Monday, May 5, 2014

Breathing Life into a Community Through Service



Catholic Volunteer Network, in partnership with Catholic Extension, is hosting Days of Service and Reflection all across the country in the dioceses where our Campus Recruitment Associates serve. As these events take place, we will share reflections from students who participate.  

Reflection by Christopher Schmidt, University of Idaho

University of Idaho students came out in impressive number for a day of service and reflection!
I was recently granted a unique opportunity: I got to help almost thirty people in a community service project on a cold and dreary day. It may have seemed at the face of it that this would be a uniquely miserable experience, but in fact it was one of the best I have had in a while! 

Catholic Volunteer Network gathered up a group of volunteers to help some of members of our local community with yard work that they were either unable to do or might find hard to do on account of their age or a recent injury. We met at 9 a.m., split into teams and got to work.

Helping those in need always brings peace of mind and a certain amount of spiritual comfort, but to see almost thirty college students give up their Saturday morning to work with such dedication and in such a cheery manner, despite the weather, was nothing short of inspirational. It was an insight into the living faith of our community and the fruit that such a faith can bear. To have so many people volunteer their time shows not only a valuable work ethic but dedication to God and his Church. The work that these volunteers did shows that they are willing to give up the free time of their weekend and the short notice gives testament to the fact that this is an interior disposition that has been nurtured into a natural response. 

When the community said they needed help there were workers ready and wanting to help in whatever way was needed. This is the kind of disposition that will breathe life into the Church in the modern era as in every other. Living the Faith cannot be restricted to an individual experience of occasional piety "for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen."(1 Jn 4:20) It was truly a blessing to be involved in this service and I would heartily encourage anyone to seek a similar project in their own community. Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. The least we can do is give a few hours.


Christopher is a member of the St. Augustine's Catholic Community at the University of Idaho. To learn more about the Catholic community at the University of Idaho please visit www.vandalcatholics.org.