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Circle K serves Holy Cross Sisters

Molly Madden | Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A group of Notre Dame students have been making a difference in the community by spending time with a group of retired Sisters of the Holy Cross.

“These kids are just phenomenal,” Lee Ann Moore, director of activities and volunteer services at the Saint Mary’s Convent, said. “They are just so much a part of us.”

Circle K, a service club at Notre Dame, dedicates a few hours of their week to assist the sisters at the Convent.

The Circle K group became involved with the Convent six years ago when former Notre Dame student and Circle K President Jake Teitgen approached Moore about working with the sisters.

Teitgen performed community service at the convent for a class requirement, Moore said.

“He liked it so much, he asked me if his club, Circle K, could start volunteering on a regular basis,” she said. “I happily agreed.”

About 40 students from Circle K come twice a week to volunteer at the Convent. The students help in many different ways, from decorating to organizing games to just enjoying the sisters’ company.

“Whatever event we have going on here, they get involved in it and make themselves a part of it,” Moore said.

The students have put together elaborate events for the sisters to enjoy, Moore said.

Moore said they have organized parties to watch Notre Dame football games and planned carnivals and Christmas concerts. Last year, according to Moore, they even recreated New Orleans’ Bourbon Street to celebrate Mardi Gras – including the parade floats.

The efforts by the students do not go unnoticed by the retired sisters, Moore said.

“They bring a liveliness to us,” she said. “We’re somewhat of a quiet place around here but from the time they’re here, you can hear the sisters’ laughter in the halls.”

Moore said the sisters appreciate the students’ generosity and take an interest in their lives.

“The sisters enjoy talking to them and look forward to their visits immensely,” she said. “The sisters worry about them. They’re always concerned about their studies and their health. They offer up their prayers for these kids all the time.”

Moore said despite the fact that the seniors graduate every year, the club continues to grow.

“This group is just so dedicated,” Moore said. “It can be absolutely freezing outside and they will still come over and bring such happiness, youth and spirit to us. They really are unsung heroes.”