From May 29 – June 4 a group of students and chaperones from Bishop Donahue lived in community, served the needy, prayed continuously, and lived simply at Nazareth Farm (owned by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston) located in Doddridge County, WV. Junior Mady Keller, sophomores Sophia Gretchen, Patrick Malloy, Isabel Reilly, along with chaperones Chris Vani – BD ’14, and teacher Amy Granato traveled to NazFarm not really knowing what would be in store for them. They shared the time there with other volunteers from Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Ca and Bishop Gorman High School in Tyler, TX. Not only did our BD volunteers meet volunteers from other schools, but they also met and shared time with the families on whose homes they performed home repairs like installing a tin roof and putting on vinyl siding. Our Nazfarmers worked alongside those who they served, and broke bread with them as well. Each also spent time at the Clarksburg Mission sorting and bailing clothes for the thrift store there, but most importantly spending time with the residents at the mission listening to the various stories surrounding how individuals and families may come to live at the mission. All of the BD volunteers had the opportunity to serve the community at the farm by working on home crew—cleaning up around the farm and preparing meals for all the rest who were on the work sites for the day. There were multiple communion services and daily prayer experiences composed and led by the volunteers as well. The BD contingent left the farm and all their new friends with heavy hearts promising to keep in touch.
This week could not have happened without the support of all those who had their car washed or generously donated at the appeals made through the month of May at St. Francis Xavier, St. James & St. John, and St. Jude! Thanks to all those who supported this service-immersion trip, we held you up in prayers of thanksgiving throughout the week.