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House Repairs – Appalachia, Kentucky (March 17 – 23, 2024)

Four volunteers were commissioned at the 5:00pm Mass at St. John’s on Saturday, March 16, 2024.  They began their journey to Nazareth, Kentucky, early the next day, to be greeted by Sr. Luke Boiarski, SCN.  Their new friend from Willisburg, Ms. Flowers, needed assistance to be able to enjoy her home more fully.  Additionally, the volunteers found time to install a cable run so Ms. Flowers’ canine friend, Shadow, could also enjoy life safely and enjoy her views from her home.  Ms. Flowers emigrated from Belize, so helping her felt natural to several of our volunteers who had been on Belize mission trips in the past for St. John’s.

The team was quite busy during the week they were in Kentucky, despite some setbacks on the timing of some of the materials, and the cold mornings!  Together, with two additional local SCN volunteers, the team built a 10’ x 12’ deck to improve Ms. Flowers’ ability to enjoy outside time on her uneven terrain.  They also power washed and cleaned the outside of her home.  In addition to the deck, the team had time to build an additional shed for storage and lay rock to improve her drainage flow away from the foundation of the house.  Meanwhile, the inside of Ms. Flowers’ home was also being tended to with cleaning, spackling and painting.

The volunteers felt such joy at being able to help Ms. Flowers.  As they spent time with her, they learned about the struggles of prejudice she faced here in the United States.  They were overwhelmed by her fortitude and outgoing personality.  They learned she prays for her enemies…. may we all take a lesson from her!

The team stayed at the St. Joseph Volunteer House on the grounds of the SCNs in Nazareth, and were able to enjoy breakfast and supper at the Mother House, and visited with the resident Sisters.  The volunteers were welcomed with open arms, and shared that “their food was often cool by the time they got back to their table because they were stopped so many times by the SCNs, who were excited they were there and wanted to share their gratitude.”  What a warm welcome and incredible blessing the sisters are!

On their last day in Kentucky, their day of rest, they toured the SCN campus and Motherhouse, the St. Joseph site, and Bardstown to learn a little more about the area and the history of the SCNs.  Then it was time to head home.  However, many of the volunteers shared that the peace they felt in Nazareth was so inviting, they look forward to going back!


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