Monday, September 22, 2014

End of Summer Poem

Tonight is our last night on the Farm
Tomorrow is the last time we will hear an alarm.
Rose fell and got paint all over
and that's when Bre painted Mike's shoulder

On the way to the pool
Meaghan tried to wipe off Gail's drool.
She fell asleep on her backpack
while she tried to get the feeling in her leg back.

Rose stood up and ripped her pants
while Jenny tried to teach us how to dance.
Tanner farted really loud and tried to cover it up
and Sean found a smelly, crooked tailed pup.

Shelby will keep cooking like a fool
while Henry breaks everything with all of his tools.

Bailey is smiling even thought
T-kupp makes up stories and so
all of us kids listen intently
while Paul plays the guitar ever so gently.

The Bad News Bears were at it again
making noise and being good friends.
Nat and Ellesa led prayer
while Pat and Sister Paula make everything fair.

The Fab 8 and the Dwarves
bother Snow While while doing their chores.

The best skits go to the Salamander Stench Crew
always making us laugh even Drew!

The Moth Men always work hard
on sites and even in the yard.
Allyson wove her overalls well
nailing and cutting and never fell.
Brian and Jen are happy as can be
while Charlie Brown is trying to drink the tea.

We will miss this Farm so very much
we love you all so stay in touch!

-The Mike and Ikes
August 10-16, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Where Are You From?

Every morning we take students to the worksite we have them introduce themselves and say where they are from. Most of the time the homeowner cannot believe they can from all that way just to be at their house. 

During the month of June, we welcomed over 150 volunteers from all over the country: Indiana, Illinois, Texas, West Virginia, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Missouri, and Ohio!
Every week was a great opportunity for students to expand their horizons with the Cornerstones as well as getting to know how their peers' lives are like in different parts of the US. There aren't many places that bring students together like Nazareth Farm.
We also welcomed home more Summer Sojourners! It's our 4th year of the program, and they always add more energy that we can imagine. The summer would not be the same without them. 

The weeks weren't all just community building, we did some home repair as well. Bernie got us lunch almost every day, John's caretaker affirmed our actions daily, Barbara shared her family with volunteers, and Jerry always has entertaining stories. Check out the pictures below to see exactly what we were doing:

John's new porch

Cheryl's new porch!

A new roof in Salem

Charlotte's room!

The inside of her room
Ivena's New Siding
Jerry's New Room!
We were also also to finish a few more roofs, another porch, and a fence that we don't have pictures for.
The Staff and Sojos during Formal Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Starting the Summer Right

We kicked off the group week season right with an amazing group of college students and their youth minsters! About 1/2 the group were returning volunteers and the other 1/2 were their good friends. We couldn't have asked for a more fun, hardworking group of volunteers.

We also welcomed home our first Summer Sojourners for the summer: Dan, Torie, Katie, and Andrew! They were just the start of the 11 extra sets of hands, ears, and hearts that we would have with us this summer.

With their help we worked on a set of stairs, finishing up an addition for our good friend Gaye, and almost finished a roof in Lumberport.  
New Stairs

New Stairs in West Union

Sojourners hard at work
Gaye's New Room!
Roofing Women at Don and Deb's

Monday, August 18, 2014

March Forth

As always our March weeks were full of energetic, fun college students! We worked throughout our entire working area - from Gypsy to Pennsboro to Alma to Salem and just up 23! In all we completed 10 projects plus a few bigger items for the Farm. Students came from old and new Farm favorites: Loyola Chicago, Walsh, Detroit Mercy, Evansville, Colgate, Stony Brook, St. Xavier, Notre Dame, Columbia, Dominican, Kean, and Purdue.

 We hope you enjoy the picture below, and hopefully you'll come join us soon!

Jessie's new siding - I promise it's right-side-up in person!
A new porch in Pennsboro!

Al and Irene's New Porch!

New Windows at Wanita's

Tom and Nancy's Porch

Siding in Clarksburg

Roof Awning for Barbara

January and Feb

We welcomed the new year with a great group of college students and a bunch of cold weather! We spent a few days inside, but went out to work most of the week. The group leveled a floor for a family full of wonderful cooks, gave Millie a new fire exit, and started Daniel's ramp and Barbara's porch roof.
The February group week is always a staff favorite since  We finished Daniel's ramp and started one for Terri.

New floor in West Union

Millie's porch and fire exit
Barbara's roof!

Monday, May 19, 2014

In God's Country

In the lush mountains of Appalachian West Virginia known as “God Country” seven members of the Kean Catholic Newman Club, accompanied by the campus minister, were welcomed with warm embraces and repeated “welcome homes” from the staff members of Nazareth Farm on their spring break service trip.
Students from Kean University
Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community in Doddridge County that was established in 1979 on the four cornerstones of community, simplicity, prayer and service. Kean students learned this by attending prayer services every morning and evening,going to various worksites everyday to perform home repairs, interacting with locals as well as other students from universities from around the nation and conserving energy, food and water by not using electronic devices, composting and only being allotted a maximum of three showers, two of which had to be outside bucket showers.
“I never thought that not using my cell phone for a week, not knowing what time it was, or only taking one shower would be a completely freeing experience,” said Kean student Dana Sullivan.
“ In a world that is constantly on the run, moving from one thing to the next at super-fast speed, it was so great to be completely present where we were and to be able to fully enjoy God’s beautiful creation and the beautiful people that we were meeting, helping and spending time with.”
Aside from Kean, students from Notre Dame, Syracuse, Saint Xavier’s and Evansville University attended during spring break. To increase community building, work groups were composed of students from various schools. Each day a different group went to a different staff member’s work site that included projects such as ramp building, porch building and underpinning.
On one night in particular all the students and staff members attended the Mountain Justice Conference. The conference focused on the extreme energy extraction done across Appalachia via water fracking and mountain top removal. Both have everlasting effects to the environment and local residents, the fracking alone left 30,000 West Virginia residents with unusable water for the past two months. The panel discussion at the conference was filled with real examples of ways to take on this unfair energy extraction system other than just protesting, such as changing the laws from the inside out via pursuing a career in law.
On another evening after work the Farm had a community night. Members of the community, young and old, were invited to the Farm for dinner and students were allotted the opportunity to spend time with them. There were also times during home repairs to get to know the homeowners and listen to their vast life wisdom. Students learned and exercised the ministry of presence, just being their for people to talk to and have genuine, human interactions with.
Although the Farm focuses on Catholic Social Teachings, some students that attended were not Catholic or even Christian, yet none of them were made to feel uncomfortable, or the need to conform. Human dignity, solidarity, preferable options for the poor, dignity of work and care for all of God’s creations are among the social teachings emphasized on the farm. These basic principles are more general human morals rather than specifically “Catholic”. As were the prayer services, everything was very euceminical and focused on building each individual's relationship with God and their fellow man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Unified in Prayer


Your name is holy, your works are true, let us all see ourselves in You.
Through humility, work, and all your deeds help us help those yearning with needs. We stand here united, together as one, Nazareth Farm, the journey has just begun. From morning to afternoon and through the night, fill us with love and all your might.
A community, as one, we will continue to build until everything God wants will be fulfilled. No longer is it "I", but now it is we - all coming together, alive and free.
We all share a bond not seen with another, I can now call you all my sisters and brothers.
May we always remember all the simple things, all nature, all good.
As we stand here today, let us always remember possessions come and go, but family lasts forever.