St. André Bessette Christian Service Program

As an independent Catholic school in the Holy Cross tradition, Gilmour Academy is committed to creating a coeducational learning environment supported by faith formation. Students from the Montessori preschool through graduating seniors are active participants in serving the community through a wide variety of optional extracurricular activities as well as the St. Andre Bessette Christian Service Program, which requires 60 hours of service before graduation.

Additionally, juniors spend one semester researching a social justice issue that affects the Greater Cleveland community. Now in its 10th year, the Praxis program requires students to identify a problem that interests them, develop potential means to address it and actively work to solve it in a way that preserves the dignity of all.

Gilmour’s service requirements emphasize the principles of both solidarity and subsidiarity, which creates more lasting impact by directly alleviating a problem as well as empowering those in need to lift themselves up.

Gilmour students work to serve others according to the Catholic Corporal Works of Mercy, which mandate:
  • Feed the hungry.
  • Give drink to the thirsty.
  • Bury the dead.
  • Visit the imprisoned.
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Give shelter to the homeless.
  • Visit the sick.


List of 3 items.

  • Lower School Program

    • Ministry to the Elderly, Hungry, Sick, Poor, Marginalized and Suffering (Montessori-grade 6): Each year, boys and girls at Gilmour work on service learning projects as part of the Humanities curriculum. These activities provide a means for young people to learn and develop through active participation in organized service experiences and are designed to encourage social responsibility, to increase social awareness, to build self-esteem and to encourage friendships and relationships.
    • Brother André Service Council (Grade 6): Students who wish to become more involved in service opportunities that Gilmour provides also have the opportunity to join the Brother André Service Council, which allows its members to take a more active leadership role in all aspects of a service project, from identifying the needs of our community to organizing projects.
  • Middle School Program

    • Ministry to Children (Grade 7): Each month, students tutor at St. Henry School or are involved in activities with students with developmental disabilities at the Metzenbaum Center.
    • Ministry to the Elderly (Grade 8): Each month, students visit the elderly at various nursing homes.
  • Upper School Program

    • Ministry to the Hungry (Grade 9): Freshmen are required to help at the Cleveland Foodbank plus one agency that the food bank serves. Transportation and supervision are provided by Gilmour Academy.
    • Ministry to the Poor, Marginalized and Suffering (Grades 10-12): Each student is required to perform Christian service at an approved service agency. It is recommended that students complete 20 hours each year.
    • Program Completion (Grade 12): Seniors must have accumulated 60 hours of required service throughout their Upper School experience. These experiences are then articulated through a required reflection paper.

Program Goals

  • To transform students into a zealous community of men and women who embody Gospel values and live the Holy Cross charisms.
  • To increase students’ awareness of the suffering and marginalized members of our community, and to encourage them to make the option for the poor a personalized priority.
  • To offer students the opportunity to extend beyond their comfort zone by serving others, especially those of obvious need.
  • To expand the students’ conscious awareness that they are called to utilize their gifts and talents in service to humanity.
  • To enable students to realize that faith must inform their actions and be woven throughout their lives.

~ Blessed Father Basil Moreau

“If I come out of myself to do a little good, at that very moment I experience that I can do nothing alone.”

Mailing Address

34001 Cedar Road, Gates Mills, Ohio 44040
phone: (440) 473-8000

Campus Addresses
An independent, Catholic, coed, day and boarding school in the Holy Cross tradition. Toddler-grade 12.