Mt. Morris Conservation Ministry
Mt. Morris is a 280 acre retreat center near Wautoma, WI. Three years ago straight-line winds downed acres of trees. Students aid the camp by hauling brush, cutting up down timber and stacking wood. This ministry is a great opportunity for our students to spend time in and work hard at taking care of creation. It is stewardship in action.
Housing Rehabilitation is a hands on opportunity for students to learn and provide skills for impoverished families in central city Milwaukee. Students generally work on houses in the near north side and near south side of Milwaukee.
Students work on a wide variety of projects: demolition (which they certainly enjoy!), hanging drywall and learning how to mud and tape, minor construction of porches or walls, painting and other construction tasks. Through this experience, students also learn about the importance of home ownership for individual self-esteem, as well as neighborhood stability and growth.
There are very few mission trips that I have actually been excited to go on, but working with tools has always been a love of mine. This, coupled with knowing how much difference I was truly making, gave me a reason to smile while we drove away.
– Logan Swanson (’08).
When we went on the housing rehab, I was really excited about working, but when we got to the work site and had the objectives explained to us, I really began to realize the depth and importance of the project. We were told that home ownership in inner city neighborhoods encourages care for the neighborhood. I saw all the work we did and was glad that I could be a part of something that will change how inner city Milwaukee is today.
– Robert Draftz (’08).
Senior Milwaukee Experience
The Senior Milwaukee Experience is one of the “rites of passage” for St. Lawrence Seminary High School students. It is an urban plunge experience for seniors. On this trip they have opportunity to experience St. Ben’s Meal Program, the Guest House (a men’s homeless shelter), Repairers of the Breach, Casa Maria and other organizations.
This overnight experience is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to come in contact with a few of the central city agencies that serve the poor, and it also teaches a lesson in self-empowerment. The Milwaukee Experience is intended to expose our seniors to situations that might make them a bit uncomfortable. Through that experience their awareness of and sensitivity to the poor is heightened.
Going on the Milwaukee Senior Experience, I didn’t know what to expect. The previous group didn’t tell us what they ‘experienced,’ and I saw a different side of life. I realized that I am very fortunate. I was also struck by the efforts of St. Benedict’s and Repairers of the Breach in how they were helping all of the needy.
-Ismael Tomas (’08).
During my Milwaukee Experience, I was surprised to see how people, who I thought had nothing, did not lose their hope. Then I could understand that with that hope, they could survive and try to solve their problems and get back to their life.
-Yong Seok Ro (’08).
Hilltopper Summer Mission Trip is an intensive summer experience to the U.S. – Mexico border. Ministry to and with others is one of the foundational elements of life at St. Lawrence Seminary. Taking time to do an extended mission trip to the south Rio Grande Valley of Texas is an exciting part of our ministry program.
Why the South Valley and McAllen? The McAllen area is located on the southern-most tip of Texas adjacent to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. This is an impoverished area both on the U.S. and Mexican sides of the border. The south valley provides St. Lawrence students with an opportunity to learn about immigration, border wall and poverty issues.
St. Peter Claver Parish Fish Fry
St. Peter Claver Parish in Sheboygan, Wisconsin sponsors a fish fry each first Friday of the month. St. Lawrence Seminary High School students help serve the food and clean up the hall afterwards. This simple experience of helping at a parish event provides students with a chance to witness how many hands come together to make a task light and enjoyable. As is often the case, our students are up front and center at the end of the evening for the clean up and tear down tasks. Seeing youthful energy at work is most welcome for the parish volunteers, who have already put in a long and hard day.
The St. Peter Claver ministry I attended was really moving for me, not just because I was helping the people out, but because the mood that the other workers were in was great. They would always make me laugh. That trip was very enjoyable.
– Hector Murillo (’08).