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Chris’ Week

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Editor’s Note: DC Service Corps volunteer Christopher Zaragoza shares a few highlights from a week in April, including a volunteer appreciation dinner at the Father McKenna Center, Divine Mercy Sunday, and a spring garden tour at the White House.

On April 28th, Lauren, Alex (JVC volunteer), and I attended a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at The Father McKenna Center. This event gave us the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the company of all the volunteers that make the Father McKenna Center possible. Before dinner, one of the Jesuit priests celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving. During his homily, the priest mentioned how the volunteer is impacted in a positive manner by the volunteer work he/she does. He also provided the example of how Christ served the most marginalized in society. 

The above picture was taken at the Lower Crypt Chapel at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It depicts the beauty and sacredness of the Easter Season. I was able to experience springtime in the D.C. for the very first time and was amazed by the many floral blossoms. The springtime is a reminder for hope and newness all made possible by the resurrection of Jesus. 

On April 24, 2022 the universal church celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. I was privileged to visit the National Shrine of St. John Paul II and prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. With everything that is happening in our world, we need God’s Mercy, but we also have to be vessels of forgiveness towards others, including ourselves. 

Lauren and I visited The White House on April 10th  2022 for their Annual Spring Garden Tour. We were able to see trees that had been planted by different presidents. I even took a selfie with the presidential car and heard the military band performing. 

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Chris graduated from Loras College in December of 2020, having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Religious Studies. He is doing a year of service with the Franciscan Mission Service and is serving at the Father McKenna Center. He is excited about this new chapter in his life and is ready to encounter God through the people he will serve in this year of service. After this experience, he is planning to attend graduate school for a Master’s Degree in Social Work.