Reaching Out in Love


Fr. Patrick Russell

St. Dominic students helped children at the Humanitarian Respite Center

Lily Hente, Staff Writer

The Annual Catholic Appeal, or ACA, helps fund Catholic high schools all across the St. Louis area and provides the church with opportunities to come together as one. These funds go towards service projects, mission trips and more. Each year, the ACA holds a video contest with a theme, this year is Reach Out in Love. 

Reach Out in Love can mean many things, but to the community here at St. Dominic, it means service. Service is one of the most important pillars we have. We believe that giving back to our community is above anything else. 

“When we are serving, we are able to better reach out in love. Service is our love in action,” Father Patrick Russell said. 

One way St. Dominic demonstrates service is through mission trips. This year, St. Dominic will make its way to Texas and Nicaragua to show their love by helping out those in need. As Catholics, we are called to serve and when we serve we are able to live out our faith more easily. 

“I have a desire to serve. It’s an opportunity they’ve never had before,” Father Patrick said. 

Not all acts of service have to be huge, simply helping someone down the street or raising awareness for organizations is just as amazing as the mission trips. The Outreach Club does just that at St. Dominic. Members in the club look to do service, raise funds and awareness, and grow a closer connection to God. 

“Everything we do is with love for our fellow neighbors in need,” Outreach club leader Debbie Johnson said. 

The house system also shows great acts of love and service. Like the outreach club, philanthropy representatives in the houses look to set up fun competitions to raise food/money and awareness for various organizations. Both philanthropy and the outreach club do similar things, like bake sales or toilet paper drives. Simple acts like this are just heartwarming. 

“It is a fun way to help others and bring awareness to the needs of our community. We work without payback and the giving of self makes us less selfish,” Mrs. Johnson said. 

One way St. Dominic’s philanthropy is reaching out is through the organization of Joint Hands. Students help supply food and drink and make sure people have a clean area around them. By doing this, volunteers are showing their love and care toward their fellow people. 

“We have been there to support and help everything they ask of us. This is a great way to learn that some families are not as fortunate and should help give to those who struggle,” Dignitas philanthropy captain Ella Schmitz said. 

So how do these acts of service help us reach out in love? By stepping out of our comfort zones and sending all our service to those who need it will help us learn what love actually is. Individuals are reaching out in love to those who need it most.

All people should reach out in love and strive to grow closer to Christ and his ways.