This summer, St. Patrick Parish in Fayetteville, hosted youth from Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina who participated in Home Works, a non-profit program to repair the homes of those who can’t afford or are unable to do the repairs themselves. For a week youth from St. Patrick joined with their peers and adult volunteers to paint, roof and rebuild portions of houses in Fayetteville. Some of the participants were experienced from previous summers, while others were learning construction skills by doing, under the supervision of a contractor and of St. Patrick Youth Ministry Director Vince Mescall.
This year some 95 youth and adults were involved. The youth were housed and fed at St. Patrick’s Family Life Center.
Teen Diana Burden, from St. Philip Neri Parish in Fort Mill, SC, was spending her third year in Fayetteville. “I enjoy helping the homeowners to improve their lives, and working with my peers,” she said.
Diana and a dozen others were rebuilding part of a bathroom and kitchen, and power washing the exterior of a home while the elderly owner looked on approvingly. The homeowner had heard about the program through Urban Ministries of Fayetteville. “The kids are so nice and polite,” she said. A member of a rural Baptist church, she laughed when asked how she felt about all the Catholic youngsters in her home. “We all pray to the same God,” she smiled.
At another location, volunteers were repairing a 2300-square-foot roof, a week-long project. “When it would rain,” one of the adult volunteers explained, “water would leak into every room of the house.” Several of the youth on this site were members of a large group from Immaculate Conception Parish in Wilmington.
First-year teen volunteer Jenna DiSilva, of St. Ann Parish in Rock Hill, SC, joined the program because “I like to help people, and let God’s power shine through me and get to others!”
“The theology stays the same – helping others,” said Mary Marshall, an adult volunteer in her 12th year with HomeWorks at St. Patrick. “But the program grows every year.”
Above: Students prepping and painting outside of house.
Above: Students from three states taking part in Home Works project, sponsored by St. Patrick Catholic Church in Fayetteville.
Above: Students repairing roof on family’s home.