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New Orleans Service Trip

Twelve students and two faculty members, Ms. Miriam Eisenmenger, Head School Counselor, and Ms. Tiffany McQueary '03, Chief Advancement Officer, will travel to New Orleans, Louisiana from February 10-15 for a Marist Service Project. While they are there, two students have volunteered to participate in a side project to keep everyone back in New Jersey informed about their efforts. 

Ms. Miriam Eisenmenger, Sophia Mateo, and Christ Hernandez have volunteered to send photos, videos and reflections of what they are doing in New Orleans to post on this blog. Check back often to see what they are doing! 

Entry 1: February 11th-Service at the 9th Ward

Miriam Eisenmenger:

Everyone is doing well and the weather is gorgeous for our first work day! We split off into 4 different work teams and each group has a variety of tasks serving the community surrounding the 9th Ward. One group went to fix up a community baseball field, another is at a community garden, the third group is at a place difficult to describe, but promised but the job promised dirt and digging. I'm currently at a place called "The Gathering" which was converted from a ruined bowling alley into a true community center. They run a church, counseling center, day care, and have an attached coffee shop. This amazing group of people have not only provided affordable services to this hurting community, but also jobs and a good-will sort of shop for those in need.  Many donations come through, and today we're helping to sort and refurbish.

Entry 2: February 13th-Service at the Rescue Ranch

  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
Miriam Eisenmenger:

Another long day, but truly fulfilling. We started with a morning of service at the Rescue Ranch. Their main service is to rescue, rehabilitate, and find new, loving homes for animals in the area. Many of the horses we encountered had been abandoned or abused, and have made remarkable recoveries. We got to help groom a few of them,  and then cleaned out stalls. In the afternoon,  we were able to learn a little bit more about the history of the area in which we are working with a visit to the site of the Battle of New Orleans. We visited what is left of the Plantation, and watched paddle-wheel boats go up and down the Mississippi River. Then we went out for some old-fashioned BBQ for dinner.

Entry 3: February 14th-Exploring New Orleans

Miriam Eisenmenger:

Today was the first day we could really get into the heart of New Orleans and go exploring. We started out by going to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral - - the oldest cathedral in the US. Then we headed over to Café Du Monde for beignets and met up with a local lay Marist, Madeline LaRose, who gave us a personal tour of the French Quarter. We learned that New Orleans is home to many of the oldest establishments in the US--like the oldest, consistently inhabited apartment building--and the beautifully eclectic architectural and design style that has developed over the years. We loved how the blend of all the different cultures developed into a distinctive style all its own.

We strolled through the French Market, which continues its long standing tradition of supplying locally grown produce on a daily basis, as well as locally made art and trinkets. We ended up taking a nice walk along the riverfront. It was a beautiful day,  capped off with an early dinner on Bourbon Street.

It was a simple day, but full of laughter, learning, and culture. This group has bonded even further as a family of young Marists. They have become more open to what the world has to teach them about themselves and how they can continue to serve the most in need.