A Welcome Week of Service

August 30 – September 3, 2021

The Office of Campus Ministry sponsors the Dorothy Day Program for first-year students to participate in a week-long service experience alongside Sisters of St. Joseph and other non-profit personnel at a local social service agency. All incoming first-year students are welcome to apply and be a part of a legacy of commitment to serving our dear neighbors.

The Dorothy Day Service Program is a wonderful opportunity for first-year students to live on campus a week before the beginning of the academic year, meet members of their class, and become acquainted with the campus and the college community while serving the needs of the local community. It enables students to acclimate to college, meet staff and faculty, and to meet their classmates. The program provides leadership opportunities and builds confidence.

Service is at the core of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Through service, students have an opportunity to explore and reflect on the local needs of the greater Chicopee area while continuing the vision of the Sisters.

Students volunteer at service sites during the day, and enjoy social events and reflection in the evening. Daily reflection is at the heart of the Dorothy Day experience, and provides students with opportunities to ponder the people they have met, and the impact of their volunteer work. Student leaders facilitate the group’s experience and help students adjust to college life.

The Dorothy Day program benefits both the civic community and ministries sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Dorothy Day students, fondly called “Dayers,” have changed the landscape for some of the most vulnerable in our communities, while grasping a deeper understanding of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s charism and Elms College mission.

Who is Dorothy Day?

The program is named after Dorothy Day (1897-1980), a Catholic woman who cofounded The Catholic Worker. Inspired by her faith, Dorothy Day actively served the poor by providing food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and hospitality to all. Her activism for a more just society and dedication to peace continues to inspire and challenge us all to have a “revolution of the heart.”