His Grace in Tragedy
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His Grace in Tragedy

On the night of Monday, December 4, 2017, I went out to get a coffee with my program director, Joanna, who was in Ventura for a site visit. When we arrived back to the house she noticed ash falling from the sky. I didn’t think anything of it. Joanna did some research and told my...

Community in a Place Far from Home
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Community in a Place Far from Home

Service, spirituality, and community: three words that appear repeatedly upon applying to become an Augustinian Volunteer. Throughout my application process, orientation, and the months leading up to our actual departure I learned about these values and began to understand what they meant to me as a person and as a volunteer. Of these three values,...

More Than Just a Community
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More Than Just a Community

When I first applied to the AVs, I had somewhat of an idea of how community life would be. I anticipated it was going to be similar to having roommates. Sometimes, what you think is not exactly how it turns out to be. Even with that in mind, I was still open to this “living...

The Inkblot Test
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The Inkblot Test

Within the first couple of weeks of being in the city of Philadelphia, my community members and I stumbled across an old stripped down mural that was once displayed prominently on the side of a building. However, now it resembles something like a black blob. I pointed out the black unidentified figure, stating that it...

One Cup, One Philadelphia
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One Cup, One Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love confronts negative headlines from every crevice of every neighborhood with a love fitting of its civic name. Born-and-raised Philadelphians manifest the pride they have for their city in how quickly and enthusiastically they invite newcomers into their culture: the phrase “jawn”, the Eagles Fight Song, and the mystery that is...

When Our Paths Cross
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When Our Paths Cross

My faith has always played a major role in my life, but like many people I have faced challenges and triumphs. I am grateful to have had my faith planted by my parents, shaped at Reicher Catholic High School, and deepened by St. Mary’s Catholic Student Center at Texas A&M University. I have been out...

Home Isn’t a Place, It’s a Feeling
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Home Isn’t a Place, It’s a Feeling

Attending Villanova University, only 3.4 miles away from home, I have always stayed close by to my family. Moving 2,689 miles away from home was the boldest and scariest thing I have ever done in my life. I was terrified the last month of summer; August was quickly approaching and I would be saying goodbye...

HELPing Jesus, Day by Day
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HELPing Jesus, Day by Day

“People would ask why I let all these homeless people sleep in the church, not knowing if they would try to steal from me or the parish. And I would always respond: how could I turn away Jesus coming to my door and asking for a place to sleep or something to eat?” I heard...

Much More Than I Ever Could Have Imagined
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Much More Than I Ever Could Have Imagined

Campus ministry work was something that, at the start of this year, I had a small degree of understanding about. I had been involved in the campus ministry department at my college throughout my junior and senior year. I had gone on a few retreats and done some alternative winter and spring breaks to various...

Apples for My Teachers
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Apples for My Teachers

There are apples to keep the doctor away, Apple computers, apples to pick and apples to eat. However, the best apples, in my opinion, are the ones that should be given to the teachers at St. Augustine Elementary School in Andover, MA. As the AV at St. Augustine, I serve in a jack-of-all-trades type of...