As part of Campus
Ministry’s service immersion experience in Philadelphia, PA, 15
St. John’s students from the Queens and Staten Island campuses
participated in the winter “
plunge” program. The group traveled to the St. Vincent de Paul Young Adult
Center on January 14–19 to serve resident’s of the city’s
Germantown section—an area rich in Vincentian heritage.
experience, Christina Ciavattoni ’14C, who recently transferred to
St. John’s, felt she connected with the University community. “This
experience has changed my life,” she said. “I am a stronger
individual than I was before this plunge. I have learned about
myself through those I served and through my team.”
’14C, student plunge leader, and James Behan ’04CPS, ’10G, campus
minister, led the group in a variety of service projects geared to
expose students to service, simple community life and solidarity
with the poor and disadvantaged. Activities included helping at an
adult day-care facility and after-school programs; assisting with
the sorting and upkeep of two thrift stores; serving lunch to
homeless men at a local shelter; visiting the Vincentian fathers
and brothers in residence at St. Catherine’s Infirmary—the
provincial Vincentian nursing home; and volunteering at the house
renovation division of Inn Dwelling, a nonprofit organization that
helps low-income families in the area.
week, we all worked hard to make sure each and every one of us
could make it through the tasks that may have been hard for us,”
said Katherine Archilla ’15C. “We worked, laughed, and made friends
The plunge team
learned about the area’s Vincentian history, visiting the
historical archives of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of
the Mission, and heard about the history of the Miraculous
Medal and its Vincentian connection. They also took part in a
community potluck dinner with Vincentian Fathers and Brothers,
Daughters of Charity and parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul Church
in Germantown, administrated by the Vincentian Fathers.
“This week has shown
me that the side of myself I reserved for close friends, I can now
share with everyone I meet,” said Luigi Papasidero ’14Ed.
The winter plunge is
just one of a series of service immersion opportunities offered to
students throughout the academic year.
information, please contact: