Students Find A Mission
When the school year began, it was a desire for the Christian Outreach class to travel to the coast to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. The Christian Outreach class reached out to Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, to inquire where they may assist with clearing damage from Hurricane Harvey and where help might be needed most. They were connected with Deacon Richard Longoria, who has coordinated various youth groups to assist with service work in the area. About two weeks before the Christian Outreach class were supposed to leave, Deacon Richard asked the group if they could assist the towns of Tivoli and Austwell instead, because the Mayor of Austwell, Mary Canales, reached out to Deacon to ask for help. The Christian Outreach class made plans to travel Friday, April 6 – Saturday, April 7 to the town of Tivoli, Texas.
“The city of Tivoli has suffered damages from Hurricane Harvey and is still recovering, so we went to help with the recovery efforts. We helped in various ways. The girls worked on smaller projects with moving brush, clearing out rooms and removing nails from someone's home. The boys worked on the roof removing shingles.” Savio senior, Maya Saucedo said.
The students felt called to assist with the small towns of Tivoli and Austwell. “In the beginning, it seemed like we were doing small projects that were not going to make a big impact, but one of the most important lessons we learned, was that we needed to go wherever God was calling us to go. We may not understand why we are called to do certain things, but God calls us where he knows we are needed,” Maya added.
Through this experience, the students found they could have an impact and make a difference, by joyfully serving those who are in a vulnerable situation.
“This service opportunity taught us much patience and humility. It was so eye opening to see a city that has had barely any attention after the hurricane and how much destruction the town still had. People were living in tents because their houses were torn down, hundreds of fallen trees were all around the town, and so much more. Through the Holy Spirit, we found the joy and strength to do whatever these sweet people of Austwell needed in their town,” said Savio senior, Peyton Kilburn.
“If there is one thing I would like the Savio community to know about this trip, it would be the importance of serving the poor and vulnerable. God calls us to serve the least among us and those who are most vulnerable. The people of the city of Tivoli were so thankful for our work because they were left vulnerable after the hurricane and had felt neglected because they are a smaller city, so not a lot of people came to help them,” Maya said.
Most of the students in the Christian Outreach class are graduating in May, but they have plans to return to the Tivoli and Austwell area at the end of June, to continue to assist with recovery.
The Austin-American Statesman has also reported on this story.
St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School is located in Northwest Austin, Texas (9300 Neenah Avenue, Austin, TX 78717), in an active and thriving community. St. Dominic Savio is a college preparatory school and was founded by the Diocese of Austin in 2009 to prepare young men and women to become faith-filled, visionary and inspirational leaders in service to the Church and the world. St. Dominic Savio seeks to build a strong community of faith supporting the mission of the school forming well rounded, visionary leaders for the Church and the world. St Dominic Savio offers a faith experience that will encourage all students to reach their full potential as caring, conscientious, and moral servant leaders. The vision is "Forming Servant Leaders in the Image of Christ." Please contact the school President, Dr. Joan Wagner, or the Director of Communications, Mrs. Cristina Almanza at 512-244-4811 or by email email@example.com.