Fall 2009 Issue

Live and learn

Barry University’s Catholic identity and Dominican heritage take center stage with the recent launch of the University’s DePorres Center for Community Service.

The new center will build on services the former volunteer center offered, but with a twist. For every community service activity completed, students will also have the opportunity for reflection. Students will be encouraged to make the connection between faith, service, justice and the university’s mission through discussion. While not tied to one specific faith tradition, the reflection will draw on students’ faith and cultural backgrounds.

“The work that we will be doing here is critical to accomplishing Barry University’s mission of engaging the students in collaborative service for social justice so that knowledge and truth can be reached through individual and communal transformation,” said Steffano Montano, coordinator for the center.

The idea is that by having an informed experience, the DePorres Center for Community Service will take community service beyond completing hours and place it in a larger context. Students will be able to choose from several options for reflection, sessions directly following the service, group meetings afterwards or a weekly revolving workshop that students may attend at their leisure.

The center will operate under Campus Ministry and the Division of Mission and Student Engagement. In addition to continuing the University’s collaboration with Camillus House, Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters, the center will also branch out to additional local organizations including St. James Church and His House Children’s Home.

The DePorres Center for Community Service is named after St. Martin DePorres, a Dominican order saint who devoted his life to prayer, love of neighbor and care for creation in 16th century Peru.