SJA

SJA

LEARNERS TODAY, LEADERS TOMORROW

Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace

Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace
Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace
Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace

Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace
Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace
Students Partic...
Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace Students Participate in Community Builders for Peace

 

A group of St. Joseph’s Academy students participated in the Congregation of St. Joseph’s 2017 Community Builders for Peace program. The students joined counterparts from sister school Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, as well as students from Academia Maria Reina in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at this year’s gathering in Kalamazoo, Michigan, June 11-16.

Participants experienced the call to community, peace and justice, reconciliation and mission woven in the CSJ mission and charism. They participated in more than 50 hours of service with Habitat for Humanity, stocked items at Restore, made meals and served people at a local soup kitchen and cleaned a warehouse. They also visited with and learned about migrant workers and experienced the Sisters’ organic farming operations.

The students were then challenged to create a service project which they will carry out back at home during the upcoming school year.

Senior Claire Doucet said the week was an eye-opening experience for every participant. “We went into the community to help not only those who are less fortunate than ourselves, but also to assist organizations that are reaching out to local residents,” she said. “From serving in a soup kitchen to digging driveways to cleaning in a warehouse, every single community builder contributed whole-heartedly to serving the community. What I most enjoyed during this experience was talking with the individuals at the soup kitchen and learning their names, faces and stories. Despite differing backgrounds, we had many similarities, reminding us that we are all one. Additionally, every night we divided into small groups and participated in theological reflection, connecting our service with what we feel called to do.

“Participants will now develop a project to improve their own communities,” Doucet added. “We are all excited to begin bringing people together to make a difference in our local communities. We are especially thankful to the Sisters of St. Joseph for hosting us and for blessing us with their youthful spirit and positive outlook so that we can emanate them and their outreach.”

Senior Ellen Herndon said the goal of the program is to make the world a more loving, peaceful place. “We were welcomed by the Sisters whose ‘being on fire for the Gospel’ was contagious,” she said. “My favorite part of this experience was that at the end of every day, we would all come together and reflect on our service. After every night of sharing what was in our hearts, we felt refreshed and invigorated for the next day.

“This experience was meaningful to me because of the positive attitudes of the Sisters, chaperones and students I met,” Herndon added. “To see the Sisters’ love for their vocations and their energy to help everyone was inspiring. I will always keep this experience close in my heart, and I am eager to continue to develop our peace-building project for the next eight months.”

The group was accompanied by school counselor Kathie Hayden.

 

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

 

Photos courtesy of Kathie Hayden

 

Date posted: June 23, 2017

Image Map

St. Joseph's Academy ~3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808 ~225.383.7207

COPYRIGHT @ 2011 ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.