Faculty and students worked side by side at Bessie’s Table in Des Plaines. Housed within the First United Methodist Church of Des Plaines, the 15-year ministry serves a hot dinner, free of charge, to more than 100 people every Monday night.
Church members regularly recruit volunteers to help them. While local businesses donate food and produce every week, the ministry depends on volunteers to help with set-up, serving, and clean-up.
That’s where the Saint Viator students and teachers come in. They were the latest group to pitch in and help.
Campus Ministry coordinated the service trip for students needing hours serving the marginalized, but they also opened it up to adults.
Increasingly, faculty members are taking part in volunteer service projects, organized by Mrs. King and Fr. Lydon, coordinators of adult faith formation. The year-long program aims to foster personal and spiritual growth through regular service and prayer opportunities.
Typically, faculty members gather once a month in Querbes Hall to put together sack lunches for the homeless served by Catholic Charities in Des Plaines and Journey from PADS to Hope in Palatine.
“Working alongside our students was a great opportunity,” Mrs. King said.
Fr. Lydon enjoyed the experience so much, he plans to return with students in his freshman religion classes, and they may bring faculty members back as part of their Adult Faith Formation program.
After all, the service fulfills part of the Viatorian mission, which is to fight hunger and reach out to “those accounted of little importance.”