McAuley and Mercy Students Participate in St. Vincent de Paul Immersion Retreat
Students from McAuley and Mother of Mercy recently participated in a summer Immersion Retreat with St. Vincent de Paul's Ozanam Center for Service Learning in Over-the-Rhine. St. Vincent de Paul's immersion experiences, which promote Catholic social teaching, are designed for groups of Cincinnatians to raise awareness, encourage mutual respect and promote solutions that bring impactful and lasting change to our community.
During the four-day retreat, students prayed, worked, ate and slept at St. Vincent de Paul's Bank Street location, and immersed themselves in the neighborhoods of Over-the-Rhine, West End, East Price Hill and Lower Price Hill. They served and enjoyed lunch with visitors at Our Daily Bread near Findlay Market; served in the food pantry; pulled weeds in the community garden; visited and talked with people in Washington Park; visited the Women's Shelterhouse; made home visits to the poor; played with children through the Boys and Girls Club; and attended Mass at St. Joseph Church in the West End.
The students also participated in a poverty simulation exercise, to experience what it is like for people who are on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The students were placed in small groups and were given $6 (the equivalent of one day's worth of food stamps) to buy a healthy dinner for a family of four from the Vine Street Kroger. They then cooked and ate the food at the Bank Street location.
Through the Homeless Coalition, the students listened to speakers who talked about their life as homeless individuals. They also learned about advocacy efforts for the homeless. The retreat concluded with a prayer service and a commissioning ceremony.
McAuley students who attended included: Caroline Kinney, Megan Threm, Katie Schreyer, Emily Dillman, Cecily Batdorf. Mother of Mercy students who attended included: Olivia Meister, Elena Popejoy, Madison Coombs, Erin Toon, Abby Scola, Catherine Hoferer, Grace Hoeting, Emily Ridder, Natalie Zeller, Evelyn Larkins, Brooke Craynon, Allison Moellinger, Leah Jungkunz.