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Students volunteer to help Dominican nuns in Linden

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Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax is known for many things — its excellent academic reputation, stellar athletic program, and, as with every high school within the Diocese of Arlington, its commitment to service.

The student body of Paul VI knows that to truly live like Christ, you must serve others as Christ would. From Banica mission trips, to canned food drives, to daily prayer for those in need, the Paul VI school community always goes the extra mile to serve those who are less fortunate.

Two Saturdays this autumn were no exception. On two separate trips, dozens of Paul VI students traveled to St. Dominic’s Monastery in Linden to help the nuns chop wood and tend to the garden.

This was not the Paul VI community’s first time helping the Dominican nuns. The school also reached out to the nuns last year, making this the school’s second year participating in this service project.

Various groups of students chopped wood, tended to the garden and provided help wherever it was needed on two sunny warm Saturdays.

The Oct. 14 service project involved members of St. Joseph Service Club and the ThanksLiving club. Dedicated to service, these clubs help foster a feeling of brotherhood and community at the school.

“I wanted to try something different and try service I had never done before and I ended up having a really awesome time,” said junior Hannah Welch, a member of ThanksLiving. “My main focus was to get something out of it and to have a good time and I think that I achieved that.” 

Senior Thomas Kyte, president of the St. Joseph Service Club, knows that service is an important part of the Paul VI community. “It's been a tradition to go down to visit the nuns and help them as our first project,” he said. “Our focus was to do whatever they needed us to. We did some landscaping to help with erosion problems and cleared a fallen tree on one of their paths.” 

The students chopped wood for the nuns to have heat and tended the garden for them to have a beautiful place to live.

Junior Hannah Welch felt that the service project helped her grow in her faith. “I feel this service made me experience my faith more deeply because I was able to understand the life of someone whose main job is to pray for others,” she said.

The Paul VI Boys’ Basketball Program went Oct. 21 for the second year to assist the sisters. In total, 28 boys participated with four coaches and two parents. The boys took on the task of clearing a path for the sisters and moving some heavy rocks.

“It wasn’t an easy task, but teamwork and work ethic always wins the day and that’s what happened on this glorious afternoon,” said Glenn Farello, varsity boys basketball coach. “The boys have gained an admiration and respect for the sisters in how they are so willing to serve and pray for others. It’s an honor to give back to them in our small way.”

With upcoming service projects at the monastery, and wherever help is needed, the Paul VI student body hopes to keep the spirit of service in their hearts and to look for more opportunities to live like Jesus.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017