Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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Notre Dame puts Faith and Service into Action

It’s the vision of Notre Dame Regional High School that their students will “Enter to learn, and leave to serve.” This ideal certainly reaches its zenith during Holy Week. 

Since Mark Koehler began the program in 1995, Notre Dame students have participated in numerous service projects and an organized retreat led by an outside group - such as the ‘REAP’ Team, or Southeast Missouri State University’s Newman Center - over a two-day period during Holy Week. But according to Paul Unterreiner, who instructs their Franciscan Leadership Class (FLC), they did things a bit differently this year. 

On Apr. 16 and 17, while service projects remained - nearly 45 projects were completed this year - over 42 seniors from the FLC volunteered to lead the retreat for the entire school, making it a student-led project for the first time. It was centered around the Stations of the Cross. 

“They worked the past month-and-a-half organizing it,” said Unterreiner. “They went through all 14 stations, with small activities tied into that.”

The stations were placed throughout the school with two stations per classroom, and two FLC leaders per station. 

Senior DJ Lynch served as a student supervisor for the retreat. He said FLC was excited to give the stations a ‘new era’ type of theme. 

“We wanted to get the message across in a way that the underclassmen would understand it more and relate to the events more,” said Lynch. “It was different from the typical Stations of the Cross we’ve done.”

As for Holy Week service, Lynch has participated in projects in the past at Christian School of the Young Years, canned food drives, and a trash pickup on Route K. FLC seniors are receiving their service fulfillment this year in planning the retreat. 

Lynch said he likes participating in the service projects, and that they allow him to reach out to the community in any way he can. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to find service projects on your own, and Holy Week makes them accessible.” said Lynch. “It allows me to have those opportunities and give back.”

Senior Paige Emmenderfer also assisted with the retreat. She said another goal in modernizing the Stations was to connect them with students’ daily lives, and how they might struggle. 

“We wanted to show them that Jesus went through the same things we do,” said Emmenderfer.

Unterreiner said he touched base with students for the retreat on a weekly basis to ensure they remained on track, but he still found difficulty in - and learned from - ‘letting go.’

“I’m not good at giving up control and delegating, if you will,” said Unterreiner. “But at the same time, I knew what our kids were capable of. Knowing that the Lord would work through these kids... that gave me a little inner peace.”

In the end, he said it was a very unique project that students loved. 

“It really tied into the heart of the pain and agony that our Lord went through during his passion,” said Unterreiner. 

Unterreiner said Holy Week is always an important time in our liturgical calendar to focus on Christ and his work of serving others. 

“It’s a great way for us to center ourselves around Him by getting out in the community, helping those in need, and seeing the face of Christ in others,” said Unterreiner.

 

Click the image below to view all images

Retreat & Service Days 2019

 

Thank you to the following businesses for allowing our students to lend a helping hand.

Big Stuff Pre-School 
Cape Senior Center
Catholic Campus Ministry
Christian School for the Young Years
Cobden Elementary
Foutainbleau Lodge
Guardian Angel
Head Start - Chaffee
Head Start - Charleston
Head Start - New Madrid
Head Start - Sikeston
Horizon Enrichment Center
Immaculate Conception Church
Immaculate Conception School
Jackson Senior Center
Jesus in Disguise
Just Kids (Cape)
Kid's Academy (Chaffee)
Klaus Park
Knights of Columbus - Cape
Knights of Columbus - Kelso
Lutheran Home
Mac's Mission
Mississippi Therapeutic Horsemanship Assoc.
ND Art
ND Prom Storage
ND Route K Clean Up
ND Theatre Storage
Options for Women
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (IL)
Ratlif Nursing Home
Sack Lunches to Waiting Rooms
Sacred Heart (Dexter)
Sacred Heart (Poplar Bluff)
St. Ambrose
St. Andrew School (Murphysboro, IL)
St. Augustine
St. Denis
St. Francis Xavier
St. Francis Xavier (Carbondale)
St. Henry
St. Joseph Rectory (Cobden, IL)
St. Joseph School (Marion, IL)
St. Mary Cathedral School
St. Mary's (Anna)
St. Vincent School
Ugly Quilts

 

 

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