Faith in Action
An essential and life-changing piece of a Holy Cross education and your St. Edward's experience is the chance to put faith into action through community service. Students begin by engaging in local community service experiences, moving up to national projects and graduating to deeply immersive international service breaks.
Near or far, you can impact a life and enrich your own.
In partnership with the Office of Career Services, Campus Ministry teams with local nonprofit agencies, such as Caritas of Austin, Austin Children's Museum, Easter Seals of Central Texas, Ventana del Soul, Meals on Wheels and others to offer volunteer and internship opportunities for students.
St. Edward’s Reflect–Volunteer–Engage (S.E.R.V.E.) Austin serves the community working in collaboration with area nonprofits, examines critical social justice issues and builds lasting bonds between students through weekly service projects. Students commit to serve the entire semester at local sites such as:
- Salvation Army
- Mary House Catholic Worker
- South Congress Senior and Rehab Center
- River City Youth Foundation
- Catholic Charities
- Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve … and others
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Each fall, students at St. Edward's join in a variety of events that address hunger, homelessness and related challenges in the greater Austin community. Programs range from an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to a Hunger Banquet to a 24-hour Fast.
Alternative Spring Break
More we, less me — Alternative Spring Break allows you to get away from the classroom and put your energy and skills to work in service with others. Past trips and projects include: Andre House–Phoenix, Ariz.; Glenmary Farm–Vanceburg, Ky. (Appalachia); Holy Cross Associates–Portland, Ore.; Center for Action & Contemplation–Albuquerque, N.M.; Marie Smith Urban Street Academy–New York, N.Y., and Urban Immersion–Chicago, Ill.
India Immersion Experience
In Bangalore, India, the group volunteers at Abhayadhama Human Development Center (founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1976). The name Abhayadhama is derived from two Sanskrit words: abhaya, meaning without fear, and dhama, meaning home. Your time at the center will be spent alongside Holy Cross and lay staff members, working directly with street boys and orphans who have been deprived of love, affection and dignity.
Montreal Immersion Experience
In Montreal, students volunteer with L'Arche, an international organization, founded by theologian/philosopher Jean Vanier, that organizes and staffs communities for adults with mental and physical disabilities.
Peru Immersion Experience
Working in Peru since 1963, the Congregation of Holy Cross assists several schools and parishes in Canto Grande, Peru, on the outskirts of Lima.
Campus Ministry has sponsored this experience for more than five years, allowing students the opportunity to work side-by-side with Holy Cross religious and dedicated lay people and learn from the people of Canto Grande and the richness of their culture.
Uganda Immersion Experience
In Fort Portal, Uganda, students serve alongside members of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the Sisters of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus providing aid to children, the elderly and the terminally ill. By coordinating with a variety of social service organizations, students experience a new perspective, while bringing compassion and resources to communities in need.
A Servant Leader
Psychology major Jessica Nortman ’12 participated in an International Immersion to Uganda; she later returned as a site leader with the same program. She took part in three Alternative Spring Break experiences, facilitated the university’s Founders Day service project and was the planning committee executive director for Miles for a Mission, a fundraising event for Campus Ministry. For her dedication to leading her peers in service, she was recognized with the St. Edward’s University Blue and Gold Award and several scholarships. She was selected by Teach for America to spend two years teaching underprivileged children.