Community. Service. Social Justice. Spirituality. Catholic Social Teaching calls us to make a preferential option for the poor. Every decision we make ought to be made in light of how it affects the poorest among us. In the classroom, students are learning about global issues of social injustice-- such as poverty and hunger. University Ministry seeks to offer students the opportunity to reflect on those issues and meeting people affected by them. Urban PlungeRU, Can U?Food DriveFood for Thought Romero House is a community of Regis University students who wish to explore issues of faith and justice. Inspired by the lives of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador, Fr. Vince O'Flaherty, S.J., established Romero House in 1992. The house is named for Archbishop Oscar Romero who was murdered in 1980 for his work with the poor in El Salvador. Students engage in service in their local community, open their home for hospitality nights to educate the Regis community about important justice issues, and live simply so as to better understand the life experience of the poor. They commit themselves to five pillars. The Pillars Intentional Community "The moments that stick out in my memories of Romero House are the times when we were all in the kitchen doing dishes and messing around, sleeping outside in the hammock not being able to see the stars because the neighbors light was on all night, and deepening friendships with people I already loved. As cheesy as it sounds it is true. Finding friends at Regis has always been difficult for me even though I knew many incredible people. I was so particular about the kinds of friends I wanted. I wanted adventurous, sincere, and faithful friends who went to Mass more than parties and prayed more than gossiped. Well, that didn't really happen, unfortunately, and it didn't necessarily happen in RO HO either. What did happen is that I changed and so did my expectations. At Romero House I learned to love the people around me whatever they did or believed. I learned to love as Jesus does-unconditionally loyal and welcoming to all. Jn 17:22-24."Missy (Summer program) "While living in Romero House, my community became my family. My community became some of the closest friends I have had during my time at Regis. My favorite part of the community was our dinners together four nights a week. During this time my housemates and I had an opportunity to reflect on our experiences of service from the day and learn about each other in a deep and meaningful way. The other aspects of Romero House, such as trying to live a simple lifestyle, also helped bring the community closer together. For example, the simplicity challenge of eating only rice and beans for each meal for a whole week would have been incredibly difficult without the support of my community. My community not only shared in these experiences but challenged me to learn and grow from them."Kathryn (Summer program) Service To Others "This past summer I was able to work with kids and families. In this experience, all of my loves came together but something changed within me: my idea of service. I struggled to call what I was doing working with the kids simply service. The relationship was mutual. They were teaching me their experiences, making me laugh, and I was similarly having fun, teaching reading, and learning from them. Romero House teaches you to live in solidarity with those around you and then it is not about service it is rather about being with one another and sharing experiences."Kelsey (Summer program) "For me, service to others comes from working for justice. My site focuses less on direct work with the marginalized peoples of society and more on changing the systems that oppress them. I love working to change the root causes of a problem."Rose (Academic Year program) Commitment to Social Justice "Our commitment to social justice helped us through the times when living in simplicity and living in community became difficult. Our community's decision to go on the SOA pilgrimage was one that we tied to social justice. We all had various issues that we were passionate about, and we shared those with one another. We used hospitality nights to share these issues with the wider Regis community." Mary Anna (Academic Year 2008-2009) An Exploration of Faith "Romero House offers the encouragement and support to explore and deepen my faith life. Taking time each day to reflect and pray, and time each week to check in with my community is a source of support and enrichment. Exploring new meaning to my faith and new ways of looking at the teachings of Jesus and how they can be applied to how I live in the world is something I hope to take with me when I graduate." Rose (Academic Year program) Living a Simple Lifestyle "Although I never went to bed hungry, worried about having running water, or being lonely, Romero House inspired a sense of intentionality in my heart. Through acts of simplicity such as rice and beans week or sleeping on the floor I gained a greater consciousness of the world that I will carry into the future. RoHo was the seed planted within which makes me want to grow a garden, have a compost pile, recycle, and live with a greater awareness with the world around me."Kelsey (Summer 2009) "What impacted me most about Romero House was intentionally living simply. We biked everywhere, ate great simple meals, and did simplicity challenges every week to keep us focused on simplicity. With the support of my community of Dan, Jon, Corrinne, Missy and Katie we were able to push ourselves and grow in solidarity with not only the Salvadoran peoples, but millions of people in the world." Carlo (Summer program) To learn more about Romero House, or to inquire about the application process, please contact Quinn Waller. March 2-3, 2013 An 'Urban Plunge' is an overnight immersion experience that invites personal and societal transformation by exploring root causes of homelessness through engaging in personal relationships with those who are currently homeless and those who serve the homeless population on a daily basis. Sign up in University Ministry. Each Fall, CURA (our small faith sharing groups) sponsors a university wide food drive to support local food banks. They seek the support of the local neighborhood as well, in order to raise awareness of the needs of local people who are in need. Over 2,000 pounds of food have been collected each of the last several years. Food for Thought is sponsored by the CURA program and provides a time for students to share a simple meal and receive spiritual nourishment though the company of other students, a guest speaking on a social justice topic, or another type of activity. Food for Thought is held once a month on Monday evenings.