Twenty-eight students spent last week volunteering at ministry and service organizations in Kansas City, Mo. and New Orleans as part of UD's Alternative Spring Break program. The New Orleans group repainted crypts at a Catholic cemetery and worked at The Arc, a community center for people with mental and physical disabilities, and Capstone, an organization that fixes houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
"We started every day with Mass, and at the end of the day, we would pray the liturgy of the hours and talk about where we saw God throughout the day," said Campus Minister Jennifer Guilbeau, who led the trip to New Orleans. "We looked at both the good and the difficult things that happened throughout the day to see how the experience changed us."
In Kansas City, students worked with A Simple House, an organization that serves, according to their mission statement, "the poorest of the poor," helping prepare and deliver meals to homeless people and to repair the house that serves as a base for the group's ministry.
Working with the nuns who volunteer at the ministry had a profound influence upon senior Jill Dominy.
"It was great to see how the sisters interacted with the homeless people they were helping, befriending them and praying with them," she explained.
UD students have participated in Alternative Spring Break, a national program in which college students devote their spring break to service projects, since 1994. Participants spend the months leading up to the program fundraising and attending faith formation meetings.
Photo: Jill Dominy