For the third time in the past four years Fairfield Prep students spent eight days of their summer vacation (July 16-23, 2012) in the Mustard Seed Community of Blessed Assurance in Montego Bay, Jamaica. While the students put in several full days of manual labor around the property, the majority of their time was spent with the children of Blessed Assurance. All of these children are abandoned and/or disabled. This year's group also had the privilege of working at another Mustard Seed site, Jacob's Ladder, and hanging out at the beach with our brother Jesuit, Catholic high school, St. George's College, from Kingston, Jamaica.
This year's group was led by Christian Cashman, Theology teacher, and Jonathan DeRosa, Director of Student Activities and Christian Service. The student leaders were Christian Felner '13, Tim Jeanneret '13 and Aidan Rush '13. The first time participants were Jake Baekey '13, Jack Dardis '13, Jordan Dawe ' 13, Steven Licari '13, Ben Longson '13, Chris Masone '13, Mike Muscato '13, Bruce Peterkin '13, Stephen Schwartz '14, Brandon Somers '12 and Rich Van de Berghe '14.
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Fairfield Prep students volunteer in Jamaica
Fairfield Prep returned to the Mustard Seed Community of Blessed Assurance in Montego Bay, Jamaica from July 16-23, 2011. Fairfield Prep was represented by the following students: Jack Desilva ’13, Sean Donoghue ’11, Christian Felner ’13, Tim Jeanneret ’13, Patrick Miles ’13, Phil Morris ’11, Conor Rog ’12, Aidan Rush ’13, Paul Sikora ’11, and Kevin Westfahl ’12. The adult leaders for this trip were Mr. Cashman and Mr. Gualtiere. This was a very meaningful and life-changing experience for the entire group. The reflections offered by Christian Felner ’13 and Mr. Cashman highlight that fact.
Jamaica 2010 Trip
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Reflection by Sean Donoghue '11
This past summer from July 11-18, seven Prep students, two faculty members, and one alumni traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a service immersion trip. The group served a charity called Mustard Seed Communities, which provides aid to disabled and abandoned children. The Prep group traveled and stayed at Blessed Assurance, a compound that houses 46 disabled children. At Blessed Assurance, every day began at 5:30 AM when we helped the staff dress the children and get them ready for the day. After the children were dressed and ready, we had time to bond with them and get to know them. Later in the morning, we had "devotion time", which consisted of singing hymns and reading the scripture from the day's mass. After devotion, the heavy labor for the day began. Throughout the week, we completed a wide range of projects including digging a trench, and clearing and organizing a large storage room. One of our most important projects was putting the finishing touches on the Blessed Assurance Chapel, which has been in construction for over a year. We were able to commemorate the finishing of the chapel by celebrating the inaugural mass. The mass was celebrated by our own Father Larry Ryan, S.J. This mass was a milestone occasion for the people living at Blessed Assurance, and they were all very thankful to us for helping them complete this project.
Overall, our Jamaican experience was very eye-opening and touching. The children, the dedicated caregivers, and the impoverished country of Jamaica touched all of our hearts. After a long week of dedicated service, the Prep group returned home more than satisfied with their effort. The participants in this trip were: J.J. Hubert ‘11, Paul Sikora ‘11, Mark Rodas ‘11, Sean Donoghue ‘11, James Shea ‘11, Kenny Duque ‘11, Sebastian Dumoulin ‘10, Kevin Foley ‘04, and staff members Elliott Gualtiere, Director of Campus Ministry and Fr. Larry Ryan S.J, Student Chaplain. This service trip was a large success and Fairfield Prep plans to return to Blessed Assurance with another group next year.