Kriegl Leads Another Enlightening Service Trip to Inner-city Chicago

Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The 2018 Chicago Service Trip took place this past weekend.

Eighteen students and three chaperones spent the weekend at the David Darst Center.

The Darst Center is a place where groups can stay to experience urban immersion retreats and see them through the lens of Catholic social teaching.

This trip is so acclaimed by previous service trip takers that the waiting list of applicants is as long as the list of students who attended the trip.

The chaperones this year were Campus Minister Daniel Kriegl, Principal Patrick Browne and College Counselor Becky Bain.  Kriegl was the only one who had made the trip before.

According to the campus minister,  “This was a very profound trip, probably one of my top two.”

Principal Browne had one word for the weekend experience:  “Incredible.”

The participants and chaperones left NDA at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 9, and drove down to Chicago in three vans.

They arrived at the Darst Center at around 6 pm and were introduced to the volunteer team that would be leading them on their activities throughout the weekend.

The students were then served dinner and had time to wind down from the long car ride. After they ate, they cleaned up dinner and got ready to go on the night walk through Chicago.

This is a walk where students and chaperones get to walk through Wrigleyville, a part of the city highly populated with LGBTQ young people.

Students got to see homelessness first hand and realize that it is real, not just something to talk about, but something to work to change.

After the night walk, students and chaperones returned to the Darst Center to have reflection and closing prayer before bed.

The next morning, students prepared breakfast.  After eating and cleaning up, they were introduced to their first activity of the day, visiting a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.

Later in the day, they visited The Boulevard, an organization that helps people recently released from the hospital, complete their recovery.  

The students served a meal to the residents and had the opportunity to eat with them before cleaning up and returning to the Darst Center.

Again, they reflected on their day as a group and prayed before getting free time and heading to bed.

On Sunday, the group prepared to leave the center and said their last goodbyes to the people that had helped them learn so much over the weekend. They participated in a closing reflection and prayer before heading out to Mass.

They then began their journey home after a weekend of memories, new experiences, and eye-opening sights.