Best of the Week 2022-2023: Holy Cross Values
"MEN WITH HOPE TO BRING" SERVICE LEARNING FOSTERS RELATIONSHIPS WITH CLEVELAND COMMUNITIES
Since starting back on May 28, 2022, students have completed 7,500 hours of community service at local non-profits, church ministries and local community outreach programs as part of the "Men With Hope To Bring" Service Learning Program. The sophomore class has participated in their Sophomore Service Immersion with St. Malachi's Back Door Ministry. Many students have since been inspired by their experience and will be continuing their service work with each other at St. Malachi's.
Freshmen students in Pat Chrosniak's Theology class helped serve 800 guests, provide hospitality and assisted elderly guests at this year's St. Patrick's Day Celebration at St. Patrick's Parish on Bridge Avenue. "Serving the community on a holiday has always been a fulfilling experience for me. It's a reminder that holidays are not just about relaxation and enjoyment, but also about spreading kindness and compassion," says Gavin Drago '26. "Overall, serving the community on a holiday is a meaningful and rewarding experience for me. It is a way to connect with people, express gratitude, and set an example for others."
Additionally, servant leaders Joseph Cudnik '23, Owen Pastirik '23, and Jaden Stainforth '23 visited St. Mark's 7th grade class earlier this month to present on St. Ed's Labre Ministry and to pick up over 100 blessing bags made by St. Mark's students for our Edsmen to hand out during Labre trips. "I’m so passionate about Labre because it allows me to meet people where they are. It allows me to have moments of shared humanity and real dialogue with people who are often ignored," says Jaden. "I hoped that the 7th graders were inspired to take part in service in their high school careers and beyond and that they realize their potential to help show so many people their inherent dignity."
"Labre humanizes people who are so often dehumanized. Those who experience homelessness can get overlooked hundreds of times a day, so to be present for them in conversation and giving them food, clothes, or whatever they need can be very impactful. I always hope it makes them realize that they are not forgotten and that they are still loved," says Joseph Cudnik. "I hoped the students we spoke to learned that homelessness is not a life people choose. When I was around the age of the kids we presented to, I would stray away from people asking for money, assuming they would just go spend it on drugs or alcohol. I was intimidated by people asking for money and would consciously avoid them. I now realize that they are human beings too, and even if you cannot help them in that moment, there is no reason to be intimidated by them. We stand side by side with our homeless friends and make sure that they know that they still have dignity as human beings. As a Holy Cross Institution, if we were only working together with those who do not need direct attention and help, then we would not be truly living up to the Holy Cross values that are the core of St. Ed's."