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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Adopt-A-Pop builds friendships across generations

Weekly Service participants attend Adopt-A-Pop orientation on Sept. 22 at Manresa Hall. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE POTTER ’25

Right off of Lapsley Lane, 15 retired Jesuit priests reside at Manresa Hall in the Loyola Center. While the residents receive around-the-clock medical care, they also receive emotional care from student visitors from St. Joe’s.

Adopt-A-Pop is one of Campus Ministry’s weekly service programs. It connects students with residents at Manresa Hall, allowing them to build friendships with those outside their generation.

“The Jesuit priests are so happy when they have the young students come to visit with them every week,” said Irene O’Connor, activity coordinator at Manresa Hall. “They really look forward to it. It really lifts their morale.”

Many of the priests were previously professors at St. Joe’s, so spending time with students creates an affable atmosphere for the priests to build connections with their visitors.

“It touches my heart to see the connections and watching them visit with the fathers and the conversations and the laughter and the lightheartedness,” said O’Connor. “It brings out a side of the priests that you don’t always see day to day.”

By coming each week, students give their time to be a fresh, friendly face for residents who may not get out as much as they used to.

“These people don’t necessarily have someone to call up every day and talk to,” said Adopt-A-Pop site leader AnnE Potter ’25. “Having that scheduled time that they know they can talk to the ‘outside world’ is really important.”

While the priests enjoy their time with the students, they also are able to pass along stories and life lessons to help their weekly visitors.

“I know that the father I spoke to last year had a lot of personal life stories and lessons that he wanted to tell us and teach us to keep in mind which I thought was really important,” Potter said.

Weekly service volunteers, like Kerry Walsh ’25 and the residents at Manresa Hall, find these weekly visits show people they do not need to be the same age in order to make a new friend.

“It’s had such a positive impact because a lot of the residents no longer have family members who are able to visit them anymore,” Walsh said. “So being able to see how strong of a bond that they formed with the students who go is so powerful, because it shows you how important it is to still continue to create relationships with people even if they are from different backgrounds or different ages.”

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Tess Coary, Assistant Features Editor
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