Saturday, November 22, 2014

rss-feed-usepinterest-button Twitter logo blue


Area college students go on a very different spring break


As a campus minister in the Diocese of Charlotte, I have been fortunate to have had a number of college Alternative Spring Break experiences over the past few years. Our diocesan-sponsored Alternative Spring Break 2012 was a definite departure from the "typical" ASB experience, which usually consists of traveling to a work site with a group from a school or diocese. This year's event afforded our college students a unique opportunity through the Sisters of Life – a contemplative/active religious community founded by the late John Cardinal O'Connor of the Archdiocese of New York for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of all human life.

In an effort to provide "something more" than a typical ASB experience, the Sisters of Life offered a 10-day experience that could almost be described as a "Catholic immersion experience into the Culture of Life."

Pictured: More than 75 college students went on an Alternative Spring Break 2012 to New York, where they worked, prayed and lived with the Sisters of Life for 10 days. (Photos provided by Gloria Schweizer)

It began with a two-day silent retreat. The remaining days were filled with activities and opportunities for spiritual nourishment: a day visiting shrines in New York, two days of work at their motherhouse in Montebella, N.Y., a hiking day at Bear Mountain with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a presentation by Peter Kreeft, prayer for Dr. Emily's Abortion Clinic in the South Bronx, and a lecture entitled "Biology of the Theology of the Body" by Vicki Thorn (founder of Project Rachel). Additional offerings included daily Mass, praying the rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, and presentations by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Sisters of Life.

Eleven students and three campus ministers from the Diocese of Charlotte participated in this very unique Alternative Spring Break – among about 75 students from colleges/universities in seven states.

From the morning rising bell at 6 a.m., until the bell signaling Compline (night prayer), followed by Grand Silence at 10 p.m., the students grew in faith, knowledge of pro-life issues, and compassionate ways to offer hope and healing to those experiencing an unwanted pregnancy or post-abortion trauma.

"In between moments of reflective grand silence and holy leisure, we attended conferences that taught us more about the love Jesus has for each of us, the great significance of life, and the biological effects of abortion and use of contraceptives," said Aurora Trujillo of UNC-Charlotte.

They also developed strong ties of friendship and established a support base for themselves as they face a world that does not actively promote chastity or encourage abstinence, and where the rights of the unborn are largely ignored.

It truly was an awesome experience for me as a woman religious and campus minister to be a part of the "First Annual Sisters of Life Alternative Spring Break." Ten days with more than 75 college-aged young adults, and the end result was phenomenal – an attitude of renewed hope and faith and a celebration of life.

Said Tim Potkay of UNC-Greensboro, "I attended my first Eucharistic healing service and spent time with the Blessed Sacrament every day. Best spring break ever."

Thank you to all the generous donors who support Catholic Campus Ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte, a ministry partially funded by the Diocesan Support Appeal.

— Sister Eileen Spainer, professed with the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, is a Charlotte area campus minister and chairwoman of Alternative Spring Break 2012.

Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Photo carousel will auto rotate. Click on image to advance to that photo or enlarge. 

image image image image
Bazluki's volunteerism remembered at Charlotte Catholic Read the Full Story
BMHS Model UN team does well at Vandy Read the Full Story
Debate team comes home with 10 awards Read the Full Story
OLA students make blankets for men's shelter Read the Full Story
  • 'Goodies with Grands' 'Goodies with Grands'
    GREENSBORO — St. Pius X kindergarten students recently enjoyed decorating pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies with their grandparents, during the school's "Goodies with Grands" kindergarten activity. After eating their delicious concoctions, they...
  • Immaculata School teams have successful seasons
    HENDERSONVILLE — Immaculata School's middle school boys soccer and girls volleyball teams recently wrapped up a successful season. The Middle School soccer team won its regular season championship as well as the WCCMSC conference tournament...
  • Volleyball team places second in tourney Volleyball team places second in tourney
    GREENSBORO — Our Lady of Grace School's junior varsity volleyball team recently celebrated a second-place win in the Piedmont Elementary Catholic Schools Athletic Association's 2014 volleyball tournament. The team is pictured with coach Barry...
  • A hands-on safety lesson at Our Lady of Mercy A hands-on safety lesson at Our Lady of Mercy
    WINSTON-SALEM — Our Lady of Mercy School parent and Winston-Salem fire fighter Justin Przybylowicz drove over to the school Oct. 23 in his company vehicle: a ladder truck from the Winston-Salem Fire Department's Station One, where he serves...
  • Our Lady of Mercy celebrates All Saints Our Lady of Mercy celebrates All Saints
    WINSTON-SALEM –Our Lady of Mercy brought all its students together—both from their school and faith formation programs—to celebrate All Saints Day in a special way this year. The celebration began on Friday the 31, with the Kindergarten...
  • Charlotte Catholic grad awarded hero award for saving brother's life Charlotte Catholic grad awarded hero award for saving brother's life
    CHARLOTTE — Oct. 4, 2013, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, was a difficult day for the Kuhn family. Their son Jeremy, a teacher at Charlotte Catholic High School, had stopped by with his children for a visit with his mother Carol that evening,...
  • Former OLG students recognized Former OLG students recognized
    GREENSBORO — At the recent Grimsley High vs. Page High football game, Grimsley seniors Anna Peterson and Riley Silknitter received special recognition. Peterson was awarded the Neese's Sausage Scholar Athlete Award, which carries with it...
  • BMHS wins 6th Wells Fargo Cup BMHS wins 6th Wells Fargo Cup
    KERNERSVILLE — Bishop McGuinness High School was awarded the NCHSAA 1A Wells Fargo Cup Oct. 18, during halftime of the UNC vs. Georgia Tech football game. BMHS Athletic Director Jeff Stoller was on hand to receive the award, presented for...
  • BMHS team assists animal shelter BMHS team assists animal shelter
    KERNERSVILLE — The Bishop McGuinness Lady Villains volleyball team recently held a collection drive for the Guilford County Animal Shelter. Senior Delaney Findling coordinated this project for the fourth year. Bishop McGuinness students choose...
  • CTK tennis stand-out credits Catholic education, coach, parents CTK tennis stand-out credits Catholic education, coach, parents
    HUNTERSVILLE — When it comes to explaining her success on the tennis court, Gaby Hurt gives credit to her strong religious faith and the Catholic education she has received at Christ the King High School. "Our faith plays a huge role in everything...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20


Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: