“Inspired by the Eucharist to become a concrete expression of the sacrament of charity to the world.” Sacramentum Caritatis, p 106. Benedict XVI
“Whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do unto me.”
Many Koinonia Academy alumni have heard God’s voice in the cry of the poor. We continue to develop a legacy of young graduates who decide to spend time working with the poor, both at home and abroad. These alumni have found a way to take what they have learned at Koinonia and put it at the service of others. Inspired by some of these alumni, the Koinonia Academy Advisory Committee sought for an opportunity to encourage current KA students to serve in a similar way. Recently an opportunity presented itself, not in a foreign land, but in Plainfield, just a few blocks from the school.
Ten years ago a humble prayer group from St. Mary’s parish on Liberty Street in Plainfield saw a need in the local community and decided to act. The group of about ten people began making meals on Sunday evenings with money out of their own pockets to feed the hungry of the neighborhood. The group now feeds between seventy and one hundred and fifty people every Sunday of the year. They also provide other basic necessities such as socks, toothbrushes, and even winter coats. The Koinonia Academy Service Initiative has teamed up with St. Mary’s to offer KA students a way to expand their education beyond the classroom and reach out in solidarity and service to those less fortunate.
Every third Sunday of the month, six students from the senior class volunteer to spend a few hours helping at the church. They bring bread, serve food, and converse with the individuals that come to the kitchen. From set-up to clean-up the experience is only about two and a half hours, but they are hours filled with love, labor and much learning. This initiative enables Koinonia to pursue its commitment to Catholic education in greater depth, helping students learn more about God through the experience of loving their neighbors. The commandment to love God and neighbor is at the heart of the Gospel and the Gospel is at the heart of who we are and what we do at Koinonia.