A Thank you from Newman, UNC-Chapel Hill!
Inspired by the “Pilgrimage of the Relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe,” UNC students embodied the life of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. in five contemporary vignettes. The Newman Catholic Student Center Parish, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Spring Mission Trip participants (financially supported in part, and spiritually supported in full, by our province) were able to reflect on their experiences of service and justice through the life of our Martyr of Charity. The Campus Minister and Pastor of Newman Center Parish is Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv.
Good Works in Philadelphia, PA: Students from the UNC Newman Center had the opportunity to serve meals to the homeless, package food for those in the area suffering from food insecurity, serve in Philadelphia schools, and work with adults with disabilities in a nursing home. They look forward to using all they learned in Philadelphia back in Chapel Hill and wherever life may take them!
Franciscan Action Network (FAN) in Washington, DC: “This spring break mission trip exposed our group to outreach and the importance of advocating for structural change in order to combat cyclical issues such as hunger and food waste. First-hand experiences with policy-makers and policy-changers allowed us to garner attention around an important piece of legislation (HB 4184, the Food Recovery Act) and even gain a signature from Congressman Brad Ashford (Nebraska). As young Catholics, we learned how we can advocate and change policy on an institutional level.”
Medical Mission to San Juan Pueblo, Honduras: “We traveled to San Juan Pueblo Honduras and treated 530 patients and 200 for eyeglasses! The construction team built new shelving and did electrical wiring and lights for the Natural Health Clinic at Padre Marco’s (a former Conventual friar) church in Santa Ana. The school team taught English for 4 days to seniors at the local high school and we all got to visit the school of special needs. After the clinics were over, Franciscan sisters prepared homemade pupusas for us…what a treat!”
Work-fest in Martin, Kentucky: Undergrads traveled to Martin, KY (in the Diocese of Lexington and Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., a Conventual Franciscan from the Our Lady of Consolation Province) to work on home repair projects with Christian Appalachian Project. They joined students and adult leaders from four other universities around the country and helped six families improve or eliminate substandard housing conditions. They encountered God in each other and in the families served, improved their understanding of injustice and solidarity, and enjoyed great weather with beautiful spring mountain views.
Conventual Franciscan Custody/Novitiate in Medellin, Colombia: The friars in Colombia opened their doors to seventeen Spring Mission participants from Newman Catholic Student Center Parish. They lived with the friars in their friary and each day the friars and novices accompanied them to the work-sites. Two of the days were spent working with the elderly and disabled. Mid-week, they spent a day at our parish in a poor part of the city, walking with the novices and Eucharistic ministers to visit the sick and give communion to the home-bound. The other two days were spent working with the friars in a conflict-resolution program they created for a pueblo on the outskirts of the city, where the displaced have erected housing on an abandoned railroad.
Please keep all of our friars, those we serve & those served in unity, in your prayers.