Seeing Jesus in the Bronx

I’m working with my students in the South Bronx at Mercy Center, which is an amazing place in the 2nd poorest income bracket in the US. They provide much for women and children, one of the many charisms of the Sisters of Mercy.

Our students are providing a winter camp for the young folks who come to Mercy Center after school. I worked in the after school program before and it was quite enriching.

I worked with Ramon yesterday, a seventh grader, who needs to learn the beatitudes. He was having a bit of trouble memorizing them, but he’s got most of them down now. I pray than he does well on his religion test today.

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Vince, (pictured above with Mary Kate from LeMoyne) one of my Canisius students was amazing yesterday teaching a science lesson with “pocketscopes” –small handheld magnifiers that you can put slides into. We looked at an eyebrow, a piece of skin and a clump of lint from someone’s pocket. If this med school thing doesn’t work out, Vince has got a great future as a science teacher.

Becky is also organizing the group well as our student leader. She really got people moving well and in the classroom setting, she is in her element. I think she’d make a great educational administrator one day and plan on telling her that today.

Kate also led our gym class and channelled her inner coach. Her roommate Hannah and I played four corner with the kids with Kate as the caller. We’d stomp our feet near her to try to confuse her but alas, I lost! I think Hannah won one of our games late in the day, much to the children’s chagrin.

I don’t have many pictures because of restrictions on photos of the kids, but yesterday was also the Three King’s Day, a big deal in the Latino community. Fr. John Bucki, Sj the director of Campus Ministry at LeMoyne donned a Three Kings outfit. I think it’s him, no? I’ve been in a bunch of meetings with Fr Bucki, before, but I’ve gotten to know even more why he was so beloved at Canisius where he held my post for 9 years. Each day I grow more thankful that he left this place that I now, am responsible for in good shape. Great guy and a great Jesuit.

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I visit the Harlem site tomorrow and the Brooklyn site Thursday.

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