Taking the road less traveled: Cabrini Mission Corps Changes the Lives of Graduates

By Meghan Merkel
March 22, 2001

Meghan Merkel

by Meghan Merkel

features editor

Graduation is lingering around the corner.

Most seniors are scrambling to put together resumes and portfolios, or are applying to graduate schools.

What else is there to do after graduation? Move home and get a job like everyone else.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Some may not be in such a rush to find themselves back in school or sitting at a cubicle from 9 to 5. Perhaps they want to travel the world and/or make a contribution to society.

Meet Madeline Bialecki, director of Cabrini Mission Corps. She decided to get involved with the corps and traveled to the L’arche Community in Canada for four years. There she worked with people who had mental handicaps.

“It was the hardest thing I ever did, but the best thing I ever did,” Bialecki said. “The L’arche community was committed to living simple. There was such an opportunity for me to grow.”

Cabrini Mission Corps just recently had its 10-year anniversary. Potential missionaries have the choice of traveling out of the country to Swaziland, Ethiopia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Phillipines and Australia for two years. Within the country missionaries do one year of service in New York City, Denver and Chicago. They also have the choice of doing missionary work involving teaching, outreach to the elderly, medical and healthcare, and immigration services. Individuals must be 21 years old and could be single or married.

Bialecki enjoyed her experience so much that she continued her work with the corps. “Students coming out of college should take advantage of the opportunity. Being a missioner allows you to have responsibilities you just would not have in a normal job.”

Tom Hollywood, a graduate of Stonehill College traveled to Argentina to volunteer in the education process. He stated in the corps newsletter, “After so many experiences in another country with a different culture, traditions and language, I feel as though I have achieved another life. You could almost call it a rebirth.”

Bialecki recruits new missionaries on a daily basis. In the office, located in the first floor of Founder’s Hall (beside the cafeteria) she has a table full of souvenirs that missionaries brought back to her from other parts of the world.

No Cabrini student or alumni has ever participated in the program. “It is a mystery to us. But we look forward to the first,” Bialecki said.

“There is a freedom in volunteering that is difficult to describe. You have to experience it for yourself.”

The Cabrinian Journey
by Kathrine Pedriana, Missioner

I have gone on a journey into the world of CMC and thank God for the many people who have accompanied me.

I give thanks to my family, friends and Imal and especially to the MSC’s who have nurtured my call.

I was forewarned that the journey would not be easy and at times I pleaded, “but God, please help me!”

Despite the obstacles, I trudged along trying to be the best person I could become.

Without realizing it, I became a Missionary of the Sacred Heart fighting for the imprisoned, the immigrant, contributing my little part.

Although the unknown is the right around the corner I know that Cabrini will never let me forget her.

A missioner am I and forever will be following the secret plan that God has in store for me.

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Meghan Merkel

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