About Service? From Paul Kim ’17!
My name is Paul Kim and I am a member of the class of 2017. Looking back on my Sophomore fall I can see how my experience at the Aquinas House has begun to evolve. What initially attracted me to Aquinas House was the feeling of comfort, but now it has an added dimensions of discomfort. Now, I do not mean discomfort in a negative way but in the sense of challenge. Paradoxically, it is the sense of discomfort and challenge that attracts me more to Aquinas House than simply feeling of comfort. As St. JP II said, “The world offers you comfort, you were not made for comfort, but for greatness.” The community at Aquinas House challenges me to be a better person and to strive to love as God loves. In that sense, AQ has become my family. Everyday I must choose not to simply be consumed by the business that characterizes so much of our lives, but to sacrifice my time for those around me. A few of my favorite trips are to David’s House to cook for families whose children are receiving care at DHMC and singing to the residents at Orford — a long-term care facility for people with advanced development disorders. I have to admit that many times when I leave on these trips there is the nagging thought of “Should I really go?” Will I be able to get my work done? Get enough sleep? When my own selfishness stares me in the face, I have to make the concrete choice between loving myself and loving God in others. The joy I feel when I see someone smile from our service outweighs any grade I could get. I thank God for his grace and providing this AQ community to support me in growing in real love.
From a Med Student – Ana Maria Dumitru!
My name is Ana Maria Dumitru, I’m now in my fourth year in the MDPhD program here at Dartmouth. When I first moved to the Upper Valley, I was a little apprehensive about whether I would be “too old” to participate in Aquinas House events—I definitely didn’t want to be a weird grad student overstaying my welcome. From the very beginning, though, what I found at AQ was a home away from home. The facilities are beautiful, the Dominican priests are incredible, the staff at AQ are extremely welcoming and generous, and I’ve felt so blessed to be welcomed by the AQ community. Whether you’re an undergrad or grad student, AQ has resources for all of your needs—spiritual, emotional, study-space-related, late-night snack, and coffee-related, it’s all there! I’ve made meaningful friendships, grown in my relationship with God, and have found a safe haven on campus where I can be myself and be among like-minded people. What a treasure AQ is for Dartmouth students!
From a Freshman – Angelina Lionetta ’18!
Hello, my name is Angelina Lionetta and I am an awkward freshman. Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to happen upon AQ in my first week. I knew nobody beforehand, and pretty soon my days became a blur of handshakes, faces and names that I struggled to keep track of. While it was exciting to meet new people from all over the world, and start new classes and jobs, I realized that I needed a home base, which I found in Aquinas House. There were of course the organized events like Mass, brunch, community dinner, the ‘18 retreat, and the Halloween party that welcomed me into this excitable, warm, Catholic family and have provided me with memories that I cherish. I love the smaller occasions the most though, from choir practice to an impromptu movie night, or even just greeting fellow AQ’ers with a wave and a smile as I run around campus. When my studies grew more difficult through midterms, papers, and finals, AQ graciously provided me not only a serene study space and critical snacks, but people to commiserate with and offer uplifting support and hope. I now have one entire term under my belt; 10 weeks that have yielded genuine friendships, a roller coaster of emotions, and a healthy dose of perspective. Through it all, I am so grateful that AQ has become my home away from home and, most importantly, my family. I look forward to the day I can help make AQ this special for someone else.