As many students went home to begin a relaxing summer, a group of 19 students and staff members traveled to Alfred, Maine, to the U.S. home of Walsh's founding order, the Brothers of Christian Instruction.
The annual trip to Maine links Walsh's mission of service with the University's founding history. This year’s trip was led by graduated seniors Autumn Crawford and Claire Corridoni. The staff chaperones were John Buckner, Custodian, Carolina Bejarano-Eyl, Coordinator for Residential Ministry and Ben Walther, Director of Campus Ministry.
“Out of all the work we did, including raking leaves and weeding, painting hallways and porches and cutting down tree limbs, my favorite was working on cemetery lane,” said Bejarano-Eyl. “It was great having Br. Jerome and Br. Raymond working with us side by side, their energy and their great example were an inspiration for the rest of us to finish strong. Throughout the day, some of the other Brothers would come to see how we were doing and encourage us.”
Serving with the Brothers allowed the students to truly understand Walsh’s foundation in servant leadership.
“I have been given the gracious opportunity to meet the Brothers on three of the Maine trips and it has been a different experience each time,” said Crawford. “I will always take pride in Walsh University because of the Brothers and their legacy. They made me realize that we, as students, can do anything we set our mind to with the help of Jesus. I wish every student at Walsh could attend this trip in order to fully understand how our University came to be. The Brothers help us understand that we are doing God’s work and we need to reach out in order to make that happen.”
When they were not working, the group had the opportunity to experience Maine, taking walks along Marginal Way near the ocean, visit Nubble Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, and Spring Pointe Ledge Lighthouse, explore Kennebunkport and Portland, and enjoy a lobster dinner with the Brothers. Playing board games, watching movies, eating meals and talking with the Brothers was a favorite memory of many.
“The trip was amazing,” said Walther. “Especially to have the chance to sit with Brother Ted, Walsh’s first campus minister. We shared a few meals together and swapped stories. It was so meaningful for me to hear about what campus ministry was like when he ministered here at Walsh in the 1980’s. What I saw, heard and witnessed in Alfred will forever remain with me in my role here on campus. With everything we do, I hope to ground all programming, events and fellowship in the love and charism of the Brothers.”
Katie Remark, a recently graduated senior, was excited to have the opportunity to meet the Brothers who founded the University she had grown to call home.
“Meeting the Brothers was amazing and life-changing,” said Remark. “I thought it was a unique experience that you wouldn't have at any other university, which is what makes Walsh so special. It was incredible to meet the Brothers and to hear their stories. Having the opportunity to talk with them at meals and tell them jokes was my favorite part.”
The trip also offered opportunities for students to grow in their faith, attending morning prayer, Mass, and evening prayer each day with the Brothers.
“They have done so much in their lifetimes, and I can only aspire to do as much as them in mine,” said Remark. “I look forward to carrying the legacy of the Brothers with me into my future career. I will keep in mind their mission of service and global outlook. I will help people at every chance I get, just like the Brothers do every day. Their sense of community inspired me as well. I aspire to bring that feeling of community into whatever I do next.”