VMA students volunteer at the Mount

The outdoor furniture is in place, the grounds are cleaned of scattered branches and twigs, the tables and chairs are out on the dining room patio, Sister Helen’s office is spic and span—and all thanks to a group of students from Villa Maria Academy (VMA). Today was their annual Outreach Day. All across Erie students from Villa Maria Academy and Cathedral Prep, along with teachers and staff, offered volunteer service to a variety of organizations. The Erie Benedictines at Mount St. Benedict Monastery were grateful to be one of the recipients of their service. What was even more special was that the girls and their adult leaders joined the community for midday prayer and lunch after their morning of service. Lauren Belmonte, no stranger to the Mount and a sophomore at VMA, was among the volunteers and she was able to show the others “the ropes,” especially when it came time to go to the chapel and then navigate the dining room and food line at lunch.

“It is always encouraging to experience young people so willing and happy to be of service,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “We are better because of it and we hope they will back ─ even just to visit. They are always welcome.”