Ranked last year by the Princeton Review as the number one party school in the nation, and still reeling from the alcohol-related death of a fraternity pledge earlier this year, the University of Colorado at Boulder has not lately been associated with works of charity.
Students from St. Thomas Aquinas University parish however, have spent the month of November reaching out to their community in faith and service.
The students, part of the nationwide Faithful Citizenship group sponsored by the US conference of Catholic Bishops, collected toiletry and hygiene products for donation to the Seton House, an Aids shelter run by the Sisters of Charity in Denver.
Organizer Lexie Wagner, a junior at CU said she was surprised and pleased by the response of students and parishioners despite a lack of publicity. “It shows that students care about their community and want to give something back”, she said. “We’re trying to live out our faith in service.”
The AIDS drive was part of a statewide project of Faithful Citizenship, a national campaign focused on living out the social teaching of the Church on issues ranging from migrant farm workers to abortion.
Statewide director Jamila Spencer said the group is active on a handful of University campuses around the state as well 59 parishes.
The Aids outreach, which involved education, charitable outreach, like the hygiene drive at St. Thomas Aquinas, and a World Aids Day Mass on December 1st, was the first major statewide outreach by the group. “For our first time out there with our charity and change project, it went really well”, Spencer said.
The three primary pieces of Faithful Citizenship are education, advocacy and charity. Spencer noted that, “these all feed into each other and if they’re to be genuine, must flow from a relationship with the person of Christ.”