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I will forever be grateful for my experiences to Nicaragua…even though the visits are emotionally, physically, and mentally demanding, especially when you are in charge of your students in a foreign country, I am grateful to accompany students on these encounters with Christ.

Today, I was reminded of how much beauty there is on these trips! Really challenging, but looking back, my heart is full of gratitude.

Please keep us in our prayers, as our Nicaragua trip is coming up as well!

Here’s a video from one of my first experiences with organization, Amigos for Christ:

Humble Thyself

Humble Thyself

I was driving to work the other day and the song, “Litany of Humility” came on by Danielle Rose. What a beautiful prayer! While it is extremely important to have technical skills as a development practitioner, it is also important to carry a qualified set of characteristics. One of those characteristics we often discuss in class is humility.

Humility is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble.”

How can we be effective as development practitioners, with good intentions, yet lack humility? I remember one of the first lessons I learned on mission is that I had to check my ego at the door. If my intention was to be a part of positive change, I realized there was no way I could accomplish this by putting myself before others. Just no way. While my college degree and course may have prepared me for the work I was about to do, it did not matter. I was the foreigner entering a new environment, and there was no guarantee on how I would be received.

If I lacked humility, I probably would have been driven right out of that place! After a few battle scars of ego here and there, I am still in the process (it’s a daily practice!) of practicing humility.

If you have never heard the song, or if you are unfamiliar with the prayer, it is a beautiful one! Here you go:

The prayer was originally written by Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val (1865-1930), the Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X. The lyrics to Danielle Rose’s song are found here.


 Image: “Colours in the Sky” by geezaweezer licensed under CC BY 2.0

Discovering Your Vocation

Discovering Your Vocation

Fr. James Martin, SJ, shares a 5 minute talk on Vocation. Enjoy!

Misconceptions on Vocation: “You see visions and hear voices…” and vocation only has to do with priesthood and religious life..NO!

Vocation is becoming the person who God wants you to become…

How do you find your vocation?

It starts with desire.

Some questions to ask yourself:

What do you like to do? What gives you joy? What energizes you?

What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to do in life?

Check this:

[Cabrini Style] Arts. Research. Scholarship.

[Cabrini Style] Arts. Research. Scholarship.

Last week, Cabrini held its annual Arts, Research, and Scholarship Symposium which featured the creative accomplishments and research on various topics from Cabrini students.

Wandering around, it was pretty cool to ask the students about the research they conducted over the course of the past couple semesters and to learn about their results and conclusions.

I remember asking a number of the students what their motivation was for choosing the specific subject of their research, and at first they said, well, it was an assignment…but then, the more they did research and explored deeper into their work, they wanted to find conclusions and obtain the results themselves. The students worked hard (you could tell!) and they were knowledgeable about the research they conducted. Bravo Cabrini students!

Here are a few pictures of the posters and the students that put in great effort and energy towards their projects:

This freshman student conducted his research on “Dating Violence.” I told him how I was happy that he was a male looking into this issue, and he shared with me how his whole group was comprised of other men, and he was most surprised about how prevalent this issue is, especially among college-aged students. Next steps? He said that with the knowledge he has, he wants to be able to turn others away from dating violence. Sweet.
This group helped out at Philabundance, the region’s largest food bank and hunger relief organization.
This group has connected with Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland, via our recent visitors that came in January and are looking further into ways that they may support the mission. The group provided them with cameras, and hope they will be able to showcase the photographs taken in Swaziland, in Fall 2013.
Patton…comparing history with the film.
Danielle, a graduating senior, explored the correlation between religious beliefs and media usage, and how that affects attitudes towards dating, relationships, and sexuality. She’s going to be a great teacher someday! She already is!
Donald, one of our CRS Ambassadors, conducted research on immigration and the perception of college students on the issue. As an advocate for immigrants, it was great to see him speak with others about his research. One of the staff members asked him for his opinion on the ECG courses, and of course, he shared how a great majority of his ECG knowledge and expertise came from classes with Jerry and through the comm department. (no bias from me!)
This group conducted a marketing campaign for the issue of Anti-Bullying, especially on campuses. With the increase of violence among students and bullying at that, this was a video they created to further their efforts.

Lastly, one of the classes that I worked closely with, was Global Leadership. Comprised of individuals from various majors, they took on the issue of Human Trafficking. They spent their year learning more about the issue, and in terms of leadership, were given the task of researching a “not-so-popular” leader. During their session in the afternoon, each member of the class shared a brief bio on their chosen leader, and shared their reflections on what they learned about human trafficking.  It was great to hear how the students drew connections between themselves and their selected leader. If they were into sports, they chose a sports figure who was active in an area of working towards the common good. One of the students who had a strong affinity with music, chose a musician. The anti-human trafficking video they created, with the super duper help of Laura and Megan, is shown here:

The idea of this video is to create a campaign on the issue of human trafficking, as it has hit home locally here, near King of Prussia. This video serves as a challenge to other college campuses, to research more into the issue, and to also create a video for advocacy and awareness. Please spread this and share the hotline number with others!

This Symposium emphasizes that insightful and wonderful work is being done with and by college students. Be hopeful for our future!

Now, I just pray that this momentum keeps itself up after leaving the college walls. Great job everyone!

face your fears

face your fears

oh wow, if you want to cry, like, for real…check out this beautiful film:

i would like to thank my God-sent, bestest friend out here, chelsea, for sharing with me this goodness, among other titles that hit way too close to home. she’s the best!