St. Louis Catholic youth serve in Twin Cities

This article submitted by Beth Zimmerman on 7/14/98.

Megan Nyffeler and Sarah Ryan, both of Paynesville, took part in ďA Call to Service,Ē a mission of serving in the Minneapolis/St. Paul inner city with the Catholic Diocese of St. Cloud.

Nyffeler and Ryan described the trip as incredible, a major eye-opener, one that made them aware of their prejudices.

ďThe week of service was one of the best experiences I have ever had,Ē Ryan said.

The girls heard about the opportunity in Confirmation class. Once they had signed up, they had an orientation meeting in Swanville with a prayer service.

ďThatís when I started to get really excited about it,Ē Nyffeler said.

Nyffeler and Ryan met with approximately 50 other youth for the six-day trip. After the first day, the youth broke into small groups and worked at a total of 13 sites.

Ryanís favorite site was the Institute for Education and Advocacy. Many of the young people there were from India, Mexico and Somalia.

ďI have never been around so many different cultures, and I learned so much,Ē Ryan said.

Nyffelerís favorite visit was at the AIDS hospice. ďWe worked on their yard and just talked with the residents,Ē she said.

The girls also worked serving food to the homeless, did yard work for the elderly, worked with mentally handi-capped and played with minority children.

ďThe kids really moved me,Ē Ryan said. ďSome called me their mommy or auntie for the day. They seemed so desperate for somebody to love them.Ē

Both girls said they plan to do more service work because of this trip.

ďIt was really a spiritual experience,Ē Nyffeler said.

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