What Are You Doing This Summer?

Check out a summer volunteer program.

Could you find something better to do?
Yoel Sosa Goire, a summer volunteer in Chicago, chaperons a group of kids on their return from the pool.

What can you do during the summer besides have fun and spend free time?

The young people who participate in summer ministry programs have decided to do something different. They spend their summers doing ministry and service such as helping with the education of children who live in poverty.

But it’s not just service; it’s also an opportunity for them to become more aware of the needs of people who don’t have the resources of the middle class in the United States.

And these groups of volunteers—mostly college students and recent graduates—take advantage of this time to reflect on their future and their vocation as servants in the Christian community. Prayer is an important part of this process.

Teresa, a veteran participant in summer programs, says, “We always find time to pray. Prayer has become an essential element of everything we do, and I hope it will continue to nourish me when we finish the program.” Another key part of the program is learning to work as a team and living in a community, sharing responsibilities and tasks.

Programs last a short two months, but many of the participants say that this time has changed their lives. It has opened ways and possibilities that they had never considered.

The ultimate question participants try to answer during these weeks—while they pray, share work, cook, or clean the house—is, “What is my vocation?”

Each person has a mission in life, qualities and gifts to develop and bear fruit. A summer of service might help you to answer this question.

Could you find something better to do with your summer?

Your turn:

  • What do you like to do during your vacation time?
  • Have you ever thought of dedicating some time to the service of others?

Bloom here

They say you must bloom where you are planted. That certainly was the case with Felix Varela, a young Cuban man who always wanted to be a priest and always wanted to be with his people. He was a priest, journalist, writer, and educator. Exiled to New York for his work for Cuba’s independence, he developed an intense mission: writing and opening schools and always defending the freedom and independence of his country.

  • How do you keep your cultural identity even in the midst of difficulty?
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