Benedictine values in action

flooded intersection in Duluth MNIn times of disaster and its aftermath, I suspect most organizations try to do what they can to help out.  After all, it’s our community: what hurts one, hurts all.

Still, I was very impressed with the email I received from the President of the College of St. Scholastica. It didn’t describe the funds donated or material sent to the people who lost everything to flood. It didn’t ask us to donate for flood relief.

Instead, President Goodwin gave each of us the chance to embody the Benedictine value of “community” by taking a day to offer our skills – whatever they are – to flood relief.  This is not just permission to take a day off – it’s a day off with pay.  This could be costly if others have to work overtime to cover essential tasks.  It will certainly mean that all sorts of workers will have to pick up a bit of slack for the others.  In short, the whole college will feel the pinch just a little bit.

I would like to invite all staff and faculty to take one work day (full or partial) in July, as approved by your supervisor, to volunteer in the clean-up efforts.  You can volunteer individually, with a small group of co-workers, or your entire department, depending on work demands, and you will be paid for that day as if you were on the job.  If you wish to volunteer, go to the United Way’s volunteer web site and click on the “Give Help Duluth Area Flood Response” button.   You will be asked to enter the date(s) you are available.  They will contact you with your assignment.

Please share your experience on our Values in Action portlet located on the Living Our Mission page in Cor.  Just click on the “Submit a Value in Action” button and tell us about your experience.

This is very much a Benedictine approach to helping others: don’t send money, send yourself.  It also leaves the organizing up to individual employees or departments – following St. Benedict’s wisdom when he advises to use his Rule “according to the circumstances.”

How good to work at a college grounded in 1500+ years of wisdom!

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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