KINGSBURG – Joshua Rodriguez is hoping Nov. 13 is just the beginning. That’s the day that the Kingsburg Joint Union High School Board approved his proposal to start the Catholics in Action Club on campus. Now that it’s officially a club, he’s eager to put some plans in motion.
Rodriguez said his main goal is to share Christ’s love with his schoolmates by starting a food bank on campus, hosting blanket and food drives to help the homeless and bringing in guest speakers to address key Catholic events.
“We want to be able to serve, not just Kingsburg, but the surrounding communities and especially our school. We want to bring the love of Christ and the knowledge of him and to spread his word,” Rodriguez said.
The senior said he first thought of starting the club when he was a sophomore. It was only after his confirmation at the local Holy Family Catholic Church that he says the drive to make the club a reality kicked in to high gear.
“I felt this was the year to get it done. I started talking about it earlier but I didn’t really know where to start and maybe I didn’t have the courage yet to do it. Being confirmed last year solidified how I really wanted to do it. It was something I was passionate about.”
The school board unanimously approved Rodriguez’s proposal to start the club and there are nearly 40 students who have already expressed interest in joining, he said.
Diana Gomez will serve as the club’s adviser. Gomez is a health careers instructor through the Valley Regional Occupational Program on campus.
She said she hopes the members learn about faith, establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and set the world on fire in a spiritual sense by their involvement with the club.
“As Christians, we must not only talk about it; we must act, we must serve, we must give without counting the cost, we must forgive and we must love. Our youth has such a hunger for God and they don't even know it,” she said.
The club is open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. CIA will meet in Room 85 on campus and their first meeting is Nov. 29.
“CIA brings students, both Catholics and non-Catholic alike, to serve our community, Kingsburg High and support other clubs on campus by being involved with acts of kindness, charitable services, fundraising activities, assisting with community needs and other activities,” Gomez said.
Rodriguez credits fellow students Reyna Gomez and Mayra Rooney as being instrumental in getting the club started.
“They’ve helped me and Ms. Gomez put this together. They’ve been there at the student council meeting and the board meeting. Mary helped me fill in the blanks when I got nervous,” he said.
While meetings will typically be biweekly, there will be times they meet more often or for special occasions such as Lent and Advent, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he’d like the club to also offer prayers for those that request them.
“We want to do the seven acts of mercy, such as feeding the hungry and clothing the needy. We also plan on doing random things to boost the moral around campus like making breakfast burritos and just giving them away.”
Rodriguez said that more than meeting a time crunch to get CIA started, he felt compelled to do so as he sees faith becoming less prevalent in the world.
“In the world in general, there’s violence and an absence of love. I think that the Lord provides what’s absent in the world. I think faith could be an important thing in people’s lives, if they allow it to be. I know we’re not to get as much done as those in the future will, but I wanted to get [the Catholics in Action Club] started this year since people struggle with different things in life.”