Light and leadership
November 27, 2018
Spreading light at CCHS
Students seeking ways to help the community, give back to others, and continue to live a strong and devoted Catholic life can find their place with the Cathedral Catholic High School’s Living in God’s House Together program.
“LIGHT group has been used by Cathedral for more than 30 years and continues to create a community of awareness in our school,” CCHS Dean of Mission and Ministry Mrs. Stacy Wells said. “This year we are excited about some new changes.”
The LIGHT gives CCHS students an opportunity to give back to the community through corporal works of mercy. The on-campus program is run by Mrs. Wells and the assistant Dean of Mission and Ministry Mr. Nicholas Hurt.
Every CCHS student participates in a bi-monthly LIGHT group lesson taught by his or her red one teacher. This year, unlike years past, features a theme of helping the homeless.
“We have provided a student leadership team made up of 20 students who will be speaking about homelessness in LIGHT group lessons,” Mrs. Wells said. “We have already planned activities for the upcoming year to get students energized.”
Through the LIGHT program, CCHS students will be mentored and taught by fellow peers.
“This year, the program will become more student based,” Mrs. Wells said. “The student leaders will be the ones creating the videos sent out to the school during LIGHT group sessions.”
In previous years, students would donate tissues, baby diapers, canned foods, backpacks, and other items that many poor families needed, but could not afford. However, this year’s requested items will differ those of past years.
“We are going to be donating socks and blankets for the homeless along with our Advent drive and food drive coming up in November,” Mrs. Wells said. “All items donated will be delivered to Father Joe’s Villages and to the L.A. immersion trip, where students will work with the homeless on Skid Row.”
LIGHT group meetings hope to expose students to less fortunate communities and encourage a culture of giving back.
Any charitable action, big or small, helps support another community in need. These small actions come major positive changes, according to Mrs. Wells.
“At CCHS our main goal is to build community within each LIGHT group,” Mrs. Wells said. “We also want to create awareness on homelessness and how we can help those less fortunate.
“Once students graduate, we are hoping they can make a positive change in the world.”
Students lead charitable acts
Cathedral Catholic High School emphasizes often the importance of combatting homelessness, especially in this year’s Living in God’s House Together program.
However, students leading the charitable works is now on display by the new student leadership team. Alivia Lomax ‘21, a participant on the team, attended her first team meeting recently, and she immediately felt motivated to help.
“The first meeting we had really opened my eyes,” Lomax said. “We brainstormed ideas on how to help the school learn more about this issue, what we can do to help, and how we can apply it to this year’s LIGHT group theme.”
CCHS mission and ministry teachers recently created a new student leadership group to help raise awareness of the dangers of homelessness.
“At our first meeting, we got to know each other and our interests in the homelessness issue,” Dean of Mission and Ministry Mrs. Stacy Wells said. “We also brainstormed ideas for how CCHS can interact with our social justice theme of homelessness.”
The group has confirmed it will help with the Advent socks and blanket drive in December along with the Ash Wednesday event Homeless For A Night, where students spend the night at school to experience first-hand the effects on homelessness.
“There were many creative ideas shared, and our plan is to determine the feasibility of the ideas and choose what will work best moving forward,” Mrs. Wells said. “The group will be implementing a program for this year, including creating lessons for light group classes.”
The students involved in the program also will learn beneficial practical leadership skills through the development and implementation of the school homelessness interaction program, according to Mrs. Wells.
Along with brainstorms and discussions, students in the leadership team confronted what they can do to help and how to get everyone more involved in assisting the homeless around San Diego.
“I knew as soon as I got an informational email on it that I’d be interested,” Anthony Graf ‘22 said. “I’m all about helping our community out, and knowing our LIGHT group theme was on homelessness, I joined the group to help gain a better understanding on the subject.”
To correspond with the theme of homelessness focused on in this year’s LIGHT group, Mission and Ministry brought forth this student group to increase the involvement of the CCHS community.
“The Mission and Ministry team feels that the best way to engage with any social justice topic is through student involvement,” Mrs. Wells said. “We’ve found some of the most effective programs are those developed by students for students. It is an opportunity to be tangibly engaged in helping others.
“We hope it will be a rewarding experience for all, and we are very grateful for the students who are committed to this project.”