Students Serve in Cincinnati

They could have been hanging out with friends or staying at home going to sleep in their own beds. But instead, 11 students recently chose to immerse themselves with the homeless and help those in need.

This year's annual Urban Plunge retreat focused on serving the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Cincinnati. Students stayed at the facility, helped and prepared meals, and got a better understanding of urban poverty.

Teacher Alan Rozanski, who experienced the Urban Plunge for the first time with CJ said, "this experience has motivated the students to right the wrongs in our society, and listen to Mary when she says to us, 'do whatever He tells you.'"

During the weekend mission, students visited the Mary Magdalen House, which is run by a Marianist Ministry. Brother Giancarlo spoke with the group about the importance of treating those down on their luck with the same dignity as a person who is not in need. The Mary Magdalen House has private showers, toiletries, and laundry services available for the guests. It's the basic necessities that most of us don't think twice about that can sometimes be the most impactful on the Mary Magdalen House guests.

"The students responded with such generous and open hearts," said Urban Plunge adviser Molly Bardine.

During the retreat, CJ students participated in a number of different activities in order to better understand the realities of those experiencing poverty and homelessness.  The Catholic Social Teaching principle of Solidarity was a major theme of the retreat.

Clare Wade, '16 said "it was a very eye opening experience in which I now have a better understanding of how much of an impact I can make through all my little actions."