Service & Justice

In his epic 1973 speech, Fr. Pedro Arurpe, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, asserted that the Jesuit’s prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-and-with-others…men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce.

Campus Ministry invites students into this mission by utilizing Catholic Social teaching’s two-step approach to ending suffering/oppression:
     1. Charitable works
     2. Acts of Justice

It is our hope that this method provides opportunities for students to develop meaningful relationships, attack the unjust structures that cause poverty, and pray and reflect over their deepest desires and the world’s greatest needs.

Service

Miller Family Service Scholarships
Campus Ministry offers Miller Family Service Scholarships annually to undergraduate students who are dedicated to service work. These grants allow them to "volunteer for tuition" during their winter and summer breaks. For more information, contact
Cindy Schmersal at 816-501-4303.

Leftovers With Love
Leftovers With Love is a student led effort. Student volunteers package and deliver surplus food from the Rockhurst University cafeteria to St. James Place, a nearby agency that provides hot meals to hungry people.  Leftovers are delivered twice weekly while classes are in session during fall and spring semesters. To sign up, contact Bill Kriege at 816-501-4855.

Winter and Spring Break Service-Immersion Trips
For centuries, sending people forth on mission has been an integral component of the Jesuit tradition. Rockhurst University seeks to continue that tradition through winter and spring break service-immersion trips to domestic and international locations.

Campus Ministry spearheads several large-group service opportunities throughout the year, including:
Missouri River Relief: Students hop aboard flat-bottomed boats which whisk them away to otherwise unreachable sections of the Missouri River’s banks where they remove debris from our nation’s longest river.
Tornado Relief: Day trips to regional locations invite students to provide direct aid to folks struggling to rebuild.  Destinations have included Joplin, MO and Moore, OK both of which were recently impacted by EF-5 tornadoes.
Women’s and Men's Day of Service: Students continue to develop Rockhurst’s long-standing relationship with Kansas City by providing the heart and muscle on numerous local service projects.  Students serve with their respective gender, then combine in a large group for prayer, reflection, food, and fellowship.

Lumberjack Service Project
Every even year (2014, 2016…) Campus Ministry sponsors a domestic service trip to Hancock, Michigan to serve with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (Little Brothers), a non-profit agency. Little Brothers provides many services for the rural, aging poor, including free firewood, which reduces the burdensome heating bills of northern Michigan winters. Little Brothers supplies the saws, axes, gasoline and logs…Rockhurst University students supply the muscle. A can-do attitude, rather than woodcutting experience, is all that is required. Furthermore, Little Brother’s motto, “Flowers Before Bread,” illuminates the belief that providing companionship for the elderly is, in many ways, more important than providing for their physical needs. In that spirit, participants are invited to spent time visiting with the folks to whom they deliver firewood. For more information, contact Bill Kriege at 816-501-4855.

Prayer, reflection and fun infuse each of these opportunities.

Justice

Rockhurst Respects Life
This student group is committed to exploring and raising awareness of life issues. Dedicated to a consistent life ethic, this group recognizes all human life as sacred and focuses on issues such as abortion, care for the most vulnerable in society, and the death penalty.

UNITY
Unity, Rockhurst's gay-straight alliance, seeks to help students understand their inherent human dignity as articulated in Rockhurst's core value: Cura Personalis.  Unity strives to create a safe, welcoming space that promotes learning, respect, understanding, and care among students of all sexual orientations and gender identities through educational programming, reflection, service, and resource sharing.

VOICES for Justice
Voicing Our Ideas Can Ease Suffering (VOICES) for Justice (VfJ), a student-led social justice organization, invites its members to learn, pray, reflect, act and advocate as they pursue a faith that does justice.  Topics include local and global social justice issues such as immigration, human trafficking, environmental issues, unemployment, hunger, poverty, and refugees.

VfJ sponsors Rockhurst’s annual Social Justice Week, attends the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, participates in Ignatian Family Advocacy Month, and networks with other student organizations and university offices.