SMWC to host first Foundation Day of Service

October 19th, 2016 | SMWC

It will be a special day of service, prayer and fellowship. 

On Tuesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) students, staff, faculty and alumni will participate in a day of volunteerism for the first Foundation Day of Service. True to the charitable spirit of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, America’s 8th saint and founder of the College, volunteers will engage in a variety of on-campus service projects ranging from grounds keeping and gardening to data entry and focus group participation. 

A popular project is pottery. Several volunteers plan to create clay bowls for an upcoming soup bowl benefit.

The event kicks-off with a 9 a.m. prayer service led by SMWC President Dottie King, Ph.D., and Rosemary Nudd, SP, ’69 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. This will be followed by the morning set of service projects throughout campus. Afternoon service projects will be from 1-2:30 p.m. 

Foundation Day celebrates Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her companions’ arrival to the area on Oct. 22, 1840, after an arduous journey from France. The saint was sent here with two purposes: to start a congregation (now Sisters of Providence) and to educate the people of the community. Foundation Day is shared by the institutions she founded, both still in existence today, said Andrea Beyke, executive director of Mission Effectiveness.

The event celebrates the College’s heritage, Beyke said. “It’s good to remember the past and how far we’ve come,” she said, “and to look to the future and how far we can go.”

A reader’s theatre about the life of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s arrival at The Woods is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Cecilian Auditorium. The SMWC Music and Theatre Department created the script based on plays previously written by several Sisters of Providence, Beyke said. Music will be provided by the SMWC Chorale and Madrigals. 

In the past, the College celebrated Foundation Day by participating in prayer and other activities with the Sisters of Providence, Beyke said. This is the first year the institution is marking the anniversary with a College-wide day of service. All classes will be cancelled for the day. 

“Saint Mother Theodore Guerin came here to serve others. It’s part of our mission,” Beyke said of the importance of service to the College. The institution is committed to affecting positive change in a spirt of service and social responsibility, she added. 

“It’s a part of who we are,” she continued. “What better place to begin serving than right here?”  

For more information, contact Andrea Beyke, executive director of Mission Effectiveness at 812-535-5244.