walk_together

Beyond UD

By Sabina Marroquin

It was when I was on the plane somewhere between Dallas and Philadelphia that I asked myself, “What am I actually doing?” I knew I was going to be living in community with three other young adults, I knew I was going to be working at this place called the Aquinas Center, and I knew my year of service with the Franciscan Volunteers: No Risk, No Gain program was going to be a year unlike any other, but that was about it. I was entering this program with so many questions about my faith and what I should do with my life, so I took out my phone with the intention of writing a list of goals for myself, but, I only ended up making one goal for myself. I wrote, “my sole desire for the next year is to seek God more
authentically than I ever have before,” and that felt like a substantial enough adventure for me.

What I quickly learned was that seeking God is not something you do by yourself. It happens at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee with your community member, through laughter when your students harvest and try kale for the first time, or when you show up to Mass in a language that is not your own and the person next to you shares their hymn book with you
so you can sing along. This is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. calls the beloved community and what Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ calls kinship. It’s the idea of not showing up with the goal of “fixing” every “problem,” but rather with the goal of building relationships and accompanying one another because something beautiful happens in that process: community. And as UD students, I know you know what I mean.

I pray each of you continues to seek God, build community, and work towards justice after your time here at UD. And I believe you can do that no matter where your path leads you after graduation. Living a year of service is just one very specific way in which you can do that. If you are interested in learning more about service year opportunities, please check out the Beyond UD post-grad volunteer fair this Wednesday, October 31 from 3-5PM in the KU Ballroom. Come learn about wha these programs actually do, but don’t be surprised if you find your greatest challenge and greatest joy in learning to love God and others a little better each day.

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