By Patrick Carney ‘22

“Facere et docere”: to do and to teach. This is the motto of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. Through service, academics, and faith, schools of the congregation aim to mold young people into the image of Blessed Edmund Ignatious Rice. While other schools adhere to the same academic standards as Brother Rice, service and faith place the Brother Rice community in a special group of schools.

During the pandemic, service became difficult to perform, and many of the school’s usual commitments needed to be placed on hold. Now for the first time since the pandemic began, Brother Rice students will be able to once again fulfill their commitment to service on behalf of the marginalized beyond our borders.

Over spring break, Mr. Mike Dolan, Director of Advocacy, will lead a group of six students on an immersion trip to Peru. The group will spend seven days working alongside impoverished Peruvians and help build a house for a family just outside the capital city of Lima. While Brother Rice students have visited Lima in the past, this will be the first trip where students will work at a Christian Brother’s Mission.

Throughout the year, Brother Rice students have donated to mission collections to benefit the same people that the group will visit in Peru. Mr. Dolan said, “I do not want any of us to see our mission collection as some random collection for far-away, faceless people.  We will be welcomed into the homes of the people whom we serve.”

While there is excitement in traveling to a foreign place, the group is undertaking an immense responsibility by exposing themselves to those who are in need the most. Another adult chaperone, Mrs. Angelica Alverez, said, “To be fully emerged with those who are truly in need can prove to be emotionally overwhelming. I look forward to sharing and reflecting on such an experience.”

Living in an environment unlike your home can be daunting, but the students attending the immersion have made it clear that they want to go. Senior Gavin Ward ’22 said, “This opportunity is too good to pass up. There are not many times to experience a new culture while also helping those in need.”

Mr. Dolan, who has visited Peru in the past, knows how much of an impact this immersion will have on everyone involved. He said, “If we have open hearts and open minds, our lives will be changed for the good for as long as we are alive.”

Please say a prayer for all the participants of this immersion, and always remember as Mr. Dolan said, “Service is the lifeblood of who we are.”