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.

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

Saturday Vigil Mass
5:30PM
Corr Chapel

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12:05 & 5:30PM
Corr Chapel  

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1PM—Sundays
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Sacrament of Reconciliation
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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

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In the spirit of St. Augustine, who urged his followers to search for God together, consider this reflection on Sunday’s Gospel. When the risen Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem on Sunday evening, they move quickly through a range of emotions: fear, joy, disbelief, and finally—wonder. It is this last response that opens them to being taught by Jesus—and ultimately to being invited into the ministry of sharing God’s life-giving power. Perhaps wonder is always the starting point for a deepening of our spiritual journey—for it encompasses a rich mixture of our very human capacity for curiosity, admiration, doubt and amazement. In this season, may we seek to cultivate a spirit of wonder—noticing the moments when we are broken open in awe at the gifts of new life, and finding ways to share that newness with others.Alleluia! Alleluia! In the spirit of St. Augustine who urged his followers to search for God together, consider next Sunday’s gospel in which the crucified and risen Christ appears to the disciples behind locked doors and shows them his wounds.  His gesture suggests that Jesus well understood the disciples’ feelings of fear, shame, grief, and doubt.  He understood that in the midst of these feelings, it would be extremely difficult for the disciples to recognize him and receive faith.  Jesus lovingly anticipates their doubts and invites them to receive his peace without being bound by shame. Upon greeting Thomas, Jesus gives no sign of impatience or offense, but instead immediately complies with Thomas’ request to touch his wounds.  Jesus meets Thomas’ doubts with tremendous compassion and withholds nothing from him.  The risen Christ has no less compassion for those of us who struggle with faith.

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.”