Appalachia Service Project
Each summer, a group of Upper School students travels to Central Appalachia to take part in the Appalachia Service Project, a national effort that helps hundreds of families annually across five states. St. Anselm's first took part in ASP in 2011, and a group has returned each summer since then to construct and repair homes for needy, disabled, and elderly residents in this underserved area of the country.
ASP trips are coordinated by our Campus Ministry office with significant help from parents, faculty, and alumni. Each year, several recent alumni serve as team leaders for the trip along with at least one teacher from St. Anselm's. If you are interested in learning more about the Appalachia Service Project at St. Anselm's, or if you may be interested in serving as a leader, contact school chaplain Fr. Michael Hall, OSB, '56.
Respect for the dignity of each person as created by God is central to the teachings of Saint Benedict and serves as the cornerstone of the values that are fostered throughout our school community.
The service program at St. Anselm's Abbey School is uniquely suited to foster the values of a Benedictine education. As Saint Benedict advises in his Rule, “Let all guests who arrive be received as Christ, because He will say: ‘I was a stranger and you took Me in’ (Mt 25:35).”
For over 30 years now, St. Anselm’s Abbey School has had in place a unique service program for all Fifth and Sixth Form students. Every Tuesday morning, all juniors and seniors leave campus for service sites around the area. Students choose sites where the work has an interest for them – tutoring, assisting the elderly or disabled, food pantry manual work etc.
Most schools with service programs require a defined number of service hours to be performed at sites located by the students or their parents and on their own time. We view the use of class hours and our students’ regular presence at the sites was a valuable way of witnessing to our commitment to importance of community service education. We have also found that the service sites come to rely of the regular arrival on Tuesdays of “the Abbey guys” to plan their own work distribution internally.
Our juniors and seniors work at 11 agency locations, and some are engaged in an environmental stewardship project here on the school and abbey grounds. Students are engaged in tutoring younger students, socializing with the elderly and disabled at a nursing home, or repairing or cleaning homes of the elderly or disabled. Some students work at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as tour guides.
We hold periodic reflection sessions for the students in the program to share experiences and to reflect with one another on the value to those they serve and to themselves from participation in the program.