St. Gerard's Outreach program happens every summer. Our trips go to Olive Hill, Kentucky; Disaster Relief in various locations; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Orleans; Detroit; Louisiana; Boston Soup Kitchens; NH Outward Bound up Mt.Washington. Qualified CYO members must apply and be chosen for a trip.

Check back in October with updated information for the 2018-2019 school year!

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St. Gerard's Youth Ministry Kentucky Outreach 2016

St. Gerard's Youth Ministry Kentucky Outreach 2016


Youth Outreach FAQs

When do the trips take place?

Each trip is one week and their dates change every year, but they are usually in late July, or early August.

What types of trips are offered?

A Habitat for Humanity‐based trip, doing reconstruction of homes in the coal mining regions of rural Kentucky. Living among the impoverished in inner‐city Philadelphia to assist in running the neighborhood soup kitchen. Disaster relief: could be at almost any location in the U.S where a disaster has occurred.  A combination of Outward Bound and working with the inner city needy.

Am I eligible to go on these trips as a freshman? 


How do I qualify to partake in Outreach?

You have to be involved in CYO on the local front before you can be considered for a summer trip. Ways that you can get involved include regular participation in Father Bills, Operation Lazarus, JR. CYO events, Teen Mass, Sojourner House, retreats, CYO Basketball and any other additional Outreach projects.

Do I have to pay to go on the trips? What if I cannot afford it?

There will be a required deposit of $250, to be returned with your application.  An additional $200 is due at our Spring Outreach meeting for a total of $450. It is suggested that the applicant obtain this balance by fundraising.  If necessary, Mike and Fr. Copp will confidentially review individual financial situations and will help if needed. Your financial situation will not be a factor in whether or not you are eligible for participation.  

Can I choose which trip I go on?

We take your choice into account, but we ultimately place you based on where we see fit; based on the destination and the needs of the group. After all, our mission is to reach out to others, regardless of where, how, and why.

Do I need to be a parishioner at Saint Gerard's to attend an Outreach trip?

It is a factor as it is St. Gerard that sponsors our trips, but our selections are predominantly based upon your involvement in CYO, regardless of whether or not you are a parishioner of St. Gerard's / Catholic.

When will I be notified as to whether or not I can go on a trip?

We begin the selection process in April and will notify you in early May.

What if I am inexperienced in construction or manual labor?

Our objective is to keep our groups as well‐rounded as possible, so we need people with a variety of skills and talents in order to be successful.

How many times can I go to one location? 

You may travel to the same area for a max of 3 times, during your high school years. Then we would like you to travel somewhere else so you can get a well rounded experience through the Outreach program.

Does past participation in CYO contribute to consideration for this year's trips?

Current involvement in CYO is most critical while past participation is taken into consideration.

Who will the advisers be for these trips?

The advisers for the trips have not been fully decided yet. Past advisers will be moved around so that each one gets a chance to be a part of every trip. The advisors trip destinations will be decided sometime in late Spring.



In Their Own Words...

These trips send me back home with a never-ending amount of hope, faith, and happiness... 

For this Outreach trip to Kentucky, things acted as symbols for me. The vans for example, symbolize how far we are all willing to travel. The amount of people that show up to the work sites symbolizes how many are willing to change lives, and the work demanded symbolizes how much we will do to help others. Saint Gerard’s has been going to Olive Hill for 29 years and counting, continuously turning hopes and dreams into reality. We are able to touch the citizens of Olive Hill by keeping their faith going. This is so crucial because peoples lives don’t end they die, it ends when they lose faith. It may be true that Olive Hill, Kentucky, is a dying community, but when I had some down time on the work site I took the opportunity to ask Austin Walker what he thought about what we do for Olive Hill for a week out of every year, he said “Every year you guys come, it seems like the sun shines brighter, the wind blows more often, and miracles happen on the daily.” And I couldn’t agree more. The cost of gas, hotel rooms, food, materials, and supplies may add up to more than tens of thousands of dollars, but the homeowner’s reactions and endless appreciation is priceless. This sends me back home to Canton, Massachusetts with a never-ending amount of hope, faith, and happiness. But this Kentucky trip was not just the jobs we set out to complete, but also the journey. The journey that consisted of the relationships we built, the beauty of Gods country, which we all saw, and learning the hardships, the bumps, and the curves in peoples lives. Hopefully our impact in Olive Hill, Kentucky can be packed up, put in the vans and brought home to Canton to smooth out the bumps and curves. I know I will pack up the impact, bring it home to Canton and do my best smooth out the bumps and curves back home.

-Joey Vaughan, Junior

Spreading hope to others can give you the power and motivation to do great things...

On the Outward Bound trip we spent the first working with adults with developmentally disabled at Hope House and the next four days hiking through the White Mountains in New Hampshire. At Hope House I met a 35-year-old man named Justin. Justin was both mentally and physically disabled because of a brain tumor that doctors found when he was only 10 years old. After talking to him I learned that he used to be a completely normal kid before his brain tumor, and he loved sports, but sadly even after 25 years of speech and physical therapy Justin can still not walk and has a hard time speaking. When I told him that we were going to hike the White Mountains he was amazed and said he would give anything to be able to do that. When we left Hope House and began to hike the White Mountains; it wasn't easy. There were plenty of challenging times along the hike and a number of blisters, but whenever it got difficult I just thought back to Justin at Hope House and how he would give anything to trade places with me right now. Justin is a perfect example of someone who spreads hope to others in this world, and what I learned from him was that spreading hope to others could give them the power and motivation to do great things.

-James Murphy, Freshman
Outward Bound

The trip does not end here, for it stays with you forever...

This was my second year going to Philly, so I was very excited to go back and renew old friendships but also make new ones. We worked and lived at the Saint Francis Inn, a soup kitchen off of Kensington Avenue that serves a meal to over 350 guests every day and provides other necessities for the guests. Our job for the week was to provide these guests with what they needed with a smile on our faces and love in our hearts. For those of you who do not know, Kensington Avenue is an area filled with poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions, and crime. Despite being located in this area, the Inn is considered a "sanctuary." The guests have nothing but respect for the Inn and its staff and volunteers because for many of these people, what we provide is the only care that they will receive that day. As volunteers at the Inn for the week, we were cooking, cleaning, and serving the guests each and every day. Despite the negativity that goes on in this area, many of the guests have provided more hope for me than I have been able to find anywhere else. I was fortunate enough to renew many friendships with staff members of the Inn from last year, but I also was able to meet many guests and learn their stories. The stories I heard and the love that is spread in this small soup kitchen has given me hope that light can be found in even the darkest places. Something that Father Michael helped me to recognize was that by being on this trip, we were a part of the 1% of people in the world who care for the homeless like they are equals to us. We are all human, and none of us had the ability to choose our parents, financial status, or the struggles we would be born into. There are people like Nikki, a 30 year old woman who at age 12 was kicked out of her home by her own mother, who chose her boyfriend over her daughter. Nikki did not ask for this, but it was what she was given, and at age 12 she was on the streets with one person to help her, herself. Not every homeless person can change their situation; every single person has their own story of how they got to where they are, but what matters far more is that we are now a part of their story, and we made their hardships just a little bit easier, whether it was with a warm meal, a quick conversation, or just a smile on our face. And like I said, we don't get to choose how our lives begin. But one thing we can choose is how we live out our lives. We are all one step away from crisis- one missed paycheck, one family tragedy, and one disaster away from being out on the streets, from being someone like Nikki. That is why it's so important to lend a hand to those who weren't as lucky as us, who had the odds against them. After this week, I feel so fortunate to be able to go on trips like these, because not only have we been able to enrich the lives of many people in Philly, but our lives have been enriched as well. I learned that there is no obstacle in life that is too large for one to have faith in God - these people that we met have nothing but they still have full belief that everything is going to turn out okay. Our lives have been forever touched by this small community of people that we have met this week; whether it was the smiles of father bill or the endless hugs that we got from Ang on our last day, I truly have never felt more love anywhere else. What is most important is that I, and every person on the trip does not forget what happened here, but takes that love, hope, and light with them wherever they go in life. The trip does not end here, for it stays with you forever and inspires you to find the hope that we found here in our own lives.

-Kelly Morrissey, Junior





In their own words...

These trips send me back home with a never-ending amount of hope, faith, and happiness...Saint Gerard’s has been going to Olive Hill for 29 years and counting, continuously turning hopes and dreams into reality…
Read more


Spreading hope to others can give you the power and motivation to do great things...There were plenty of challenging times, but whenever it got difficult I just thought back to Justin at Hope House…
Read more


The trip does not end here, for it stays with you forever...many of the guests at Saint Francis Inn have provided more hope for me than I have been able to find anywhere else…
Read more

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