Service to others is essential to living out our Catholic faith. In addition to a variety of service opportunities provided throughout the school year, students are invited to participate in summer service projects both locally and out of state. This year's opportunities included:
Appalachia Service Project
Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia. This year, MSJ served in Prestonsburg, KY, working with three different homeowners and their families. Participants were involved with construction of a 90-foot wheelchair ramp, porch roof repair, and construction of a new side porch.
Irvington Peace Park
The Irvington Peace Park Summer Camp is a community effort to give the children of Irvington a week to grow through tutoring, activities, and fun. This daily camp is a way to connect with our neighbors in Irvington and to give back through direct one-on-one ministry with the camp participants. Volunteers helped run the camp and lead the children through the various sections of the day. This camp has been so beneficial over the last two years that there were two 1-week sessions offered rather than just one. Our boys formed great bonds with the kids and hope to plan a Fall reunion.
Romero Center Ministries - The Urban Challenge
The Urban Challenge Program is an urban, service-learning, immersion experience rooted in the Catholic faith tradition. This experience offered a point of access to the lives and stories of the people of Camden, NJ, and its surrounding communities in need. Participants were invited to enter into the challenge of what it means to respond to our call to show preferential option for the poor through genuine solidarity. They lived together in community with students from Our Lady of Good Counsel. They embraced the charism of St. Oscar Romero as they encountered the poor, learned their names and stories, and experienced what they had to offer. "Most participants come prepared for what they will do for Camden, but they’re typically unprepared for what Camden will do for them!"
Eastern Shore of Virginia Mount Saint Joseph students joined Missioners of Christ and a team of youth from Maryland and Virginia to serve the migrant farmer families of Eastern Shore Virginia. They celebrated Mass at various men’s work camps, helped with Vacation Bible School for the migrant children, and gleaned potatoes in solidarity with those who work all day in the hot sun. They gave the potatoes away to those whom they served.