What’s the one time in the year that an Orthodox saint gets major airtime on a college campus?
In just a few days, college towns will be smothered in green and shamrocks will adorn windows and doors across campus. But how many people will know about the amazing life of the bishop they celebrate that day?
St. Patrick of Ireland was known for his evangelical efforts in Ireland, his theological teaching (the three-leaf clover as a symbol for the Trinity, for example), and his love for those in need. Somehow, in the mix of Hallmark cards, sparkly green decorations, drink specials, and leprechauns, the incredible impact of St. Patrick seems to have been a little lost.
In an effort to honor our beloved St. Patrick, OCF students for the past few years have been trying to bring some of St. Patrick’s light to their own lives through a North American Chapter Event known as Serve 4 St. Patrick. This year, in your chapter, take this opportunity to get to know St. Patrick by reading his life, teaching others about our faith, and most especially by sharing in his love for others through service in your community. If you have never explored service as an element of your OCF chapter’s life, this is the perfect chance during Lent to honor a great saint by serving Christ in those around you. If you’re not sure what your chapter can do to serve others, here are just a few simple ideas that take little planning in addition to those you can find on the Serve 4 St. Patrick page:
- Take flowers to the local nursing home
- Find out if there are any shut-ins from your parish and arrange to visit them
- Clean up garbage around campus
- Treat another organization or person who is often ignored or abused to a meal–take the chance to get to know the person(s)
- Skip special meals out or fancy coffee for a week, and make a donation to the local food bank, shelter, etc.
Have other ideas? Post them in the comments for other chapters to see! And have a blessed and happy St. Patrick’s Day!