The Colgate Scene
March 2005

A different kind of holiday break

For seven days during winter break, 10 Colgate students and Mark Shiner, Catholic chaplain, lived a life based upon the four "cornerstones" of simplicity, service, community, and prayer at Nazareth Farm, a volunteer community sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church in Salem, W.V. Waking before sunrise, the students began their days with prayer, followed by chores, breakfast, and a send-off as they ventured into surrounding areas of Doddridge County, W.V.

Colgate students worked with volunteers from other universities at four different project sites, one of which involved rebuilding a leaky roof. Persistent rain throughout the day reminded volunteers of the importance of their efforts.

Accompanied by students from other schools, including Le Moyne, Loyola (Chicago), and University of Virginia, as well as Nazareth Farm staff members, the volunteers worked at various sites repairing homes for those in need. Projects included installation of exterior siding and roofing, as well as interior walls.

Erin Brown '08 installs luan on an interior wall in the home of Bill and Tracy (background). The house had previously been condemned, but over the past year volunteers at Nazareth Farm have refurbished both the exterior and interior, making it livable once again. Members of the Nazareth Farm community, including Devin Clifford '07 and John Jimah '08 (both at left), watch in laughter as Thane Benson gives fellow staff member Aaron "AC" Costello a haircut. The evening hours, after dinner and prayer, are reserved for relaxation and socialization at the farm.

At the end of each day, having touched the lives of those they served, the students returned to Nazareth Farm to find a home crew smiling and a warm bucket shower waiting.

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