By: Cassidy Darcey, Senior Communications Intern
Notre Dame faculty and staff gathered together for a spirituality day on Friday, September 16. Similar to our ICAN/Spirituality days for students, we heard from speakers, spent time doing community service and attended Mass together.
The day began with our speakers. Marlene Laó-Collins, Executive Director for Catholic Charities was first. Catholic Charities is a nonprofit agency offering mental health, poverty-reduction, and social and crisis services to individuals and families, particularly those impacted by trauma and adversity. Ms. Laó-Collins spoke of the important services Catholic Charities provides to our community and beyond. Mrs. Laó-Collins shared her personal stories of service and the meaning they have in her life.
Robert Brooks was particularly inspiring. He told the story of how he broke a longtime cycle of drug addiction and incarceration after he reached out to Catholic Charities for help in 2017 and began counseling in Partners in Recovery. He inspired the creation of a new men’s trauma support group at Catholic Charities and wrote a book about his journey. Mr. Brooks now works as a peer mentor at Catholic Charities, first at the Early Intervention Support Services program in Hamilton and now with the Behavioral Health Home in Trenton. He serves on the agency’s Behavioral Health Consumer Advisory Council.
For the service portion of our day, faculty and staff members prepared 10,152 meals for the Rise Against Hunger organization. Our day ended with Mass celebrated by our chaplain, Fr. Jason. It was a great morning and yet another way we live the Mercy Core Values, in this case the Mercy Core Value of Service:
We joyfully extend our energy and resources on behalf of the poor, sick and uneducated working to relieve misery and address its causes where possible.
Click here to see photos from the day.