Serving the Mission


Richard Nalen

The Feehan group, and a group from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY, on their last night at the Romero Center.

Molly Sullivan and Oceana Duffy

“just how blessed we are” at Bishop Feehan.

— Ashton Constantine '24

 Oscar Romero once said, “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” This summer, 10 members of the Bishop Feehan Community learned just what that quote means. 

        On July 25, eight students and two teachers boarded the minibus and headed to the Oscar Romero Center in Camden, New Jersey for a week of service. They spent the week practicing the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in the community. 

        Each day the students and teachers went to a different service site where they had the opportunity to interact with and assist many members of the Camden community. They were taught to form relationships with those they served, which proved very influential to all those on the trip. Lianna George ‘23 said that the Romero Center’s motto, “So you say you love the poor, name them,” “really stuck with [her]”, and pushed her to step out of her comfort zone and talk to people that she would not have before.

Students doing yard work at Urban Promise, a local school and summer camp in Camden. (Mrs. Payson)

        One of the most memorable challenges they faced was living off of three dollars worth of food for 24 hours. This is comparable to the amount that someone who lives off of food stamps receives every day. Along with limited money, everyone was given scenarios that are realities for many families, for example, no access to electricity (a stove) or living with diabetes. The students experienced the difficulty of living with hunger, exposing them to the injustices that people on food stamps face everyday. Mrs. Payson talked of her experience with this exercise, saying, “it helped us to understand who we were serving”, teaching empathy and understanding to all those who participated.

        While in Camden, the students and teachers were also given a tour of the area. They learned about the history of the city, which was a hub for drug trafficking and gangs, and were educated on how the city has grown and become safer in the past few years. Although improvements have been made, the residents still face injustices in their everyday life. One of these injustices that the Bishop Feehan students witnessed on their tour was the sewage system across the city. In Camden, the sewage is dumped into the water surrounding the city, which creates a potent smell that lingers throughout the city and was extremely obvious on the tour, even through closed car windows. Ashton Constantine ‘24 said that the tour gave him perspective and showed him “just how blessed we are” at Bishop Feehan.

Two students cleaning school supplies at The Neighborhood Center in Camden. (Mrs. Payson)

        Getting off the minibus five days later, back at home, the group now had many new experiences and a new perspective to bring with them. One of the biggest lessons they learned was that, “serving is not helping or fixing,” as Mrs. Payson put it, but it is about building relationships with people and “walk[ing] alongside” them as they face all the injustices that come their way. This service betters everyone involved. 

        These members of the Bishop Feehan Community were able to truly learn what it means to serve, while “aspir[ing]…to be more” through each person they came in contact with.


The group preparing meals at MANNA, in Philadelphia, PA, that will be delivered to the sick and housebound. (Mr. Speidel)