Wilde spoke to Regis and Dominican Academy senior students about her service work in the Kibera Slums of Nairobi, and described learning about organizations that support Kenyan women through microfinance. Her lecture focused on the documentary “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The documentary was filmed in 10 countries and tells the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals who confront global oppression through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking, forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality are all addressed in the film.
“The Catholic Social Teaching seminars attempt to expose students to the intellectual basis for the Church’s work promoting justice and peace in the world, with the hope that they may better understand their own Tuesday morning service in light of this,” said Rev. Anthony Andreassi C.O., Director of Senior Christian Service and faculty member at Regis. The Tuesday morning service Andreassi refers to is, in many ways, the capstone to four years of Christian Service work for Regis students. While students are involved in Christian service as early as their freshman year, it is in their senior year that they participate in a much more intense service experience. Seniors are required to perform two and half hours of service work each week in a field of their own choosing. This work ranges from tutoring developmentally-delayed children to serving as Eucharistic ministers at hospitals.
“The senior seminars are great because they delve into real-world applications of the Catholic social teachings we talk about as students,” said Alex Greene ’13. “They expose us to service work as a reality, not just something described in a textbook.”
Greene is currently serving his Christian Service hours as a teacher’s aide at MS 447 in Brooklyn, NY. He works directly with autistic children who have been integrated into a regular education classroom. “I was a student at MS 447, and I remember how special needs students would struggle. Teachers were very influential in helping them keep pace with work and fit in with the class. I knew for my service work I wanted to be a part of that effort.”
Typically the seminars are composed of a presentation followed by small group discussions facilitated by a student from both Regis and Dominican Academy. According to Greene, “having the seminar series in conjunction with Dominican Academy is helpful because you learn to discuss serious topics with peers you are meeting for the first time. It’s important to be able to interact with people outside your circle of friends. We will face a lot of that when we leave Regis and enter college.”
Wilde’s seminar was one of nine scheduled during the third trimester. This is the second year the service program has been coordinated in conjunction with Dominican Academy.
Pictured: Senior Chris Classi and two Dominican Academy students pose for a photo with actress Olivia Wilde in the Regis auditorium