“Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) This Gospel message is a call to selflessness and service.  In order to cultivate the whole person, it is important to practice to corporal and spiritual works of mercy which are an integral part of our Catholic faith. Students are given the opportunity to serve others inside the Mount de Sales community, in the surrounding region, and even beyond our borders. Students serve in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, nursing homes etc. In addition to their required service hours, students can become members of the Global Outreach club which leads many of our annual outreach projects such as the Mount de Sales Sleepout, Toiletries for Tara and more. Charity is the greatest of all virtues and we encourage all members of the Mount de Sales community to give of themselves in order to draw closer to the heart of Christ.

“It is not how much you do but how much love you put into the doing and sharing with others that is important.”

- Saint Teresa of Calcutta

What is service?

At Mount de Sales Academy, we define service as person to person ministry outside of one’s immediate family. 

Why do Service?

Service to others draws us out of ourselves and teaches us to respond to Christ’s call to “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Serving others gives us the opportunity to put our faith into action and discover who we are through making a sincere gift of ourselves.  As our mission statement says “Mount de Sales Academy forms young women in the spirit of Saint Francis de Sales and in fidelity to the Sacred Scripture and the Sacred Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church through a college preparatory education that nurtures the whole person. Anchored in faith, the community of Mount de Sales Academy is committed to academic excellence, lifelong learning, moral responsibility, service to others, and the dignity of the human person.”

Service Frequently Asked Questions:

1. There are so many confusing categories…what counts for what?

Quarterly-Students directly meet Christ in the poor through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

Flex-Students meet Christ through service in their parish, school, or wider community. All extra quarterly hours also count as flex.

No, this doesn’t count for flex hours-These are still great things to do…they just don’t count for school.

Organizing donations at a food bank/soup kitchen

Helping to organize donations/make sandwiches at your parish/school.

Baking casseroles at home for the poor.

Serving as a catechist or peer minister at your parish

Hours spent serving the church in other ways (unpaid music ministry, decorating the church, altar-serving, lectoring, EMHC, etc.)

Attending as a participant in youth group, retreats, pilgrimages, or conferences

Organizing an event to advocate for and be present to those who are suffering

Volunteering to help with an event that advocates to those who are suffering

IronGirl and similar athletic events

Helping at a camp/sporting/artistic event for disabled or underprivileged children.

Helping at an MDSA sports camp or something similar.

Participating in a sports camps, etc.

Tutoring underprivileged or disabled children.

Tutoring at your grade school, MDSA, etc.

Doing your homework.

Child care for an organization serving the disabled or underprivileged.

Baby-sitting at your parish for free.

Baby-sitting for free in your neighborhood, etc.

Operation Welcome Home

Fundraising for a cause (i.e. Sailors for Soldiers 5K)

Fundraising for your school club, class, etc.

Habitat for Humanity or something similar

Shoveling snow/yard work organized by your parish to help those in need.

Shoveling snow/yard work for neighbors.

Using animals to help serve people (i.e. Maryland Therapeutic Riding Center or bringing pets to nursing homes, etc.)

No related flex hours—see explanation below.

Walking your neighbor’s dog for free, etc.


2. How does the school service requirement fit into the chart above?

School service is exclusively done at the events listed on the school service form which are also listed below. Any service done beyond the required four hours at these or other school events counts for flex (see above chart for details about what kinds of school activities count for flex). School service options: Back to School Night, Homecoming (not with clubs), Open House, High School Fairs, Christmas Bazaar, Spaghetti Dinner, HSPT testing, 8th grade interviews, Phone-athon, Freshman Welcome Night, Easter Egg Hunt, summer camps.

3. What if I serve for more than 3 hours per quarter at an organization/activity on the quarterly service list? Do those hours not count?

Those hours do count. Put them on your Flex Hours form and they’ll count toward your total flex hours at the end of the year.

4. What if I lose my form or forget to bring it when I do my service?

The forms will be available on the MDSA website. If you forget to bring it to your service, you will need to figure out a way to get those signatures on your form. Some ideas include scanning your form and emailing it to the agency and they fax or scan and email it back to you. If you do this, please let your teacher know ahead of time. It is important that all of the information is on that one form so that teachers have the ability to truly verify the hours served. It is not permissible to copy someone else’s signed form and turn it in, even if you did the service.

5. Why doesn’t service to animals count?

As Catholics, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, which includes animals and the environment. However, because of the unique dignity of the human person among all of God’s creation, Christian service will always find a focal point in service to the human person. Consequently, as Mount de Sales seeks to form students in Christian service, the required service hours will be exclusively service to the human person.

6. What if I do a major service trip? Does that count for all of my hours?

If completed during one quarter, three of those hours may count for quarterly hours, and the rest for flex hours. If completed over the summer, all of those hours would count for flex hours, but not for quarterly hours. Although summer service is wonderful, we would like students to form the habit of service as a regular part of their lives, not just in larger spurts over the summer.