The diocese will formally launch the new Catholic Service Corps (CSC) with a day of service and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano on Saturday, September 24.
More than 100 young people who are participating in pilot programs for the service corps will be at work in a variety of settings including Merton Center in Bridgeport, New Covenant Center in Stamford, Connecticut Food Bank, Morning Glory in Danbury, Al’s Angels in Westport, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society on the grounds of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Norwalk.
Michelle Smith, the newly named coordinator of the Catholic Service Corps, said the young people will be painting, serving food, stocking shelves, wrapping gifts, and doing yard work and clean-up projects for those in need.
Smith said some of the 15 CSC chapters involved in the pilot program may be sending as few as five young people, while others may send 20 or more. Each service project will combine young people from various groups in order to provide a better learning experience and to reinforce the universal call to service.
The young people will work at their assignments from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Each chapter will begin their service with a brief prayer and reflection on the work they are about to undertake, Smith said.
After four hours of service, they will gather at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University for Mass with Bishop Frank J. Caggiano who will ask the youth to reflect on their service as an outgrowth of their faith.
The Mass will be followed by a picnic on the grounds of the university that will give the young people from different parishes and organizations the opportunity to meet and socialize. Each young person will receive a Catholic Service Corps T-shirt.
Smith said that interest in the Catholic Service Corps is growing. At present, when asked about joining, she directs them to existing chapters. In year two of the projects, she hopes to be able to add new chapters to the diocesan effort.