The Wolfington Center is an integral part of the fabric of Cabrini College.
For many it might even be a complete surprise to learn that just ten years ago there was no Wolfington Center at Cabrini College.
As this young College grew, it was shaped by a commitment to its Catholic identity, to the charism of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and special devotion to our patron saint, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Sharing those same commitments, the stars were aligned when through the generosity of Eustace and Marcy, the Wolfington Center was born and its work pulled together the loose threads of the burgeoning and diverse service experiences of Cabrini students and faculty.
You see, the Wolfington Center assists in providing what is the essence of a Cabrinian education. The work of the Wolfington Center contributes to Cabrini College fulfilling its mission to provide an “Education of the Heart,” an education where minds are developed, hearts are touched, and lives are transformed!
An “Education of the Heart” prepares our students to become engaged citizens of the world through the pursuit of academic excellence, leadership development, and a commitment to social justice.
To that end, the Cabrini faculty take great pride in their rigorous experiential approach to teaching and learning. They open the classroom windows and doors and see value in forming partnerships with agencies and organizations, locally and globally.
The Wolfington Center works alongside the faculty in developing these partnerships and facilitating meaningful ways for our students to learn, observe, reflect upon and become immersed in important societal issues. The Wolfington Center is now seamlessly integrated with the Cabrini student-learning experience.
Through partnerships with Catholic Relief Services and the Missionary Sisters’ world-wide ministries, the Wolfington Center’s outreach and the Cabrini students’ experience can be local, regional, national, and even global.
And we have ambitious goals to enhance this outreach and enrich the experience so that the Cabrini student of the 21st century is well prepared to lead change in this dynamic and challenging world.
The Wolfington Center is at work in homeless shelters in Montgomery County and at an orphanage in Swaziland, Africa. The Wolfington Center is in New Orleans and Guatemala. The Wolfington Center is working to protect local waterways from pollution and working to promote fair-trade here and abroad. Through these partnerships, its reach is far and wide.
The Wolfington Center forges relationships and develops bonds of solidarity between the College and its partners. This helps creates a unique social justice educational experience at Cabrini College.
Educationally, this real-world approach to learning bridges the gulf between objectively studying the principles of the Catholic Social Tradition and personally applying Catholic social teachings. As stated in one of the readings from this Sunday (September 19, 2012) from James, chapter 2, verse 13, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”
In addition, the Wolfington Center fosters student leadership experiences and develops future leaders who will advance the common good and bring into their lives the College’s motto, “Beneficium Supra Seipsum,” or “Service Beyond One’s Self.”
On campus, the Wolfington Center is it literally the place to go when you need support to explore why, when, where, and how Justice Matters.
Several student leadership programs that the Wolfington Center coordinates include the Pierce Scholars, Americorps Scholars in Service, CRS Ambassadors, Community Service and Outreach Club, Habitat for Humanity, and The Green Team, among more individualized efforts that are too plentiful to mention here.
All of this—creating and maintaining those community partnerships, fostering student-based leadership opportunities, providing spiritual and material support for the serious examination of social justice issues—this has lasting results.
When a heart is transformed by one’s involvement with the works of the Wolfington Center, that transformation doesn’t disappear at commencement.
After 10 years, hundreds of Cabrini College graduates have been touched by the Wolfington Center. And while they pursue careers and family life, they continue in their commitment to “Service Beyond One’s Self.”
Mother Cabrini once said, “let us energize each other to true charity toward God and neighbor…may the one never be separated from the other.”
Following Mother Cabrini’s example, for 10 years the Wolfington Center has kept charity toward God and neighbor as its core.
As we celebrate these 10 years of promoting “Service Beyond One’s Self,” let us all ask God that the good works of the Wolfington Center continue to provide enriching, transformational experiences for Cabrini College students.
Marie Angelella George, Ph.D., President Wednesday, September 19, 2012