See this article in the Summer 2019 issue of Voices from the Vineyard
Every year since 2014, a number of Saint Meinrad alumni and friends have gathered to serve their community in the spirit of ora et labora. In recent years, that number has increased. In both 2017 and 2018, a total number of 177 volunteers participated each year. This year, that number broke 200 volunteers! Since the Day of Service was begun in 2014 with Evansville as the only location, we have served in 16 cities in the United States, from Louisville to Louisiana.
But, why? Looking at numbers is impressive, but they do not tell the whole story. The Saint Meinrad Day of Service is more than a day and statistics. There is a story behind each individual who decides to take a Saturday to sort at a food bank or do demolition on a house. Even more so, why do alumni choose to lead projects every year so that other alumni and friends of Saint Meinrad can join in this great work?
One of those project leaders, Ann Tully, provided some insight. “I have always been drawn to service in my local community and have had many opportunities over the years to serve.” Tully works for the Church in the Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. “To represent Saint Meinrad at the Day of Service is a great opportunity to continue to serve my local community and witness the values of Saint Meinrad.”
Tully organizes one of the Indianapolis projects with St. Vincent de Paul. She notes, “It is a tiring day but completely worth it! So much good work is accomplished and alumni can be very proud of that.” Tully had 20 volunteers this year and has been gathering passionate volunteers since 2017.
The Day of Service gives her a glimpse of what the Saint Meinrad alumni community is made of. “We are definitely a multi-generational group! Many of the people I volunteered with, I did not go to school with. I enjoy meeting many different people and hearing of their experiences of Saint Meinrad.” The day also serves as a public witness to the core values of Saint Meinrad, she said.
The Day of Service enkindles the memories and lessons of Saint Meinrad as alumni continue their ministry in the world. “Saint Meinrad prepared me to interact with the world as a Catholic Christian woman in my tribunal ministry, in my marriage, as a parent, and as a member of my community – both parish and civic. I would encourage others to join us next year, because the day is really a celebration of all the good gifts we received from Saint Meinrad and an opportunity to give back.” To summarize it all, “Our service work is a reflection of our spiritual formation and belief that ‘in all things God may be glorified.’”
Tully is just one of many people who make a commitment to lead a Saint Meinrad Day of Service in her community. If you would like to participate or lead a project like her, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-357-6222.
Ann Tully, MTS ‘03, is an Oblate of Saint Meinrad and a member of St. Matthew parish in Indianapolis.