Scottsdale school named Gold Level CRS Global High School

Notre Dame Prep freshmen at St. Mary's Food Bank. (submitted photo)

Notre Dame Prep freshmen at St. Mary’s Food Bank. (submitted photo)

Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale was recognized on Jan. 6 as a Gold Level Catholic Relief Services Global High School, dedicated to advancing Catholic social teaching and compassion for the poor worldwide.

“Notre Dame Preparatory has a history of dedication to both the local and global poor and vulnerable,” stated Dr. Kristin Witte, coordinator of CRS Catholic Educational Engagement, in a press release. “The school has developed a deeply-rooted Christian service program that helps to form young people committed to lives of faith and justice.”

As a Gold Level Global High School, NDP had to

  • Complete an annual survey
  • Participate in CRS Rice Bowl Program
  • Hold two school-wide events
  • Participate in one additional core program

NDP’s school-wide events included a Eucharistic procession and adoration, a school-wide recitation of the Rosary on Veteran’s Day and monthly service projects to help non-profit organizations in the greater Phoenix area.

For the Core Program requirement, NDP will hold a Food Fast on Ash Wednesday where students eat small, simple meals to unite their hearts with those who hunger. They do this every year along with collecting money for the CRS Rice Bowl Program during the Lent, the release stated.

“Through participation in religious ceremonies, formation classes and service projects, our students are given the opportunity to live their faith in a supportive environment,” stated Leslie Gjerstad, NDP’s director of Christian Service Learning and theology teacher, in the release.

NDP freshman at St. Mary's Food Bank (submitted photo)

NDP freshman at St. Mary’s Food Bank (submitted photo)

NDP offers students to go beyond what is required of Gold Level schools by organizing trips to serve the poor through volunteer opportunities locally, nationally and abroad.

“Our world hungers for strong young leaders who are well versed in global issues and will strive to protect the human dignity of every member of the global human family from conception to natural death,” Dr. Witte stated in the release.

This summer groups of NDP students will travel to Lima, Peru, Gallup, N.M. and Yakima, Wash. to work in orphanages, schools, homes and food banks.

“Our service learning program has helped students to be aware of the world around us,” stated Ms. Gjerstad in the release. “By helping others, they can find themselves and how God has a purpose for them.”

Catholic Relief Services recognizes the vital role Catholic secondary schools play in the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis in the United States.

“Being a Gold Level CRS school really means that we are maintaining our Catholic identity in all we do,” Ms. Gjerstad stated in the release. “It is nice to be recognized for that.”

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