Whatsoever You Do…
At Newman University, there is a great deal of importance placed on serving others. Some students have scholarships that require service hours. Traditions and Transitions classes complete service projects and there are always emails about upcoming service opportunities.
On January 6, twenty-one students and 2 faculty chaperones took the 15 hour road trip to Gallup, to assist us here at Villa Guadalupe. Here are some of their reflections:
“From the moment you walk in the doors at the Villa Guadalupe, something is different. You know. You can feel it. A brightly-colored, homemade sign leans against the receptionist’s desk declaring, “Welcome Student Missionaries!” The air is warm, and sun shines through the windows. As you walk down the hall, a faint din begins to grow louder. Soon, you can distinguish individual voices calling out across an open space, and laughter breaking out through the echoes. You turn the corner. A softly crinkled Navajo face greets you with a contagiously genuine smile, and you feel it: Home.
The women belonging to the order of the Little Sisters of the Poor take a uniquely integral fourth vow upon their consecration: hospitality. This vow, along with their commitment to poverty, chastity, and obedience, governs their day-to-day activities, and their very lives. In my own experience, from the moment I met the Little Sisters, it was as though they had been waiting for me to arrive since the day I was born. This radical hospitality lends itself to an equally radical gift-of-self, and loving service to others: two qualities which make the Order a fitting and exemplary group of women to run a long-term care facility. The Residents in their Home are happy, hopeful, clean, and loved. The kindness of the sisters and their staff speaks for itself on the faces of the men and women who rely almost completely on the Villa Guadalupe for their every need. Joy is truly an adamant and resounding response to love, and the virtue of these incredible women is felt by all who come to know them, and call the Villa Guadalupe home.” –Clare Morgan
On Thursday, January 10, our Missionaries were able to visit different sites in the “Land of Enchantment”. Their favorite part of the day was to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a group at Canyon de Chey with the beautiful mountains as the perfect backdrop. Mountains and hills, bless the Lord!
“The night before we left Gallup, January 11, we were going around saying goodbyes to the Residents and sisters we had come to know. While we were doing that, some people were crying. Creating bonds with the people we were serving and knowing that we were making a difference in their lives caused some students to get emotional when they realized it was time to leave.
The point of going on service trips like this is obviously to help people who are in need but being with the people you serve does something to us too. Clare Morgan, campus ministry’s retreat coordination, mentioned that there is something about seeing the fruits of the work you do for others. I think this feeling is why so many people enjoyed the service trip.
In one of his parables, Jesus reveals that “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)
As Christians, we are called to serve those who are in need, but there is still something about serving others that matters and affects us regardless of whether it is a part of our religion or not. Being truly present to those in need and trying to fulfill those needs gives us a joy that we can only get by serving.” –Murphy Obershaw