EL PASO — The massive earthquake that devastated Haiti causing the world to respond with help resonated in a small way in the Catholic Campus Ministry located just off-campus from the University Of Texas at El Paso.
As people watched the rescue workers remove thousands of bodies from the rubble, some college students in El Paso, Texas, decided to help by adding some money to their prayers in their Sunday worship services.
The organization along with help from the diocese of El Paso collected money during each Sunday service in January. In addition, an online campaign via social networking sites and word of mouth resources provided funds for the people of Haiti.
“We see Haiti’s need in many dimensions, the physical, emotional, and spiritual. We hope our monetary donations help and our prayers go out to the families and everyone affected by the earthquake,” said Kristen Hernandez, president of the ministy. “We also pray for those with lost loved ones to strive and for the volunteers to continue to have strength for the work they do.”
In addition to aiding Haiti, the organization has been able to help when disasters strike closer to home. Four of the organization’s students, Hernandez, Jessica Chairez, vice-president, Luis Porras and A.J. Duron of the ministry’s student leadership team travelled in January to New Orleans, to help in the continuing rebuilding of the city hit by hurricane Katrina.
“My service trip to new Orleans was the opportunity I needed to know what my role is as a catholic student,” said Luis Porras.
They also host local thought and spiritual guest speakers and sessions. For example a series called “Theology on Tap,” is geared to young adults looking to enhance their understanding of their spiritual beliefs.
“ ‘Theology on Tap’ is a really cool way of learning about our faith and expressing the way we feel about our faith. The times that it gets heated are the best times,” said Chairez.
They also performed community service at a garden that helps feed the needy in the neighbor city of Las Cruces, New Mexico with the help from the New Mexico State University Catholic Campus Ministry.
“It was a lot of fun building teamwork and bonding with NMSU’s Catholic Campus Ministry. When we come together, it shows a person’s true colors,” said Jorge Valdez another ministry member.