I was a sophomore in college when my two good friends Allie and Cara decided they wanted to participate in a Le Moyne service trip prior to their May graduation. All I knew was that it meant a trip to New York City, and I had surely agreed to do far sillier things with the two of them (usually against my better judgment). I could not have imagined the incredible people that this trip would lead me to meet.
We arrived at a church in the City and were told that a nun was on her way to meet us and take us home to her convent. I naively pictured a strict old woman in a habit coming to take us home. I was shocked when a woman standing at about 5’2” strolled in with the most pep and excitement I’d ever seen in a person. This was just the beginning of what would turn out to be one of the most memorable weeks.
The Sisters of the Presentation rolled out the red carpet for us with a warmer welcome than we could have ever imagined. Sisters Elaine, Fran, Laura, and Mary Catherine lived at Visitation House. They are a hilarious group of women with the absolute biggest hearts. They taught us about service, love, compassion, and so much more. They welcomed us in and opened our hearts. While at Visitation House, we also met Sisters Anne and Dale.
We left this trip with lifelong relationships. Over five years later, we are still all in touch. Sister Mary Catherine always checks in with cards, calls, texts, whatever it may be. For years after the service trip, Sisters Elaine, Fran, Anne, and Mary Catherine would come to our softball games after Good Friday mass and cheer for us louder than anybody in the stands. We even went to see Aladdin on Broadway together one summer!
I always keep this trip on my resume, and I cannot tell you how many employers, etc. have asked me about it and what it entailed. I love to rehash the events of staying with the Sisters of the Presentation. We had so much fun. But more importantly, I truly learned that there is so much more out there than what you see in your normal day-to-day life. There are so many different kinds of people going through struggles you cannot imagine. But there are also so many loving, thoughtful, and amazing people looking to help anyone in need. The Sisters of the Presentation are certainly the latter. Thank you for showing us a little extra light and giving me such fond memories to look back on.
- Lexi (Service Saturday Volunteer)