Service & Solidarity: Mid-week Updates

Whether building a home, working with disadvantaged populations, or ministering through the simple act of presence, Anselmians continue a twenty-two year tradition started with a single trip to Orland, Maine which has grown to now accommodate trips during spring, summer and winter breaks. Nine trips are spread out across the United States, while one group works in Los Chiles, Costa Rica.

Throughout the week, participants learn about Catholic social teaching while spending time living and working with those most in need.

SERVICE & SOLIDARITY: Following are vignettes from groups, originally posted to the Service & Solidarity blog, managed by Campus Ministry.

Camp Glenmary, Mississippi

Camp Glenmary, running since the 1970s and has been the site of two weeks of camping open to low-income kids in northeastern Mississippi and two weeks of "Catholic Camp," a time when Catholic young people from that same area gather as a group to experience the uniqueness of not being in the minority. Father Tim Murphy,  the camp's director, says without hesitation that our volunteers "make camp possible."

Here is a recent email from Morgan Seney, student leader:

We started off the morning with a home cooked meal provided by Mr Kelly, a member of the Aberdeen church community. He made us biscuits, grits, and sausage- a traditional southern meal! The group has been working hard raking, cleaning, and preparing the dorms for when the kids arrive this summer. As we clean and prepare the camp we can start to picture the kids running and playing on the fields, having bonfires, and having the time of their lives at summer camp! We can't wait for another day of work in this beautiful Mississippi weather!!!!

Anselmians are working hard to prepare the camp for this summers children, raking and burning leaves, cleaning cabins and windows, and helping Brother Terry on the tractor! Today they helped reorganize at the local food bank and tonight they are going to Elvis Presley 's  house! How cool!

The Andre House of Hospitality, Phoenix, Arizona

SBA Phoenix prepares fruit for dinner

SBA Phoenix prepares fruit for dinner

The Andre House of Hospitality is a Catholic Worker ministry to the homeless and poor populations in Phoenix, AZ. Our students have been making daily dinners for 200-400 guests every night, as well as sorting clothing donations, mopping floors, running the drop in center, and running the soup line.

Our group was very moved by the core staff at Andre House of students just out of college who have dedicated a year to doing this work day in and day out. They have also enjoyed the company of Fr. Eric Scimmel CSC who is the Andre House Director. They were reminded of the importance of their work when a volunteer told them that 38% of those who are homeless will wake up in the morning and not speak a word to anyone all day. Just a reminder that a smile and a hello can mean a great deal.

The St. Francis Inn, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Group bonding at the St. Francis Inn

Group bonding at the St. Francis Inn

The St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia does a wonderful job providing both meals and human dignity to their lunch and dinner guests, and our students are having a wonderful time working with their staff and making friends with the guests.

Clearly they are working hard! Lots to do with meal preparation, making meals to go, delivering food to the home-bound,  keeping tabs on the dessert cart, and serving meals restaurant style within the Inn.

This group has truly learned what it means to see the face of Christ in those they serve…with a helpful reminder of the smiley face around the peephole on the door saying "Smile, its Jesus on the other side."

H.O.M.E., Orland, Maine

The group is having an exceptional week at the co-op in Maine for individuals and families needing assistance. They have been doing everything from chopping wood, to painting, to sorting goods for the thrift store, and a bunch of other odd jobs (as usual in Maine!)

The group leaders are impressed with how quickly this group has bonded!