Mark Motz and friends

Intense Community

By Mark Motz

UDSAP is one of the most intense experiences of community possible. 14 people live in a very small house, literally on top of each other at times, go to the same ministries every day, eat every meal together, and so much more.  That is more "togetherness" than most people ever experience. But Community is so much more than just "togetherness".  Community is more than shared experience.  Community is more than a title we give ourselves that means more than just housemates.  Community takes work.  Community takes commitment.  Community is a gift and a task.  UDSAP gives students an opportunity to experience intense situations and then persevere to make community happen.  

One of my challenges was I with how to create a new communal identity and still keep my personal identity.  At the beginning of the summer I was so focused on the community I didnʻt work to foster my own growth.  I realized that the 15 of us would only be together for 9 weeks, but I would be stuck with myself for much longer.  I had to look past the desire to fit in and try to maintain my own identity while being part of the community.                 

I cherished our trips to St. Luke.  I always appreciated the community we developed there and often miss the people who welcomed us into their parish.  My quote on the Love Room wall also sums up my experience with God.  "When I first arrived I thought God was more present here--in these hills, in this house, on these walls and especially in these people; but over time I realized that the change was in me, not God.  I was more present to God.  I was following His command of Love.  Through the good, the bad and the painful, Love was always a visible constant."  

Bro. Mark Motz, SM - UDSAP '09

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by Susan Griffin Ward, Summer of 1984

A few years ago I took my son, a high school senior, to tour UD. While we were waiting in Albert Emanuel Hall, a student wearing an Appalachia Club T-shirt sat down next to us. This was some serious serendipity; he was wearing was the very same T-shirt I wore in the 1980's when I was in the Appalachia Club.

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