All WBA Groups Are Back on Campus

As of noon today, all eight of our WBA groups have returned to campus safely. We thank the many different communities in which our groups served over this past week. Thank you for your hospitality, generosity, and the good work you do every day. [Read more…]

WBA Groups Begin Journey Back To The Hilltop

It's hard to believe that the WBA week is coming to a close! Time certainly has flown by but the impact of this short week on our students will leave its imprint for years to come. We extend our gratitude and appreciation to the many agencies and their staffs that have opened their doors to us this past week.

Thank you for your tremendous hospitality. And thank you for the work you do each day in loving service of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are so often forgotten. Your example and continued efforts to recognize the dignity of each person you encounter is awe-inspiring.

WBA NOLA departureSo our groups begin their departures a little more tired than when they left the Hilltop, but with an awareness and a new perspective that we trust will inform, form, and transform them as they unpack from this short week's worth of encounters.

Travel Plans

WBA NOLA:  Headed back to campus late last evening. After more than 12 hours of travel, they arrived at Saint Anselm around 3:15 a.m. and headed straight for bed. I look forward to catching up with them later today.

WBA Habitat: Packed-up and hit the road just after 8 a.m. We expected them to arrive back on the Hilltop around 4 p.m.

WBA DC: Wasn't far behind Habitat, heading out of our nation's capital just before 9 a.m. They have a lengthy drive and we expect them to arrive before 9 p.m.

WBA Phoenix: Was up bright and early so they could return their rental vehicles and make it though security. They are settled at the airport awaiting their flight. The early morning rise (5:30 a.m.) coupled with a three-hour time difference, and six hour flight will make fore a long day of travel. They are expected at the Manchester airport around 5:30 p.m.

WBA Manchester: Has the shortest commute and should be back on campus around noon. While they were just down the road for the week, they have felt like they were miles away and have really come to see another aspect of our Queen City.

WBA Staten Island:  Is on the road, heading back to New Hampshire. We expect them back on the Hilltop around 1/1:30.

WBA Philly:  Will serve their final meal at lunch time, clean-up, and head back to Saint Anselm. We don't expect them back to the Hilltop until 9 p.m.

WBA Appalachia: Will depart later this morning (11ish) for the first and longer leg of their two day journey. They will not arrive back on the Hilltop until noon on Sunday.

Seven groups will gather in the North Lounge for a Welcome Back Party – as trips arrive on campus between 8-11 p.m., giving WBA participants the opportunity to share stories, food, and laughter as they transition back to Saint Anselm. All groups should be settled and resting by the VERY early morning, then some rest before the rest of the Anselmian community returns to campus.

Big day ahead. Please pray for a safe journey home.

WBA Mid Week Check-Ins: Part One

Today was an exciting day! So far I have spoken with the leaders from four of the eight groups. It is so edifying to hear all the wonderful work and experiences our Winter Break Alternative groups are having. The leaders were so enthusiastic about all they are encountering. [Read more…]

IN THE NEWS: "Volunteers help transform Vineland group home"

Our WBA "Habitat" crew is in the news! The local newspaper, The Daily Journal stopped by the group home in Vineland, New Jersey where some of our participants were busy helping to paint a dining room. [Read more…]

Sunday and Monday: Diving into Service

All eight trips have safely arrived at their service sites, and are immersing themselves into the communities that they will serve over the next week! [Read more…]

WBA Travel Updates (Day One)

All eight of our Winter Break trips are on the road or in the air, en-route to their destinations. Additional updates to come, as groups check in during their travels, or arrive at their host sites throughout the day. [Read more…]

Student-Leaders Prepare for WBA (and SBA too)!

Campus Ministry's Service & Solidarity program is one of the most unique programs at Saint Anselm College. The program relies on the leadership of student leaders to prepare, guide, and experience the week-long mission alongside their participants during the winter and spring breaks.

Student leaders have come back to campus early to prepare for their upcoming Service & Solidarity trips. From finalizing paperwork to preparing the customized candles that each group will use during their nightly reflection, leaders have been working diligently to make their final preparations.

The leaders have put in countless hours of work to make sure that every part of their trip runs smoothly.

WBA participants arrive today for the Send Off Mass, and an evening together on campus, before departing on Saturday for their service sites.

Submitted by Joshua Post '16

Service & Solidarity Leaders Gearing up for WBA 2016 trips

WBA and SBA leaders arrived on campus Wednesday for their winter training and final preparations for WBA 2016. All WBA participants will return to the Hilltop on Friday afternoon. [Read more…]

Winter Break Alternative 2016: Service Site Descriptions

Winter Break Alternative is part of the college’s Service and Solidarity Programs. In its 26th year, these mission trips allow students to lean about Catholic social teaching while living and working for those in need. The trips gives Saint Anselm students the opportunity to build and renovate homes, tutor children, serve in soup kitchens, and visit with local families and individuals in the community.

SBA South Dakota group photo2016 W.B.A. Service Sites

Appalachia (Salem, West Virginia)

Participants will be working with Nazareth Farm. This Appalachia site is a rural building and outreach program that involves working with those in extreme rural poverty. Students will engage in work that involves both physical labor and community outreach. Students will go beyond hammering nails and painting walls and dig deep into the basic need for people to feel loved and appreciated.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Participants will work with International Institute of New England. The International Institute of New England helps with the resettlement of families in the United States and provides them services such as workforce development, assists with transition to a new culture, and educates them on important topics such a financial sustainability and job interviewing skills to promote self-sustainability.

At the site, students will assist the staff at the institute with numerous activities such as resettlement of families in the United States, providing them services such as workforce development, help with transition to a new culture, and educate them on important topics such a financial sustainability.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Participants will be working with Saint Joan of Arc School. Saint Joan of Arc School is a Roman Catholic school that works to follow the teaching of Jesus in all areas such as social, academic, and spiritual.

Students in the New Orleans will be assisting in the teaching of catholic principles to pre-kindergarten – eighth graders. Students will also volunteer at the St. Bernard Project where they will assist in the rebuilding of homes for families who can not afford to do so themselves.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Participants will be working with St. Francis Inn. Franciscans in inner city Philadelphia run a soup kitchen that also provides other basic needs such as clothing and hospitality. St. Francis Inn builds relationships with the people they serve by focusing on human dignity, living simply, and restoring hope.

Students will prepare and serve meals, deliver meals to homes, assist in thrift store clean up, and partake in women’s shelter outreach.

Phoenix, Arizona

SBA Send Off Mass 2015Participants will be working with The André House of Hospitality. The Andre House is a Catholic Worker Soup Kitchen where students will help provide homemade dinner to as many as 600 people every night in the “zone” of Phoenix. They also provide laundry services, a clothing closet and showers for guests. Through these services, the Andre House provides dignity to people who have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances.

Staten Island, New York

Participants will be working with Project Hospitality. Project Hospitality serves people living with special needs, including HIV/AIDS and mental illnesses, with an array of on-site professional services. The organizations offers care that begins with provision of food, clothing, and shelter, and extend to health and mental care, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, education, vocational training and legal assistance, and transitional and permanent housing.

Students will be working with the organization to clean up surrounding areas that are still recovering from flooding brought on by Super storm Sandy. They will hand out and prepare meals with the organization’s Community Service Center as well as working in their food pantry.

Vineland, New Jersey

Participants will be working with Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. It is just one of the many sites that Habitat for Humanity has where volunteers are committed to help build/rebuild homes in the surrounding community.

Students at the site will spend their time working on new home interiors, and preparing to open the new Re-Store thrift shop in Vineland. The students will work in teams and will assist in the construction of these houses using materials provided by the program.

Washington, D.C.

Participants will be working with Food and Friends. Food & Friends is the only organization in the Washington, DC, area providing specialized, nutritious meals, groceries, nutrition counseling and friendship to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Our students will serve by preparing and delivering meals and groceries to those in need.

Editorial support for this post was provided by Rosemary Lausier '16.

Final Travel Update – Winter Break Alternative 2015

All groups are back on campus! Winter Break Alternative 2015 is complete – and yet it has really just begun. It was wonderful welcoming back all these students, seeing their bright and smiling faces, and hearing their great stories. We look forward to the days to come as our participants continue to unpack this experience.

Saint Anselm College, Winter Break Alternative, Habitat for Humanity

While we waited for our last group to return, Appalachia, the groups shared stories, played games, participated in sing-alongs, and had a dance party. Here are the the final updates:

Appalachia: Our last group to arrive, came into the Cushing Center singing a John Denver classic – and were greeted by participants from all of the other 7 trips who were troopers all exhausted but joyously welcomed this last group home.

Camden: Made it back to campus at 6:15 – a very spirited group, tons of joy and energy!

D.R.: Has arrived home – happy to be back, adjusting to the drastic temperature change, and bursting with wonderful stories from N.P.H.!

D.C.: This group arrived around 7:30 p.m. and went straight to the welcome back party – hungry but full of spirit, playing games, sharing stories and laughter.

Habitat: Made good time arriving just after 6 o'clock. Thrilled to be home and proud to share the many stories of using power tools and meeting the wonderful folks of Cumberland Habitat.

Maine: Arrived at 2 p.m. They are thrilled to be home, and all enjoyed being able to take a long hot shower!

Manchester: Had a wonderful week. They were back on campus at 1:30 Saturday afternoon.

NOLA: Arrived in Manchester after 7:15 p.m. Greeted by the cold but excited to be home. They were happy to watch the end of the Patriots game on campus as they watched most of the game in the Baltimore airport.