ENCOUNTER THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
Service Trip in July, 2012
In July, Fr. Matt Foley, OFM Conv, Curley’s Campus Minister, took 10 Curley men to a week-long summer service camp/retreat called Encounter the Gospel of Life (www.eglinfo.org) which was held at University of Maryland-College Park. Encounter the Gospel of Life is rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and is designed to offer young people the opportunity to experience, in their own community, the power of service to others and encountering Christ in others regardless of race, religion, experience, situation or status. These goals are achieved through daily work at service sites, prayer, teachings and fun activities.
At Encounter, 350 young people served at 35 different locations in the DC/MD area. The Archdiocese of Baltimore was represented by students from three parishes in the central Maryland area and Archbishop Curley High School. The young men from Curley worked with adults with cerebral palsy, visited the elderly at nursing homes, did advocacy for pro-life and immigration issues and worked with homeless youth. According to Fr. Matt, “it was a hot, exhausting, emotional, and amazing week!”
The day started with Mass; Fr. Matt was the celebrant. The students then went to their service sites from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and returned to College Park for supper, small group discussions, speakers and other evening activities. They identified and discussed what came to be known as “God-sitings,” which are times when an individual felt he or she had encountered God in the person they were serving.
Nick Palazzo ’13 had this reaction to the week: “It was neat to see 350 kids here for a week of service…my service was with advocacy for immigrants. We got to meet some kids who are from other countries. It was interesting to hear their stories. We also got to meet on Capitol Hill with a congresswoman who could help them…The friends we made and the spirit of the whole group was unforgettable.”
Fr. Matt was proud of the Curley men. “One experience, that stands out and provides an example of their compassion was when one of the young women fell and her body and knee went in opposite directions. She was in pain, worried and scared. We were in the dining hall and it would have been impossible for her to walk the quarter mile to a waiting car. Our guys picked her up and carried her. They immediately put her at ease and she laughed the whole way!”
The Curley men who participated were: Andrew Baker ’13, Scott Haynes ’13, Nick Palazzo ’13, Mike Wieczorek ’13, Christian Flynn ’14, Randy Noppinger ’14, Anthony Puglisi ’14, Eric Ampil ’15, Bobby Goldsborough ’15, Sean Lynch ’15.