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‘It was 20 years ago today …’

Anniversaries are a cause of celebration, whether they are five, 10, 15 or 20-year commemorations.

And this year, students from Creighton University will be celebrated for their relationship with White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC), a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, as they arrive on March 7 for their annual one-week stint during their Alternative Spring Break.

“So may I introduce to you, the act you’ve known for 20 years … Creighton U’s Lovely Student Band …”

You’ll have to pardon me for taking some liberties with the superb Beatles song, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!”

Students from Creighton University who attended the 2019 Alternative Spring Break pose with chickens at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice.

Jeff Peak, the assistant director of the John P. Schlegel, SJ Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University, said eight students will travel from Omaha, Nebraska, this year for the week-long venture.

“We’ve sent anywhere from six to nine students, depending on the semester, in the past,” Jeff said.

Ken Reed-Bouley, the current director of the center at the private Jesuit university, said the relationship between WVC and Creighton began after he saw published information regarding WVC and the Sisters of Providence.

“We were attracted to the combination of faith, justice, and environmental sustainability WVC and the Sisters of Providence offered,” Ken said. “The sisters were welcoming and hospitable from the beginning in sharing their space and expertise.”

“It’s wonderful to be here. It’s certainly a thrill. You’re such a lovely audience …”

While staying at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for eight days, the students will have the chance to learn more about sustainability and what WVC has to offer, which includes so much more. They will also connect with many of the sisters during their visit.

“In addition to the curriculum provided, and learning a bit about sustainable agriculture, the students love their time with the sisters, hearing their stories of their lives and ministries,” Jeff said. “All of the students we’ve sent have been first-time participants.”

Jeff added the program hopes to continue well into the future thanks to the Jesuits recently releasing their Universal Apostolic Preferences, one of which focuses on “Care for Our Common Home.”

“While all of our trips incorporate some sustainable practices, having an entire trip to focus on various components of environmental justice is really important to us,” Jeff said. “Also, the students really love working with the alpacas.”

“We’re Creighton U’s Lovely Student Band … We hope you will enjoy the show …”

If you plan on visiting Saint Mary-of-the-Woods during the second week of March, stop by and say hello to these students!

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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