The RUIBAL Challenge

RUIBAL

The RUIBAL Challenge is an All-Freshman service program that allows a group of first-year Villanova students the opportunity to build community by volunteering one day a week (3–6PM) to serve and support children in inner-city Philadelphia schools and community centers.  

Purpose of RUIBAL Challenge

The RUIBAL Challenge hopes to build strong partnerships and relationships between Villanova students and the students and communities they serve with. During RUIBAL, freshmen serve as tutors, mentors, and activity coordinators, including opportunities for sports, drama, the arts, dance... just about any interest a Villanova freshmen could bring to the grammar school children, including homework help. There are four main goals of the program: to engage first-year students in building community both with their peers and with the students at the schools in which they serve; to invite freshmen in Villanova’s tradition of service and to contextualize an understanding of service which is grounded in partnership; to help freshmen discover their own “God-given gifts and talents” which will help them become life-long agents of social change, and to create long-term partnerships which forward the mission and ministry of the school communities who partner with the program. 

Who will be selected to serve?

In order to honor participants’ interest and commitment to service, we accept applications on a first come, first served basis. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

RUIBAL Mission

RUIBAL Challenge, a freshman-only certificate program, allows first year Villanova students the opportunity to use their unique gifts and talents to build relationships with Philadelphia students. Our volunteers also have the chance to build community with other freshmen in a unique environment. The program provides a framework in which students can learn about the justice issues which necessitate this kind of service, and reflect on how the experience of service impacts their own understanding of themselves, their world, and their spirituality.

Students serve in the spirit of St. Thomas of Villanova, who dedicated his life in service to the poor. In the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which emphasizes a preferential option for the poor, a commitment to the Common Good, and the pursuit of solidarity, RUIBAL calls students to put their faith into action by practicing a love that does justice, building a community which creates change, and discovering a commitment which can transform their lives.

How can I learn more?

For further information see your Hall's Campus Ministry Intern or contact the RUIBAL Program Coordinator, Lisa Mehalick, St. Rita's Hall Room B-07,lisa.mehalick@villanova.edu, 610-519-5178.

Campus Ministry Social Media

Sunday Mass
7:30AM, 10:30AM
5:30PM, 7 & 9PM
St. Thomas of Villanova Church

Saturday Vigil Mass
5:30PM
Corr Chapel

Daily Mass (Mon–Fri)
12:05 & 5:30PM
Corr Chapel  

Sacrament of Reconciliation
3:30–4:30PM Tue & Wed
St. Thomas of Villanova Church  

St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Schedule

[610] 519–4080
[610] 519–6020 (fax)
cmcommunication@villanova.edu

St. Rita Hall
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Interested in Getting Involved with Campus Ministry? We offer over 50 programs that are sure to fit every personality and lifestyle!


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In the spirit of St. Augustine who urged his followers to search for God together, consider next Sunday's Gospel which tells the story of John the Baptist. His actions draw the attention of religious leaders who send messengers to ask for his testimony. The passage concludes with John telling the Pharisees that the one for whom they are looking is already among them, but unrecognized. John’s testimony arises from his openness to the presence of God in his midst. He has been enabled to see hidden within his very surroundings what others have not yet seen. Perhaps the testimony of John invites us to recognize that the One we seek is already among as well. Could Christ be hidden in our midst? Spirit of God, open our eyes that we might see, and as we gain new sight, teach us to rejoice.

Get involved in action that seeks to bring about peace and justice in the world, learn about Catholic Social Teaching, and social justice advocacy. Campus Ministry sponsors Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and CRS Ambassadors Program Program as a means to educate the Villanova community on current local and global issues.

In addition, Campus Ministry works in collaboration with Villanova’s Center for Peace & Justice Education, which offers an academic interdisciplinary program on topics of world peace and social justice as well as sponsors student groups affiliated with specific issues of justice.

For more information contact William Stehl (610-519-5179).


Post Grad Volunteer Fair
12–3 PM
November 21, 2014
E & W Lounges of Dougherty Hall

For those students who are considering a year of volunteer service after graduation, make an appointment to meet with Irene King, Director, Center for Service and Social Justice. Most volunteers receive room and board, stipend, and health insurance. Americorps Education Grants ($5000+) are frequently available to offset college loans or graduate school tuition.

You can begin your search for a post graduate volunteer position at the Catholic Volunteer Network website—then schedule a meeting with Irene to explore the opportunities further.  Check out their website: https://catholicvolunteernetwork.org/

Irene's office is St Rita Hall 105.

Monday, Nov 24th
  Freshman registration for Spring Semester opens at 9am
Tuesday, Nov 25th
    Thanksgiving break begins, no service
Monday, Dec 1st
    Service Resumes
Tuesday, Dec 2nd
     Mandatory Social Justice Forum, 6:30pm       
Thursday, Dec 11th
    Service ends
Friday, Dec 12th
    Registration closes at 5pm
Friday, Dec 19th
    Freshman notified of placements
Tuesday, Jan 20th
 Service Begins
Monday, Feb 2nd
 Mandatory Social Justice Forum, 6:30pm
Friday, Feb 27th
 Spring Break Begins, no service
Monday, Mar 9th
 Service Resumes
Wednesday, April 1st
 Easter Break Begins, no service
Tuesday, April 7th
 Service Resumes
Thursday, April 30th
 Final Day of Service

“This experience has changed my life and now I know that I want to work with kids forever.”

 “RUIBAL let me make friends with people I probably never would have met. RUIBAL means a lot for both the schools and for me.”

 “I have grown as a person from being involved in this program, and hope I have helped the kids in return.”

 “This program that Campus Ministry offered was the best experience I have had at Villanova!”

 “RUIBAL pretty much opened doors for me at Villanova.”

 “Being able to watch the students learn and grow was really meaningful. I love the look on a student’s face when they were able to have a breakthrough on a tough homework problem.”

 “The best part of when the Villanova students come is that it is fun and exciting.”