Vincent & Louise House residents celebrate with president
May 31, 2012
The people Anne Marie Dornoff works with love to hug her knees. That’s as high as the kids in the two-year-olds’ class at the St. Vincent de Paul Center can reach. She spends three hours weekly playing with them and supporting their teachers.
Dornoff is a resident of the Vincent & Louise House, a Catholic community at 2308 N. Sheffield Ave., where 10 DePaul undergraduates live in an intentional community each year. Founded on the values of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, the house is built around the tenets of community service, social justice, simple community living and faith.
The sophomore, double majoring in International Studies and Spanish, was delighted with the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider’s annual visit to the house recently. “It was great that Father took the time to celebrate the Eucharist and share a community meal with us,” she said, noting her appreciation for the lessons DePaul’s president shared about what it means to be Vincentian and the importance of sharing one’s gifts and passion with the world.
“Father described how grace happens in the living of life,” says Pauline Villapando, Catholic Social Concerns coordinator for University Ministry and coordinator for the Vincent & Louise House. “Spirituality brings us deeper into the world, not away from it.”
Bearing cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s, Fr. Holtschneider joined the students for a simple dinner. “Everyone loved having an intimate setting with the president,” according to Villapando.
As for Dornoff, who volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Parish sandwich window four hours a week and spent her Tuesday nights spreading candles around the chapel to prepare for Taizé prayer, she cherishes her year in the house. And why not? What could be better than regular knee-hugs: “Needing the kids and knowing that they need me too,” Dornoff says.