CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE WHERE FAITH, SCHOLARSHIP AND CREATIVITY CAN SEAMLESSLY CONNECT.
Our service trip to McKee, Kentucky, involved serving this poverty-stricken community Thanksgiving dinner and singing Christmas songs to the local nursing home residents. The smiles and happiness from the people gave me a feeling of gratitude beyond words. As a group we bonded together, we lived together, we served together, we played together, and we prayed together. The one thing that will always be in my heart are the reflections that we all shared at night before going to bed.”
Mick Urbain, Retired Campus Safety Officer
Motivated by the rich heritage of Catholic social teaching, we recognize and embrace the call to serve. Our attitude of service on campus overflows into service to the local, national, and international communities. As a diocesan college, we value our service to the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
- In conjunction with the Better Together/President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, for which Loras was the 2014 President’s Top National Award Winner, campus constituents gain understanding of the Catholic Church’s teaching encouraging interfaith and ecumenical engagement, foster student appreciation for faith-based motivations for performing service, and enable Duhawk students seeking to find just solutions for poverty to serve existing local Dubuque organizations.
- As part of their first days on campus for Launch into Loras, all new students participate in a service project in the Dubuque area with faculty, staff, and upper-class student leaders.
- Loras Athletic teams likewise commit themselves to perform area service projects with coaches and staffs collaborating to foster team spirit and unity with those in need.
- Every academic break, Service Trip teams of Loras students accompanied by staff and faculty travel to places such as New Orleans, Chicago, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Honduras to assist with housing renovation, tutor children in school-related programs, feed the homeless, engage the elderly, and critically reflect upon the culture and structure of organizations with the ongoing commitment to serve disadvantaged persons in these locales.
- Loras Students organize campus members every Christmas season to donate needed and desired items to over 300 children through a local social service agency; education majors sponsor “respite nights” of parents with disabled children and actively incorporate Catholic Social Teaching in the January term course where they serve in the Chicago Pilsen neighborhood.
- For almost three decades, the Valder Social Justice Award inserts students into projects pursuing systemic social change. Examples include: Interfaith Worker Justice, NETWORK Catholic Social Justice Lobby, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities and Brother David Darst Center.
- Loras Faculty teach classes and serve as spiritual directors for the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s IMPACT program, Diaconate Formation Program and the St. Pius X Seminary program at Loras.
- The Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Studies sponsors offerings in the Catholic intellectual tradition and applied ministry, including the annual International Day of Peace lecture, faculty-staff book clubs, publications by Loras College Press, and collaborations with the Archdiocese of Dubuque to provide pastoral leadership study days.
- Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) coordinates faculty-delivered courses and other community partnerships that integrate service learning in Chicago, Dubuque, and other areas.
- The personalist spirit of the Catholic Worker Movement advanced by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin lives on in the solidarity of Loras students and staff with the Dubuque Hope House and New Hope Catholic Worker Farm, realized in shared meals, prayer, talks, labor and other forms of witness.
“The way we came to know love was the way he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” First Letter of John 3:16