For over 20 years, Holy Cross students have travelled to Clintwood, VA to work with Sister Jean Barbara Korkisch, CSC on the St. Joseph Housing Repair Program. Sadly, this program ended in 2016. Emily Anderson, the Academy’s Director of the Holy Cross Social Justice Program, searched to find a new service trip that would allow our girls to build relationships with those being served. As we stand on the brink of our 150th year, Emily realized that returning to our roots in South Bend, IN would provide “a great way to learn our important history as well as why our connection to the Sisters and community matters.” So the Spes Unica service trip was inaugurated. Emily, fellow faculty member Lauren DeZinno, and 11 girls (Katherine Beall ’19, Theresa Brogan ’18, Nicole Dao ’19, Caroline Floam ’18, Emily May ’18, Samantha Miller ’18, Grace O'Connor ’19, Caroline Ryan ’18, Margaret Ryan ’18, Ella Torp ’19, Alexandra Whittington ’18) traveled to the mother house of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Saint Mary’s from Saturday, June 10-Saturday, June 17.
During their trip, the girls worked with Sisters at the Broadway Christian Parish, serving a breakfast shift and making and distributing lunches during a second shift. They also visited the Sisters who are residents of Trailpoint nursing facility with the novices of the Congregation. Additionally, the girls worked in the “stamp room” at Saint Mary’s with Sisters who raise money for their missions by clipping stamps off letters to be mailed to collectors—this was a big hit with our girls.
The group was hosted by Sister Helene Sharp, CSC, the Director of US Vocations. They stayed in Regina Hall on the Saint Mary’s campus. During their downtime, the girls shared several meals with the Sisters and enjoyed listening to their stories. A special treat for the group was being able to visit with Sister Grace Shonk, CSC. The group attended Mass at the Church of Loretto. They also visited the archives of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and learned about Holy Cross heritage. The girls also visited the University of Notre Dame and toured the Basilica and the Lourdes Grotto there.
Each night the group shared their day’s highs and lows and participated in a reflection written by the girls and ended in prayer. Additionally, on Friday, The Division for Mission hosted the girls for a lunch and then a campus tour. Our students spoke with and met students from St. Mary's College, enjoying a great exchange.
The Academy is part of a larger, global family of Holy Cross. Through the Spes Unica trip, Holy Cross connections past and present have been built.