Bring a few Ursuline Sisters and 7 alums of Ursuline schools across the USA to a HOPE-filled place, and you get a service experience filled with meaning and joy. Haven for Hope lists as its core values: radical compassion, servant leadership, hope and excellence. We witnessed each of these and were amazed by so much goodness. Click here for a short video showing a little of the beauty and grace of the week.
Today was our day to go out into the city and experience the culture of San Antonio. We started at Mission San Jose. We were able to see the church, which is still used for mass today, and the Visitors’ Center. At the Visitors’ Center we watched a video on the history of the Mission, how it was established, and the consequences of mission life on the native peoples. Next, we visited the Alamo, commonly referred to as “The Shrine of Texas Liberty”. We walked down the River Walk until 5 pm when we attended mass at San Fernando Cathedral.
Tonight we reflected on our week here in San Antonio. We focused on three main questions: what was most rewarding, how was I most challenged, and two things we learned about ourselves. Many of us stated that serving the people at Haven for Hope was both the most rewarding and challenging experience of the trip. Going outside of our comfort zones was difficult but was by far the most worthwhile part of the trip.
Although we are leaving tomorrow, we hope to stay in touch with one another and continue building our friendships with our fellow Ursuline sisters.
May the light shine upon our travels,
Brittany and Hope
The last time you heard from us it was only our first day of serving, and here we are recapping our fourth day of service and feeling nostalgic about our last. The past few days we have worked in the garden, served in the kitchen, soul friend-ed in the court yard, and rode along on outreach. Making this service trip special was the spiritual and mental work that has impacted our lives as much as we hope to have impacted the lives of others.
Tuesday night Ashley whipped up chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, corn, and a side serving of our guest visitor Sister Madeline, another Ursuline sister from San Antonio. Wednesday evening we explored the Mexican Market Place, and ate at the tourist attraction: Mi Tierra. The market was highly enjoyed by all, as we all came home with goodies. For some it was the first time experiencing authentic Mexican food, and it was tasty. Later in the evening a few adventurous souls headed to the River Walk, and floated and boated on the world famous boating tours. The string lights overhead accompanied by the comical commentary from our tour guide made the experience one of a kind.
Till next time…
Kayla, Lauren, & Kate
God has brought young Ursuline alumnae and sisters together to serve those among the margins. Today was our first day coming together from all different Ursuline schools and communities from around the country. Arriving in Texas was a new experience for all of us and we didn’t know what to expect, especially the heat!
First, we arrived at Haven for Hope in the heart of downtown San Antonio. After arriving we were given the background of the facilities followed by a tour. While touring the campus we saw how the needs of all individuals were met to create a common good in the community of San Antonio. “Haven for Hope provides and coordinates an efficient system of care for men, women and children experiencing homelessness.” We found the social justice theme of solidarity among the core values throughout the campus. After learning about the fabulous service site, we visited the historical Ursuline Convent which is now Southwest School of Art. There we also had lunch in the Convent at a restaurant called the Copper Kitchen. We finished our first day sorting donated clothing and participating in art therapy with some of the members. God has immensely blessed us already and we can’t wait to seek God’s kingdom tomorrow.
Blessings and Love,
Nicole and Ashley
Happy 4th of July! May God bless America and every inch of this precious Planet Earth!