As we pulled into the driveway of the small, one-story house nestled behind the hospital, we were greeted with smiles and waves from the women who had opened their home to us. Little did we know of the generosity, compassion, and devotion that we were going to experience that week. We stayed with seven sisters from the Daughters of Charity and every day, we got to immerse ourselves in their places of work. We could see first-hand the devotion and love they had for what they did every day. There is one sister who impacted me the most on our trip, and her name was Sister Alex.
Sister Alex was the oldest of the sisters who lived in the house; she turns 89 later this year. She was celebrating her 70th Jubilee and has been with the Daughters of Charity since she was just 18 years old. Sister Alex inspired me to look at my own life and think about what I would want to accomplish 70 years from now. She has dedicated her life to selfless service work in many ways. Every night when we had dinner, I got to sit next to Sister Alex, hear her stories of when she was growing up, and learn about all of the tremendous work that she has done. She told me about her passion for serving those around her and how she felt called to the Daughters of Charity. This is shown in the service that she continues to provide. She is a volunteer at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, where she strives to help in any way possible.
Sister Alex was always a light for me throughout the week. She cares deeply about the world around her and everybody in it. After this trip, I have been trying to imagine the little ways that I can model my own lifestyle after Sister Alex. Being a student at a Jesuit university, I often think of how I can follow the Jesuit values throughout my journey. Thanks to this Service & Justice Trip and the compassion that Sister Alex shows, I have learned that incorporating Jesuit values is easier than it sounds when you’ve dedicated your life to something you are passionate about.
Going into this trip, I didn’t think that I would take away as much as I did from the experience. Having gone on a Service & Justice Trip before, I knew we would go some place for a week, immerse ourselves in an issue prevalent in a community, and try to advocate for it back on campus. However, I soon realized how different this trip was in comparison to what I thought it would be. I was heavily inspired by the people I met and the stories I heard. The dedication that all of the sisters had to their ministry influenced me to look back and re-evaluate my own life. They were role models who made me realize how I want to give back to my community. They lived a simple and sustainable lifestyle. Their happiness for life and for God manifested through the service they did. Because of them, my perception of service has changed. I want to pursue a life dedicated to what I am passionate about, regardless of the money or materialistic things I may or may not have. Overall, through the kindness and generosity of strangers, I have realized the beauty in being a self-giving individual and how I can truly follow a vocation serving others.
Class of 2020
The SCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the SCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.