Students learn a lesson in humility
Students learn a lesson in humility

San Miguel eighth-grader reflects on service

The San Miguel eighth-grade class served a Christmas meal to the homeless gathered at St. Vincent De Paul in Providence on December 16. The experience was powerful for the students, who learned a lesson in humility through their service. Below, eighth-grader Jacob reflects on his experience:

"My experience at St. Vincent De Paul was unforgettable. All of my life, I have seen people standing on street corners begging for money, and from this experience my thoughts about these people have changed. After conversing with and serving these ordinary people, I have found that, behind the face of every person I met, there was someone different. They were generous and loving, not what I had expected from someone who had less than me. I, as well as all of my classmates, didn't know what to expect from this experience. Going into the night, I wanted to see how different the people we were serving really were from me. I figured out that there wasn't a difference between us. We are all human, and it really helped knowing that what I do for them, I am doing for my siblings as a son of God. It felt good to know that everything I was doing was helping a cause, one that occurs everywhere. 

At St. Vincent De Paul, we passed out meals to everyone who came in. We also passed out a piece of cake or apple pie and a bowl of salad. When it came time for everyone to finish, I happened to be standing there holding a piece of cake. Those who were finished wanted more, but I wasn't allowed to give seconds because there might not have been enough food. I felt like every little piece of kindness, as simple as giving away a piece of cake, could have made a big difference in someone's life. That could've been the piece that kept that person alive for this special time of the year, the piece that kept them on the earth a little longer. But, what's done is done, and there is no way you can change what's in the past.

As a San Miguel student, and a son of God, my impact on others' lives is an impact on my own life as well. Being their 'saving grace' is doing the work of God. Everything happens for a reason. Why was I lucky enough to be the one serving and not the one being served? Only God knows why."