#WalkwithFrancis: Alexis Park

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#WalkwithFrancis: Alexis Park

In the days leading up to Pope Francis’s visit to the United States in September, Catholic University is highlighting the work members of the CUA family are doing in the community. The #WalkwithFrancis initiative coincides with the “Share the Joy, Walk with Francis” theme for the D.C. leg of the Pope’s visit.

Below, Alexis Park, a first-year law student, reflects on the Columbus School of Law’s Community Service Day, which is part of Orientation Week for incoming law students. On Aug. 20, a large number of new students, current students, faculty, and staff fanned out across northeast Washington, D.C., for several hours of service and fellowship. There were opportunities for service at five local sites: St. Anthony Catholic School, Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Carroll Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Ronald McDonald House.

One of the main reasons why I chose the Columbus School of Law is that it encourages its students to answer their callings to live lives of service to others. As a 1L student, I loved starting my law school experience with a delightful visit to the Armed Forces Retirement Home. The visit involved making thank you cards and distributing them to the residents. I was struck with the realization that service is an integral part of life. Service seamlessly entails forming relationships and being fully present with others.  The experience brought me joy as I listened to the history of the establishment and bonded with fellow students over card-making. Being in a class with other individuals who desire to live for others is so uplifting. While interacting with the residents, it did not feel like I was ‘serving’ other people. As we exchanged pleasantries and stories, I felt like I made some new friends. Serving is not merely to make the world a better place. Rather, it also grounds us in that we, as human beings, are made to love and to be loved.

Want to share how you #WalkwithFrancis? Send us a photo via email hidden; JavaScript is requiredor tag your submissions #WalkwithFrancis on Twitter or Instagram. If you are a member of the CUA community, please also send a few short sentences describing the type of service you do (for the Church, in the neighborhood, anywhere) and what #WalkwithFrancis means to you. We will feature some submissions on CUA’s website and social media.

The Archdiocese of Washington also has launched a #WalkwithFrancis pledge campaign, which encourages D.C.-area residents to take a pledge to follow the example of Pope Francis by serving in their community however they can. The pledges will be gathered via social media and on WalkWithFrancis.org. Thousands of the pledges will be compiled into a book that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of Catholic University, will present as a gift to the Holy Father during his visit.

For more information on the archdiocese’s campaign or to make a pledge, go to WalkwithFrancis.org.

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