While some of the agencies where we carry out our ministry are not "Church-related," we consider the student’s contribution to be "diakonia" in that our faith is the motivation, prayer is the source of our strength, and to serve as Jesus did is our goal
- An opportunity to learn - Diakonia is an opportunity to learn and grow in a unique way. Through Christian service, students may discover their personal gifts, values, limitations, and dreams for the future. Students will learn about people and have their eyes opened to the problems and challenges in our community in ways which cannot be experienced in a classroom.
- Freedom to Choose - Students have particular interests as well as gifts and talents. In order to be a servant leader according to the call God is giving, a person should examine his/her own gifts and interests and listen to the Holy Spirit. Students often enjoy an experience that can be somewhat difficult or challenging, but that is interesting. In this way, students are stretched beyond their "comfort zone," and the rewards can be great.
- Theological Reflection - Students write a reflection paper which is assigned and graded in Theology class. This paper is written within two weeks of when service hours are due. In addition, the senior level Theology Catholic Social Teaching course and the Senior Service Project offer other opportunities to reflect and expand on one's experiences in the Diakonia program.
Service Hour Requirements
Please refer to the Diakonia Handbook for more detailed information on service hour requirements. The Diakonia Handbook can be found HERE.
During their Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years, each student is required to have a total of 15 hours of service. These hours must be logged into x2Vol by the third Friday in April. Hours entered during the summer will count towards the next year’s requirements. Seniors must complete 15 hours during the Senior Service Project.
All service must be for a non-profit organization and must meet a need in society. At least 10 of the required 15 hours must be “service to others” while up to 5 may be “service to Savio”.
- Service to Others: At least 10 of the required 15 hours must come from service that benefits the “larger society” (outside the Savio Community). This would include service that comes from volunteering their time to meet needs in local communities, churches, and/or the worldwide community.
- All service must be for a non-profit organization and must meet a need in society.
- Service to Savio: Up to 5 of the required 15 hours may come from service performed at Savio or for the benefit of Savio groups and clubs (the Savio Community).
The “200 Club” - Recognizing Exceptional Service
Students at Savio are encouraged to give of their time and talents generously, well beyond the required 15 hours minimum each year. Graduating Seniors who serve for 200 hours beyond the Diakonia requirement will receive recognition at graduation. See Diakonia handbook for more information.
Senior Service Project
The Senior Project is an opportunity for Savio seniors to perform servant leadership service and/or investigate a prospective career before graduating from St. Dominic Savio. As members of the Catholic community, Savio seniors complete the Senior Project in order to learn about the greater world and gain life experience in working with others. The Senior Project is designed to encourage Savio students to examine the world outside of the High School, so that students are better prepared for life after commencement.
Different experiences are eligible for the Senior Project. These experiences could include shadowing a professional, doing research with an organization, or assisting a social service agency, as follows:
- Service Project - This experience includes participating in volunteer work at a social service agency. The Senior Project is the senior year requirement for the Diakonia Service Program, therefore the requirements of Diakonia service also applies for the Senior Project. The majority (at least 8 hours) of service must involve working directly with people, serving as Christ did. By showing others the love of God, this option allows the student to truly experience servant leadership.
- Vocational Project - This experience includes spending time learning by observation about a profession. As Catholic Christians we recognize secular vocation as part of our call to holiness. If we fail to understand the dignity and sanctity of our work, we can fail to revere God's ongoing creation in our daily tasks, and be unable to draw strength from the communion with God that our work represents. This option allows the student to experience servant leadership by spreading Gospel values through everyday actions and understand.