Written on: March 8, 2015
The Diocese of Charlotte gathered their campus ministries together to participate in Give Your Hear Away Weekend. Maryellen Glackin was joined by Br. Mike Migacz, SC (Brother of the Sacred Heart) from New York on a journey that took them to a variety of North Carolina campuses as well as the weekend of service. In Charlotte, they were joined by Sister Pat Pepitone, RSM who also attended the weekend. To quote Sister Pat, “This program and this week always give me hope for the future. It is building vocations within our church.”
Maryellen was grateful to return to Charlotte after a wonderful experience back in 2012. “I kept telling people about the experience I had in the Diocese of Charlotte. In the Philadelphia Tri-State area, Catholic students can tend to take their faith for granted- there is generally a strong Catholic presence on their campuses. But, with the Charlotte students they are much more aware of their responsibility to evangelize- even among fellow Catholics. They see their faith as a true gift, from the Spirit and from their families. They are proud of being Catholic in a locale that isn’t predominantly Catholic.” The three vocation directors joined in the weekly suppers and other gatherings at Wake Forest, Wingate, Winston-Salem School of the Arts, High Point, UNC Charlotte and Davidson. The shooting at UNC Chapel Hill was at the forefront of many students’ prayer intentions and concern. Religious tolerance and how to work towards peace and justice in our world are one way that Consecrated men and women make a difference in our society and all three vocation directors challenged the students to think about how their own lives could be lived in service to others. During the day on Saturday, the students were sent out to the local community. Some were involved in direct service while others performed much needed work for people they will never know or see. When they returned to the conference center the students had an opportunity to consider their experience through a process of theological reflection and an experience of Catholic Social Teaching. They learned that service is not just something to do for a day, but something to incorporate into their lives and future work.
Although they walked into the Conference Center as strangers from a variety of schools on Friday night, the students quickly merged into a cohesive group, sharing their hands, hearts and faith to help wherever they were needed. On Sunday, they left as friends connected by a love deeper than hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day, and more like the true love of people like Saint Valentine himself.