Alternative Break Inspires Ministry, Service

Chris Lytle

For many students, spring break is a vacation, a chance to step away from the stresses of daily life. But last year, Mary Carper and Kaylee Bluethmann (now sophomores) embarked on Marian University’s alternative spring break to Campton, Kentucky, and their experience wasn’t exactly a walk on the beach. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, the young women witnessed abject poverty - hungry people, living in a food desert, their lives oftentimes made even more complicated by a lack of education, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse.

Enter Sr. Susan Pleiss, OSF, pastoral associate at Good Shepherd Parish, the only Catholic Church in Campton, and all of Wolfe County. Both Mary and Kaylee were inspired by Sr. Susan’s outreach efforts...

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Students and Faculty Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Service Project

by Katie McConnell | Feb 03, 2014

On Monday, January 20, Marian University students, faculty, and staff recognized Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and service to the world by participating in the third annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. The service project was held at the Peaceful Grounds, where the 50 participants worked in hoop houses. Located on the Marion County Fairgrounds, Peaceful Grounds’ mission is to “create transformational opportunities for individuals and communities through food growing and service initiatives that promote sustainability and peace.”

A hoop house is similar to a greenhouse, meaning that it traps all heat and energy given off. In the house there are an abundance of piles of compost combining recycled beer mash and mulch.

“Our job was to shift and shovel and mix these piles, as well as prepare the way for a new water system,” said Junior Emma Laut. Laut has volunteered at the Martin Luther King Day of Service for the last three years.

When the service project was complete, students returned to campus for dinner, guest speakers, and reflection. Two of the speakers were current Marian University students, David Doub and Shaquona Ellis. The third speaker was the director of the Mother Theresa Hackelmeier Memorial Library, Nancy Kirkpatrick. After the speakers, students had a period for reflection to talk about the service project and its connection to the Martin Luther King Jr.’s service.

“This day of service offers an abundance of benefits. From the grace of meeting fellow peers and completing a project, to learning about the passion of the Peaceful Grounds’ mission, the day in itself is a success. But more than that, this day offers the ability to reflect on the dignity of the individual.” said Laut.

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