The DCHS Works of Mercy (Service) program is an integral part of the overall curriculum. In accord with our motto, “Be Doers of The Word,” (James 1:22) and our obligation to educate students to be responsible world citizens and active participants in their faith, we require that all students perform volunteer service prior to graduation. The Works of Mercy remind us of our call to serve others as brothers and sisters in Christ (Matthew 25:31-46) and to meet their bodily and spiritual needs.

Students must complete at least twenty Works of Mercy hours for each school year until they reach the eighty hours required for graduation. The minimum cumulative total to reach each year is: twenty for freshmen, forty for sophomores, sixty for juniors, and eighty for seniors. The eighty hours are required to be completed over three categories - church, Delone Catholic, and community - with at least twenty hours completed in each category. The graduation requirement is complete as soon as the student reaches a cumulative total of eighty hours with at least twenty in each of the three categories and the verification forms have been submitted to the Works of Mercy moderator by the necessary due date. 

All Works of Mercy hours must be completed by the last day of school for the year. Hours must be submitted no later than September 1 of the following school year. After Sept. 1, hours will no longer be accepted.  For any senior, the Works of Mercy requirement must be completed by the end of the second quarter. Any senior Works of Mercy verification forms turned in after this date will only be recognized as half the hours submitted.  

A parent’s signature is no longer acceptable for the “Adult Project Supervisor." The student should obtain another adult assisting in the service for verification. The Works of Mercy validation form is available in the Spiritual Life Center, in the Main Office or online.  Please note that credit for Works of Mercy hours begins June 1 of the student’s eighth grade year, as stated in the handbook.  

If you have any questions with respect to the Works of Mercy Program, please do not hesitate to contact the Works of Mercy moderator of Delone Catholic High School.

All requests for volunteers are posted on Delone Catholic's website, but also consider these Works of Mercy suggestions:

Church: lector, altar server, choir member, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, helping with CYO sports, nursery aides, religious education teachers or aides, PAL, parish festivals, bingo, ushers, youth group activities that enhance the parish life, maintenance, etc. Please note that while attending liturgical services (such as Mass or Stations of the Cross) or Adoration of Blessed Sacrament are admirable and encouraged activities, they do not count for Works of Mercy hours.

Delone Catholic: tutor, open house tour guide, assembly set-up, school board committee, Music Association carnival, teacher helper, maintenance, manager, trainer, scorekeeper, concession stand, , etc.

Community: hospital volunteer, Christmas gift wrapping, blood donor, Habitat for Humanity, food drive projects, Red Cross helper, public library helper, nursing home volunteer, assisting elderly neighbors or family, scouting activities, camp counselor, political campaign activities, environment clean-up, helping at any parish or public grade school, etc.

Please note: Works of Mercy hours can be completed during school time provided the individual does not miss any academic time during the service.

Works of Mercy Validation Form

Special Additional Opportunities During Social Distancing

Due to the current unprecedented circumstances facing us, the Works of Mercy program is being expanded to allow for additional opportunities while students are at home and not able to serve the Church or community. This expansion will allow students to earn Church and/or community Works of Mercy Hours for activities that, in the past, have not qualified for the program, such as personal prayer and helping their immediate family.

Spiritual Growth hours give students the opportunity to grow in love and charity while away from the school building. Family service hours give students the opportunity to serve family, the domestic church.  A list of options is included below, to assist students in pursuing Spiritual Growth and Family service hours.

Students are also invited to suggest any other ideas not listed to Mrs. Phenicie for approval.  Mrs. Phenicie will continue to email the students with new opportunities as they arise.

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Family Service Hours

Any of these hours will be counted in the community category.

Many families need help during this difficult time! Helping families will provide students the opportunity to show love and give charitably with the realities of quarantine and social distancing. The Catechism says, “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion … it can and should be called a domestic church. It is a community of faith, hope, and charity” (CCC, 2204).

Use these suggestions to gain service hours with their own family. Here are some ideas of how you might serve your family.

  • Help your siblings with their e-learning assignments
  • Cook and serve meals to your family
  • Clean up and do the dishes after dinner
  • General cleaning and disinfecting in your home
  • Do any sort of yard work without pay
  • Any home project for your parents
  • Babysit younger siblings
  • Writing letters to family members that live far away or who cannot receive visitors at this time
  • Calling/facetiming any sick or infirm relatives that are unable to have visitors due to their condition
  • Cook a meal and bring to your neighbors

**Please note that when completing the forms for your Works of Mercy hours, students need to be specific in the details (for example, students need to include “1 hour cooking dinner, 30 minutes vacuuming the living room” rather than just “chores around the home,” or “I read ‘The Mass Is Still with Us Even Under Quarantine’ from the Notre Dame Journal,” rather than “I read a religious article”).

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How do I get credit for these hours while we are social distancing?

Students can record and submit these hours using the usual Works of Mercy validation form. Please consider consolidating multiples dates for the same activity on the same paper to help with organization and conservation of paper.  

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are Works of Mercy hours?

Works of Mercy hours are defined to be those hours of active participation that can be observed as contributing to the betterment of an individual and/or community.  Works of Mercy hours should not be performed during the school day if classes and/or academic instruction is missed. Students should provide these to the individual communities as volunteer service, so no work for which the student receives monetary compensation (i.e. a summer job) can be counted toward the Works of Mercy requirement.

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How many Works of Mercy hours am I required to complete?

A total of eighty volunteer hours is required for graduation. These volunteer hours must be distributed in the following way: a minimum of twenty hours must be earned in the areas of church, Delone Catholic and community, respectively. The remaining twenty hours may then be distributed among those areas at the discretion of the Works of Mercy moderator.

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What is the deadline for these hours?

Twenty hours must be completed by the last day of every school year. The total Works of Mercy hours are cumulative, and the requirements must be fulfilled by the end of the second quarter of the student’s senior year. If this requirement is not fulfilled, the student will not receive a diploma for graduation until these conditions are satisfied. Any hours remaining by the end of the second quarter of the senior year double in quantity (e.g. if a student owes five hours, it will double to ten). 

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How do I get credit for my Works of Mercy hours?

A Works of Mercy validation form must be submitted for each activity. These forms are available in the Main Office or they can be printed off the PlusPortals, and require the signature of the student, parent and adult supervisor of the activity. After completion, the forms should be returned to the Works of Mercy Program moderator or the Main Office. The hours are then recorded, and a portion of the form will be returned to the student indicating his/her cumulative hours. Please save these slips for your personal records.

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How can I find opportunities for Works of Mercy?

Any requests for volunteers that come in to Delone Catholic are posted on the Current Works of Mercy Opportunities page of the website. Many students find that they are already involved in projects at church, at Delone Catholic, and in the community that will count for Works of Mercy hours. Read the newspaper to become aware of other community and local needs. Listen to school announcements and read homeroom announcements for more opportunities. Watch the posted announcements in the corridors, and on the bulletin boards. 

Spiritual Life Office

Rev. Matthew C. Morelli
Mrs. Katherine A. Phenicie
Spiritual Life Director