Friday, March 13, 2015

SEEC (Shirlington Employment and Education Center)

After visiting SEEC (Shirlington Employment and Education Center) I was left with some relief. Andrés really showed us a great example of how to live a life as a disciple of God. He spoke to us about how to he manages to be patient when faced with a difficult situation. His work in reaching out to everyone, especially immigrants, from around the center is inspiring. The center reminded me of the mission of Spiritans: to serve others where no one else wants to serve. Despite the fact that some of the individuals who seek the aid of the center can be a bit of a handful, he enjoys his job and was nothing but smiles.
Andrés gave me ideas about how I might try to help out immigrants elsewhere, such as providing them with an ID from SEEC or another organization they can reach out to. He reminded me that God loves ALL His children and doesn't ever discriminate. The center was simple but enough for individuals to gather, grab a bite to eat, and support one another. It was great! :)
God bless,
Diana Belén Delgadillo

Saturday, March 7, 2015

World Trade Center,Baltimore

Morning at the Inner Harbor: Baltimore from a different perspective

Today, we traveled to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, one of our pit stops was the World Trade Center. There we journeyed up to the 27th floor, and were amazed to see the beautiful day we were given from atop the skyline.  We made postcards, to be sent to the persons of choice, and explored the small museum like atmosphere that welcomed us. Afterward, we went to the Galley, a trendy spot in the Harbor. There we ate at Johnny Rockets, and waited for our ladies to exit the bi-level H&M store. Overall, we had a great experience, took tons of pictures, and shared many laughs. The time spent away from our projects at St. Edwards Parish was a beneficial time bringing us together as one family.
GetFileAttachment.jpgAaron Bordley

Friday, March 6, 2015

Listening to the Haiti Committee

Our first friend at St. Edwards.

As we walked up towards the front door of St. Edward's, a little face popped into the window. 9-year-old Elijah, or Eli as his friends call him, was one of the first to greet us into this parish. Since his dad works for Father Honest, he is able to spend his time safely in this parish. This initially quiet kid has brought smiles and hope all around. He has gone from barely talking to rapping on stage for us, and although I had to make up a name for myself so he would remember, hearing him call "Lula!" never fails to bring a smile to my face. The consistent willingness to help us vacuum rooms, carry out trash, or even sit in mass with us is incredible. As helpful as he is, Eli is still a kid and has given us a break from work; whether it's making snowballs, or playing cards or basketball, this boy has shown us that taking a break from work is fun and not to take anything for granted. Although we all agree that Eli is lucky to have this parish to come to, we really hope he pursues his goal to go to college and is able to grow with the support of Father Honest and the parish.

Cynthia Yun


Elijah Emmanuel

Haiti Committee


This past Monday we had the privilege of being able to meet and talk with two members of Our Lady Queen of Peace's Haiti ministry. After joining the parish twinning program, declaring that they would love to be paired with the parish "no one else wants," OLQP was paired with St. Joseph's in Medor, Haiti; an incredibly remote town full of some 40,000 hard working and inspiring Haitian individuals. The Haiti ministry told us a story of the work they have done over the past fourteen years and how, despite the wonderful structures they have built to better the communities health and well-being, the people of Medor were most effected by the hope the Haitian ministry gave them. In addition to the hope the Haiti ministry induced, they contributed to the establishment of a new primary and secondary school, a church, a clean water initiative and a reforestation initiative. The Haiti ministry continues to work with the people of Medor to listen to and meet their needs both economically and spiritually so that their community can continue to grow and flourish. I must say it was an absolute pleasure see the undeniable dedication and love the Haiti ministry has toward the people of Medor.  Nicole Carota


After the food bank tour with our t-shirts

we filled Food distribution bags

Today our main focus was on food insecurity, so we started our day off with helping the church members unload vans filled with food from the food bank and then packing up bags of food for local families.  It was amazing to me how much food there was, as we tag teamed to lug over huge bags of potatoes and carrots!  We found out that they do this amount of work to provide 170 families with food every single week, and this was another ministry at Our Lady Queen of Peace that impressed me with their dedication to their community.  We had so much fun going through the line putting the food into the reusable bags and even individually packaging up the rice and beans.  I appreciated the focus this church has on supporting these families with healthy choices while upholding their dignity!     Amanda Adams

Making friends

Getting ready to serve at the food distribution.

OLQP Just Faith group


Just Faith, Just in Time
Today we got a chance to sit down with the Just Faith group at Our Lady Queen of Peace. They are a group of young adults that meet once a week to discuss social justice issues in our modern society and connect those to the Catholic teaching. To get to know each other, we went around and shared two truths and a lie. This was a great way for us to learn some interesting facts about one another. The Just Faith group also reads books that they focus on and discuss them when they are together. A book recommendation they made was "Tattoos on the Heart" and I am looking forward to reading it!
-Elise Wilson

Gift bearers at Mass


We were asked to take up the gifts at the 6pm youth mass on Sunday.  All eight of us were able to participate and brought up toys and books for the children in Haiti as well as the bread and wine.  After the mass, we had dinner with the youth choir.  The parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Peace were so welcoming to us. We had great conversations and loved hearing about the genuine community that they have there.  People come from all over the area to this church because of its unique presence.  I'm so thankful that we had this experience.

Love,

Bri 

Civil Rights

Listening to Ginny and Jackie talk about the Cvil Rights March. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snowy travel

Saying our prayers and saying our goodbyes to the wonderful people of OLQP.  Heading to Baltimore....traveling slow:).   We will fill in the blanks of our trip once we reach Baltimore and St. Edwards!

Monday, March 2, 2015

AFAC

Part two of our day focused on food security as we took a tour of AFAC headquarters. AFAC is the Arlington Food Assistance Center. The passionate and stylish, Koube, Director of Operations, gave us the tour.  We learned about how Arlington county's food pantries are run.  There are eighteen centers serving 2200 families or about 7000 people. It was moving to learn that 70% of the people served at AFAC are working, but they do not earn high enough wages to support themselves and their families.  The other growing population is those who are disabled and seniors with fixed incomes.  It was also interesting to learn their philosophy of hunger because they see that hunger usually stems from another problem.  With this in mind, AFAC allows only a one time walk-in.  After this one time shopping experience in AFAC, one must receive a referral from a social worker.  This way the families can also work on other problems that they are facing.  Finally, Koube emphasized the importance of hunger as a basic human right.  All the people who come into AFAC are treated with respect as they go through a shopping experience and get to choose what they would like to get. The dignity of human life is very well respected there as it should be.  It's so meaningful to see other young people making differences in their lives after college.  I think we walked away with some inspiration and see the importance of respecting the people we meet. 

Peace, 

Bri 

Matthew 25

Today we got to help out at the parish's thrift store, Matthew 25 Bazaar! It's a small store, but everything is free for anyone who needs it. Sally, the co-coordinator, explained to us about the how everything works. Open 4 days a week with a total of about 57 volunteers, anyone is welcome to take a limited amount of items depending on how plentiful the donations are. Although they were on a shortage of winter clothes, there was still plenty for us to do. From separating the donations by category, to organizing the racks of clothes by color, or obsessing over all the cute baby clothes, we all had a great time lending a hand! It's so amazing being able to have the opportunity to help others, especially with such an amazing parish! This particular event has inspired the Arlington/Baltimore group to bring back our experience back to Duquesne. After seeing how fortunate we are in school to have what we do, we would really like to make an initiative to make it easier for students and faculty to donate clothes and furniture wherever needed. This is especially after seeing how quick people are to just throw out perfectly functional items that could be used by others. This initial day has provided such an inspirational and educational purpose already, we can't wait for what the rest of the week has in store for us!
Cynthia

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Clothe the Naked

Ministering to God's people. 

So many ministries!

I am completely shocked by how proactive this parish is! There are so many ministries and they all aim to spread the good works of our Lord to EVERYONE. Truely welcoming and one to aim at shaping our own parishes like.
Diana Delgadillo 

Arlington has already showed us such a great time..

and we've been here for less than 24 hours. The trip started off with a bang as we headed to Virginia. Jamin' with Linda in the party van was such a blast! Getting to know everyone in the car really made me realize that this group instantly became comfortable with each other and it took no time for us to start cracking jokes and sharing stories. The beautiful sun was so kind to shine on us as we rolled into Arlington. After we settled in and got used to our new home for the next few days, we met the priests of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church. They are just such great men and so adorable! We had THEE MOST incredible Pad Thai I have ever had! With our overly full tummies, we decided to check out the FDR and MLK memorial in DC. There was something so beautiful about the night air and the lights reflecting on the monuments that made me so thankful to be apart of this great country. I am so grateful for the historical path paved for my success by these
brave men and women. It was a great first day in Virginia! 

-Dara 

Virginia and Jackie

http://catholicherald.com/stories/That-day-set-the-course-my-life,23753

Food line

Friday, February 27, 2015

Packing!

Hi everyone, its Linda. I checked in with the team and we are all packing,  finishing up laundry, downloading music and working through some procrastination. ...we'll be on our way in the morning and ready for an exciting week!  Now where did I put that .......??

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet the crew!

video
We are excited to be going to Arlington on Saturday! 
We'll keep you posted and updated on our experience!