We are grateful for our long standing partnership with St. John’s Church and Student Center at Michigan State University. Their visit is highly anticipated each year. On March 3, we welcomed 11 students to the Province Center for their Alternative Spring Break experience. Over the week, the students had the opportunity to visit several of the Sister’s sponsored ministries and other local non-profits. They learned about the mission of the Sister’s and Redeemer Ministry Corps while also helping us to celebrate the beginning of National Catholic Sister’s Week with a catered dinner, fun activity and prayer service. During the week we visited:
- S.P.I.N. provides services and support to adults and children with intellectual, developmental and autism spectrum disabilities. Here the students interacted with the adults at their community and fitness center and participated in their fairy garden party!
- Drueding Center, a ministry of the Sisters of the Redeemer, is a transitional housing program for women and children experiencing homelessness. The students worked in the Green Light Food Pantry, assisted the maintenance team to prepare an apartment for a new family and helped with classroom setup.
- Lafayette Redeemer is a community for older adults consisting of both independent and assisted living services. The students helped to host a Casino Night for the residents. This is always a fun highlight from the week!
- Redeemer Valley Garden, a ministry of the Sisters of the Redeemer, is a place to nurture sustainable soil to bring forth food and flowers, and to grow community by sharing talents, energy and abundance. The students helped mix up potting soil and prepare signs for the second-grader’s garden!
- Breaking Bread is one of many programs offered by Broad Street Ministry located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia. Through the Breaking Bread program, meals are served to the guests restaurant style, honoring each guests dignity and offering hospitality to all that enter their doors. The students helped to serve a meal to 250 guests.
- Aid For Friends mission is to alleviate the hunger and loneliness of isolated homebound individuals in the Greater Philadelphia area. The students helped to prepare over 100 containers of soup and jello.
Thursday evening, the Sisters and students came together to kick-off National Catholic Sisters Week with dinner and a craft. This was a welcomed opportunity for the students to learn more about the Sisters in a fun and interactive environment.
Following dinner, the students and Sisters formed teams to participate in the “Creating the Charism” activity. Each team received a charism of the Sisters and were invited to depict that particular charism using the various art materials. Each team did a wonderful job with their creation! The charisms that were depicted were: hospitality, care of creation, healing presence and simplicity.
The evening concluded with a prayer service led by the students as they shared about their experiences from the week, where they saw God and the gifts they received. The students were a gift to us and we have been blessed by their presence and hope they will continue to seek out ways to serve in the future!