PC Blogs

Rebuilding, Restoring, and Restucturing

Guest Blogger: Patrick Rogers

Team NOLA 2015

Team NOLA 2015

As much as I would like to go on forever boasting about my recent experience with thirteen other students and a campus minister while doing service and exploring the fantastic city of New Orleans, I cannot. To try to put into words how much the city has given me and how much it has changed me would be impossible. Amidst the tangible livelihood and celebratory atmosphere you can feel when walking through the city’s streets, there runs deep devastation even after ten years since Hurricane Katrina.  While I cannot capture the full impact New Orleans has had on me into this post, here’s my best attempt.

Along with venturing through the city, our group worked at four different nonprofit organizations during the week. Driving around neighborhoods with houses still boarded up and empty lots with just cement steps leading to what was once a front door was a scary reality that I witnessed. The hardest thing for me to grasp while standing in front of lots that were once houses was the fact that it has been ten years. Ten years. I was only in fifth grade when Hurricane Katrina hit the city in the late summer of 2005. I remember seeing pictures and hearing news reports, but nine-year-old me was more concerned about my upcoming fifth grade year. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have changed and grown and matured in immeasurable ways over the past ten years. To think that the past decade of my life would have been halted is nearly impossible for me to even grasp.  This in-between transitioning period still remains a stoic and fixed reality for the people who were forgotten about in New Orleans.

One of the homes in the Lower 9th Ward, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

One of the homes in the Lower 9th Ward, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The damage didn’t end with Katrina either, there were incredibly high rates of contractor fraud, houses were ruined, neighborhoods were vanished, and people who called New Orleans their home were forced to relocate for months (or for some: permanently). The city had several problems before the hurricane struck; blaming Katrina for all of the currently existing problems would be giving the storm too much power. The city cannot be defined by the catastrophe. Instead, it is defined by the culture, the food (definitely the food), the faith, the smiles and laughter, the strength, the resiliency.

New Orleans' Superdome

New Orleans’ Superdome

The most remarkable aspect of New Orleans is that through inconceivable devastation and failure, there is still triumph over such terrible realities. Of the many people that you talk to while you’re in New Orleans, they will say that volunteers rebuilt the city after Katrina – and it’s volunteers that still continue to rebuild. Providence College gives students so many opportunities to be a part of something greater than the bubble that we live in here on campus. I luckily have discovered this just as a sophomore. New Orleans has become a place of reconstruction and great strength. To say that they have been able to overcome – and are still working to overcome – a category five storm shows how strong and determined they are. And how much pride they have in their home. New Orleans is a community that you cannot leave behind. It will stick with you. New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart, and if you’re ever feeling lost, I can promise you New Orleans will take you with open arms. The community and volunteers from all over the world in New Orleans are rebuilding, restoring, and restructuring a place that has been victim of destruction and devastation. I did not expect that it would rebuild, restore, and restructure my own life in the way that it has.

SEEK 2015

Guest Blogger: Nicole Rossi

seek

Picture Courtesy of Madeleine Veith

The website states that, “SEEK is a gathering of college students on a journey. It’s a place where we can come together to take on some of life’s BIGGER questions and, like guides along the way, learn from one another where wisdom and experience lead. Life is meant to be lived and in order to live it to the fullest, we need to heed the wisdom that calls us to ‘ask, seek and knock’ to discover who we are, where we’re going and what motivates us. Presented by FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, SEEK2015 is an adventurous five-day event in Nashville from January 1st – 5th. With unexpected twists and turns, you will be challenged, inspired and left wanting more. Don’t go it alone, let’s seek together.”

That is simply not enough to describe the powerful experience.

“Come and see.” Well that is exactly what we did. 18 of us travelled from our hometowns right after Christmas to Nashville, TN, to spend a week with over 9,500 other college students sharing our faith. Incredible is an understatement. Powerful is more fitting. After morning mass each day, the women and men were separated for a Women’s Talk and Men’s Talk, in which the speakers address specific gender issues in today’s society. The various speakers ranged from a nun who shared her faith journey to an atheist sharing her journey towards Catholicism. (I was not allowed at the men’s talks-even though I tried to sneak in a few times). After a brief break for lunch, there were opportunities for different topic “Impact Talks” to attend. There were about 10 options for each of the 2 Impact Sessions each day. This allowed you to follow what sincerely related to you or what you needed to hear. Most of the Impact Sessions, I attended with fellow classmates and we were able to discuss our reactions after. I found that being surrounded by those who believe in the same faith and who are struggling with similar cultural and societal pressures deepened my own relationship with God and those around me.

Vulnerable is the perfect word to encompass all that it feels to be open to one another and to God during this experience. The keynote speech that

Picture Courtesy of Madeleine Veith

Picture Courtesy of Madeleine Veith

ended each day was so moving sharing it with the 10,000 other students. Being together in a huge room just proved how important the role of community plays especially in faith.

This experience was not one of one sole purpose, but of personal growth and strength. There were 18 people from PC who attended the conference, meaning that there were 18 different lessons learned, lives impacted, and blessings given by God. It was not a week of “How to Be the Perfect Catholic,” but a week of accepting the love that God has for each and every one of His creations. Sure, we learned how to navigate through the obstacles society places on college kids who chose to practice their faith, but more importantly we learned that we are called to love unconditionally as God loves us. SEEK empowered me in ways that have truly impacted my life and have strengthened and solidified my faith as my foundation. Now I will always answer “yes” when asked to “come and see..”

 

TODAY: Confessions Made Easy!

Stop by St. Dominic’s Chapel anytime today from 3:00 pm to midnight to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Regardless of how long it’s been since your last confession, this is a wonderful opportunity to take a break out of your busy day during this Advent Season and receive God’s gifts of mercy and forgiveness.

confessions made easy

CampMin’s First Dinner Date Dance

Guest Blogger: Brendan Kelly

On Saturday, November 22nd, the Knights of Columbus hosted Campus Ministry’s first ever Dinner Date Dance in the Campus Ministry Center.  Over 80 people attended the event and, through ticket sales, over $700 was raised to help Christians in the Middle East.

The Campus Ministry Center was completely transformed from its typical set up, with flowers, black and white decorations, and candlelight along with a dance floor.

The evening started with an hour during which those in attendance, dressed in semi-formal attire, enjoyed conversation and delicious hors d’oeuvres.  This was followed by a sit-down dinner with a three course menu prepared by Assistant Chaplain Father Justin Brophy featuring pasta in vodka sauce, chicken stuffed with couscous and asparagus, and an array of freshly baked desserts.  After dinner, students headed to the dance floor, which was full for the rest of the evening.

This event was a complete success and was better than I could have imagined.  A huge thanks to Father Justin, Community Life, and everyone who helped put this event together.  Everyone had an amazing time and it was a great alternative to spending a Saturday night in the library or off campus and provided a fun environment where everyone could get dressed up and have fun.

 

Ministry of the Week: Special Olympics

alex

Coordinator:  Alex Rawson ’15

Major: Health Policy and Management/Business Studies

Email: arawson@friars.providence.edu

What is Special Olympics?

Special Olympics organizes several events throughout the year – including a soccer tournament, two basketball tournaments in Peterson Recreation Center, and an on-campus swim meet.  Each year hundreds of PC student volunteers help coordinate these athletic events with Special Olympics of Rhode Island.

Why did you decide to get involved?

Because I find this to be the most rewarding and fulfilling experience not only for myself, but for the athletes and volunteers, too!

What are you looking forward to most about being involved with Special Olympics this year?

Seeing how many volunteers we will have and deciding on the spring sport!

Upcoming;  The Unified Basketball Tournament Saturday December 6th 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Meetings:  Tuesdays at 7:00 pm in the Chapel Basement.  All are welcome!

Upcoming: Dinner Date Dance

dinner date dance

Campus Ministry is sponsoring a Dinner Date Dance November 22nd at 7 pm in the Campus Ministry Center!  There will be a cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner and dancing.  Attire is semi-formal.

Tickets are $10 for individuals and $15 for couples.  Tickets are on sale this week in the Campus Ministry Center.  All proceeds go to help Christians in the Middle East.

A Reflection on Reflecting

Guest Blogger: Aylin Corapcioglu

Although midterms are coming to an end, the semester is still incredibly hectic for many of us PC students. Finding time to just sit back, and reflect on our lives is a rarity, however it so very important. Last Thursday, we had a fantastic night to reflect about the importance of service in our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the logistics of serving others, as well as in the stress and the chaos that often comes with service.

However, it is especially in those chaotic moments of service that we have to remember WHY we serve. This question was the main subject of our reflection night. The night allowed students to enjoy some fall snacks and take the time to share their reasons for their service. Students were able to talk with each other about their individual experiences, ask themselves why they enjoy being involved in service opportunities, and actually create a short personal quote so they could articulate why service is important to them-look for the poster in Campus Ministry! It was great to be reminded that in serving others, we are serving God. God has given each of us different gifts, and it is very special when we can realize these gifts and share them with those around us.

As we discussed on Thursday, for many of us, service is where we feel our faith the most. Serving others is a chance where we can actually see God’s grace in action. We often call moments of service “service opportunities” or “service projects,” and that is exactly what they are. Service grants us the opportunity to be stewards of God’s love, to not only show those we are serving God’s love, but to actually be serving God directly! Service has ups and downs, so it certainly is a constant project. But, service is always an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God, and to spread the love and grace of God that He relentlessly shows us.

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week

white ribbon

This week, October 27-October 31, is White Ribbon Against Pornography Week.  Throughout the week, Providence College’s Anscombe Society will sponsor events to raise awareness about the harms done by exposure to pornography.  Here’s a look at the week’s events:

Monday:

Pick up your white ribbons for White Ribbon Against Pornography Week in the Slavin Atrium from Noon-5 pm

Tuesday:

Lecture by Dr. Layden on the Harms of Sexual Exploitation in the Slavin Mural Lounge from 7-8 pm

Wednesday:

Student Discussion and viewing of The Heart of the Matter in the Slavin Fishbowl from 8-9 pm

Thursday:

Holy Hour Against Sex Trafficking (cosponsored by Campus Ministry) in St. Dominic Chapel from 8-9 pm

Ministry of the Week: Elderly Outreach

ryan

Coordinator: Ryan Bonomi (aka Cupcake, Kittens, Squid, Bone Saw, or Nugget) ’16

Major: Finance with an Economics Minor

Email: rbonomi@friars.providence.edu

What is Elderly Outreach?

Elderly outreach is a local service club that enables students to provide friendship and entertainment to residents of local nursing homes.  As a member of the club, students will get the opportunity to talk to, make crafts with, and watch performances with the residents of Capitol Ridge Assisted Living Home.  It is a fun and relaxed atmosphere, allowing students to easily connect with residents.

Why did you decide to get involved?

I have been visiting nursing homes my whole life.  From the time I was in first grade all the way to high school, I used to join my dad with his high school Christmas club, the Singing Santas, as they performed at nursing homes.  We sang a bunch of Christmas songs while we were there and it always brought so much joy to the residents.  So when I came to college, Elderly Outreach gave me an opportunity to do this kind of service again and it has been a very rewarding experience for me!

What are you looking forward to most about being involved with Elderly Outreach this year?

The thing I’m looking forward to most would have to be getting to meet so many new people.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know the residents at Capitol Ridge better.  They all have such interesting stories, so it’s a great experience to get to talk with them.  Also I’m excited to get to know the other volunteers better.  We have a great group of volunteers.  They make Elderly Outreach a wonderful time!

Upcoming:

We have our Spooktacular Halloween Party on Friday, October 31st

Meetings: 

Every Friday in Campus Ministry at 2:45 pm

Ministry of the Week: Liturgical Choir

susannah

Coordinator:  Susannah O’Brien ’17

Major:  Math and Music

Email: sobrie17@friars.providence.edu

What is Liturgical Choir?

Liturgical Choir sings at the 7 pm mass at St. Dominic’s.  Everyone is welcome, and no audition is required to join.  Directed by Sherry Humes Dane, we sing traditional hymns in three and four-part harmony with instrumentalists (e.g. oboe, flute, violin).

Why did you decide to get involved? 

I attended the 7 pm mass from week one of college and really liked the music.  Blown away by their sound, I approached Sherry after mass, asking what I needed to do to be a part of the group.  The choir sings a lot of traditional hymns, some with a modern spin to them.  At the time, this reminded me of the choir I sang in at home.  My familiarity with the music and the welcoming attitude of everyone in the choir helped me adjust to being away from home.

What are you looking forward to most about being involved with Liturgical Choir this year?

We’ve incorporated more opportunities for prayer and scripture reading into our rehearsal time, refocusing the group on why we do what we do.  I’ve been so impressed with everyone’s receptiveness and enthusiasm, and I’m excited to continue this new tradition.  Also we are looking forward to getting the group outside the walls of Campus Ministry with open mic nights and other events!

Upcoming:

Come hear us at the 7 pm mass every Sunday!

Meetings:

We meet for rehearsal 7-8:30 pm on Wednesdays in Campus Ministry Room A.

 

PC Blogs