Next week, students, faculty, and staff will embark on alternative break. This “alternative” to the beach-bound spring break calls students to spend their week away from school in service to others.
46 students and eight staff/faculty advisors will immerse themselves in a week of reflection, direct service, prayer, and cultural and justice education. In Appalachia, where Sr. Susan Pleiss, OSF, serves as the pastoral associate for Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd, students will interact with the rural poor of Campton, Kentucky. In Tohatchi, New Mexico, with Sr. Pat Bietsch, OSF, and Sr. Maureen Kochert, OSF, students will work with the Navajo people at St. Mary’s Mission. In Chinandega, Nicaragua, students will collaborate with Amigos for Christ, to support efforts of the Nicaraguan people to supply fresh water, safe kitchens, and education.
“The most compelling belief propelling our alternative break program is that by engaging with ‘those who cannot repay you,’ a seed of transformation takes root,” said Jeanne Grammens Hidalgo, campus ministry advisor for the trips. “This is not a rescue mission, but an opportunity to humbly walk with others as God walks with us. The important part of this opportunity is students’ willingness to say yes to experience the uncomfortable, to go outside the realm of the familiar and be present to another. That is where the transformation occurs; just as Pope Francis, and Jesus said!”
In April, students will present their experiences to the Marian University community, sharing their experiences and recruiting students for next year.