Canisius Students Spend Winter Break Serving

BUFFALO, NY – More than 75 Canisius College students participated in the college’s Winter Service Week, during the month of January. Organized by the Canisius Office of Campus Ministry, Winter Service Week provides students with opportunities to serve, work and learn in some of the poorest communities across the country. All trips are centered around service, reflection and prayer, community and simple living. This year’s Winter Service Week sent students to different locations in New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Erie, PA, Syracuse, NY; and Buffalo, NY.

“The most important parts of our trips are forming relationships and beginning a transformative process,” explains Sarah Signorino, associate campus minister. “We want Canisius students to engage in the gritty reality of the world during their formation, analyze reasons of why communities they are serving in remain marginalized and reflect on how they can transform their experiences into positive change.”

Members of the Undergraduate Student Association participated in the Buffalo project for Winter Service Week. These students worked and served at various organizations established to assist the city’s growing refugee population.

Twenty-five students traveled to New York City, where they served at five different locations including two Jesuit Nativity-Miguel Middle Schools, a soup kitchen, a food pantry and hospitals.

Students who traveled to New Orleans for Winter Service Week helped rebuild homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. They partnered with the St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that disaster-impacted communities recover.

In Erie, PA, Canisius students worked and served alongside the sisters of the St. Benedictine Community in a variety of ministries throughout the inner city and within the monastery, itself. They served at education centers for adults and children, at a community center for disabled adults, at after-school programs for underprivileged children, and at a children’s art house, a soup kitchen and a food bank.

Students who participated in Winter Service Week in Syracuse partnered with the Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). They assisted in pre-k classrooms and took part in an evening respite program for disabled teens and refugees. Students also served alongside Jesuit Volunteer and Canisius alumna Mary Mietlicki ’12 at the Cathedral Academy at Pompei.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.