On the morning of service at Light the World!, we take the break from our scheduled week. We pause in the middle of the week to focus on service. Every day we engage with the intersections of faith and a certain profession be that science, art, sport, business, or politics; and today we look to how the role of service applies no matter the career. We time time to ponder how the service of others and the working for the common good is necessary across all vocations.
Emmjolee Mendoza-Waters is associate director of campus ministry and community service at Catholic University’s Office of Campus Ministry. She graduated from Catholic University with a BA in Politics and then volunteered for two years as a missionary serving in Punta Gorda, Belize. At CUA Emmjolee worked to develop missionary programs in the United States, bringing college students back to Belize, as well as to Jamaica, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and Mexico. In addition she has a masters degree from the national Catholic School of Social Service focusing on social justice and social change.
Emmjolee leads Light the World! in pre and post service reflection and organizes local institutions for community service to be completed.
Beacon House is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides tutoring, mentoring, cultural, athletic, recreation, and nutrition programs to at-risk, low-income children, ages 5-18. Their mission is to assist at-risk youth to identify and pursue educational objectives that culminate in college or vocational training, and, more generally, to prepare them for productive involvement in their community and society.
Beacon House was founded in 1991 by Rev. Donald E. Robinson in response to an overwhelming need for social service programs for youth in what was once a drug and violence-plagued community. Beacon House began operating out of a donated basement apartment. With limited space and resources, Rev. Robinson inspired dozens of volunteers from the greater D.C. metropolitan area to support his efforts, both financially and by giving their time. Over the years, Beacon House has grown into a professionally-run organization and operates an array of programs that nurture hundreds of children a year.
Light the World! participants spend time helping Beacon House prepare for their summer programing. Participants will then attend Mass on campus.
Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence is a ministry that cares for the elderly poor in the spirit of humble service received from Little Sisters foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan. They welcome the elderly as we would Jesus Christ himself and serve them with love and respect until God calls them home. Their specific mission is for low-income elderly.
Light the World! participants spend time in conversation with residents and accompany them to Mass.
Carroll Manor is a state-of-the-art nursing center providing short-term and long-term medical, nursing, and rehabilitation services. The center has private and shared accommodations available for up to 252 residents with a specialization in dementia care.
Light the World! participants spend time with the residents of this nursing home engaging in conversation, playing bingo, and helping them get to Mass.
The Franciscan Monastery is located in the Brookland neighborhood just one mile from CUA. On their grounds they have a number of gardens. Service with their Garden Guild serves to preserve and promote the gardens at the Franciscan Monastery in keeping with the Franciscan tradition that God is revealed to us through his creations.
Our goal is to provide visitors and pilgrims with a garden sanctuary where they can seek, find and unite with their creator.
After spending time in service to the gardens, Light the World! participants will have time to explore and pray on the grounds before attending mass at the Franciscan Monastery.
My favorite thing we did at Light the World was community service. I enjoyed being able to give back to the community that was graciously welcoming us. I also loved working in the garden and meeting Farmer Lou. –Rebecca, Participant 2016