Among Walsh University's global excursions, students have the opportunity to embark on journeys of faith through various spiritual Pilgrimages. One such example is the President's Pilgrimage, during which President Richard and Mrs. Terie Jusseaume lead students through historic and religious sites throughout Italy and France. Sites include the apparition shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and Vatican City.

"From the splendor of Notre Dame, to the humility of St. Vincent de Paul, we took it all in. The students walked in awe of all they saw," said President Jusseaume after the 2017 Pilgrimage. "We returned home tired but fulfilled, sad and happy, and certainly motivated to make Walsh an even better place."

(Video courtesy of Walsh University student Mike Bernal.)

Walsh University is committed to the development of servant leaders who selflessly place others’ needs and interests ahead of their own. In the past year, students have had many opportunities to gather and serve the community in different ways:

Refuge of Hope

Annual Tie Blanket Program: Walsh students gather once a year during the advent season to make 60 tie blankets that are then donated to the Refuge of Hope. This annual program pairs with St. Paul’s Parish RCIA Program, who adds the blankets to gift bags that are given to Refuge of Hope residents on Christmas morning. Typically, the program involves an educational talk from leaders and long-term volunteers from the Refuge, the making of the blankets, and a closing holy hour of adoration in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel.

Serving Meals: In addition to donating blankets to the Men’s shelter that the Refuge runs, Walsh students join long term volunteers and staff in serving meals to homeless people at the Refuge. Carry-out lunches are provided 3 days a week and sit-down dinners are offered Monday–Friday. During this experience, students are able to feed the many men and women who come to the refuge as well as show them kindness through small interactions.

photo: Student group participating in Habitat for Humanity project

Matthew 8:20

Matthew 8:20 is a clothing and food ministry based out of Little Flower Catholic Parish that caters to the homeless population in downtown Canton. On every 1st and 3rd Friday, this mission hands out clothes and hygiene products while also providing a hot meal and a small amount of groceries. During this experience, students join other volunteers in socializing and serving the homeless.

Habitat for Humanity

Building Homes: During these service days, students help low income and struggling families to build a safe and loving home for their families. Each service day, volunteers are given different tasks that help to complete the home. One of our students’ favorite experiences has been painting the interior of a home in Canton. In addition to painting that home, students were able to meet and work alongside the family who would live there.

photo: Student group participating in a service projectHouse of Loretto

House of Loretto is a nursing home run by sisters from the Congregation of the Divine Spirit. Walsh students are provided with many unique opportunities to serve here. In the past, they have been able to interact with and minister to the residents as well as complete special projects for the sisters. For example, one time students participated in redoing the garden within the inner walls of the House of Loretto.

Sancta Clara Monastery

Nun Run: This annual event brings many members of the local community together to participate in a 5K. As this run goes through the Sancta Clara Monastery, it gives participants a chance to see the nuns as they pass by. All proceeds from the 5K go to support the lifestyle of the nuns. Students have been given the opportunity to cheer the participants on as well as act as Marshalls to monitor the progress and safety of the runners.

Gala: Another annual event that benefits the Sancta Clara Monastery, this event offers the opportunity for community members to have dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and a live auction. During this event, students can help serve the meal, sell raffle tickets, and distribute auction items. A highlight of the event for many students has been meeting “the cooking priest,” Fr. Leo Patalinghug.

photo: Group of students out at dinnerTOR Franciscan Sisters

A Day in Steubenville: Walsh students were given the opportunity to spend the day with the Franciscan sisters. During this time, the students helped with multiple service projects and attended both Mass and Franciscan University’s Festival of Praise. The day offered students the opportunity to bury holy objects, cut down trees and clear debris from an alley way, wash statues, bake cookies for the homeless, help a young family with chores, and visit with a man who lost his wife. Through Mass, the Festival of Praise, and a vocations talk by the sisters, the students were able to dive deeper into their relationship with God.

photo: Group of students on a spring break mission trip in MemphisMississippi spring break Mission trip

Over spring break, students had the opportunity to travel to Walls, Mississippi to serve with Sacred Heart Southern Missions. There in one of the poorest counties in America, students spent a week together serving others through home restoration projects and the sorting of food and clothing donations. The students had Holy Mass and Adoration every day, and they also took the opportunity to experience the surrounding culture. The above picture was taken in Memphis.