Box Village
Campus Ministry students and Fr. Jason with Breanna Mekuly of Emmaus.

Over 100 campus ministry students at Cathedral Prep School in Erie slept outside in the cold to raise awareness of poverty and hunger. The goal of this box village, where the students stay in cardboard for the night, is to "give the young men an experience of what it's like to be homeless for a night," said Fr. Jason Feigh, organizer of the project, so that they recognize the needs of the most marginalized and share what they have to alleviate the pain of poverty and hunger in their own communities.

Along with experiencing a night without the comforts they often take for granted, they also raised $1,500 for Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

"It was kind of a spiritual experience," said Pat, a student who has been participating in this project for the past three years. "There's an hour-long period during the dark of the night where we are asked to remain silent, reflect, think and pray." In this time, many of the young men thought and prayed for people in Erie experiencing homelessness that were out in the cold that night, too.

"I realized how helpful community can be," Pat continued, "because many people driving by and coming from the church stopped to wish us well and gave us money for the Emmaus Soup Kitchen."

Pictured: Campus Ministry students and Fr. Jason with Breanna Mekuly of Emmaus.