Duchesne House for Volunteers, in New Orleans, Louisiana, offers immersion and service programs for student groups and individuals ages 16 – 30. Participants engage in service, reflection and cultural immersion through working on the rebuilding of a house, meeting people in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina, touring the city, learning about the causes of the devastation and engaging in discussion with Religious of the Sacred Heart and others at Duchesne House. Visit us online at DuchesneHouse.org.
Enjoy this video that highlights Duchesne House and other volunteer groups in New Orleans.
Some comments from past guests:
“On this trip, each of us was able to break out of our comfort zone and see the unseen compassion and love that service brings to our hearts … We saw that houses may not last forever, but the love existing in the home will always be present … So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. “For what is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2Cor 4:18”
“I think I grew in social awareness. I learned about the United States community and its responsibility to New Orleans.
“I learned so much about myself and realized how I can accomplish really hard things.”
“In a gas station, I was standing in line and a man started talking to me about our work and how much he appreciated it. I just thought it was cool that he was thanking us and we weren’t even helping him directly.”
“This (homily) message stayed with us as we took a tour of the ninth ward, where we saw for the first time how much damage from the hurricane still remained. While there, we had the pleasure of meeting two residents of New Orleans, who eagerly shared their stories with us. They were brothers; the older brother had escaped before the damage, but the younger, due to car troubles, was stranded in their house, with about 28 other people. They lost a sister during the storm, not due to floods, but to a power outage in the hospital she had been in. This reminded us that the hurricane had effects not only just on houses or levees, but institutions such as schools, grocery stores, jails, and hospitals as well. This was a theme touched upon in the books we read before the trip, but it felt more real coming from true New Orleans residents ... It reminded us that everyone was affected by this storm, and everyone has a story.”
“It has helped me to reflect more on what I would like to do with my life.”