JHS Plank

Recognizing dignity

Photo courtesy of Seamus Caslin '19

Photo courtesy of Seamus Caslin '19

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Michael is a homeless man, struggling to stay afloat in downtown Portland, Ore., but when we met him at St. Andre Bessette Parish, he was more than happy to chat with anyone and everyone who came his way.

Adam is a remarkably skilled basketball player, a quality bowler, and the most loyal Portland Pickles fan in the entire city. He does not let his intellectual disability hold him back from living a full life.

It is easy to say that two people in difficult circumstances have nothing to offer to society. Marginalized people like Michael and Adam are regularly treated as less than human; however, the greatest lesson that I learned from the Portland Immersion is that this mindset couldn’t be more wrong.

By spending time at the hospitality program at St. Andre Bessette Parish and at the L’Arche program for adults with intellectual disabilities, I formed authentic, loving relationships with the marginalized.

The root of the problem is that society often decides for itself who is worthy of basic human dignity and who isn’t. However, Michael, Adam, and all of the other people that society has pushed to the margins are just as human as any of the rest of us. They feel the same joy, experience the same struggles, deserve the same dignity, and desire the same relationships.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Finding joy in a garbage dump

  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Lessons on simple living

  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Complexity at the southern border

  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Epiphany in the city of angels

  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Remembering the forgotten

  • Recognizing dignity

    Christian Service

    Magic of Camp PALS

  • Recognizing dignity

    Arts

    What is “The Elephant Man”?

  • Recognizing dignity

    Sports

    Dealing with the Devils

  • Recognizing dignity

    Features

    Committed to the larger mission

  • Recognizing dignity

    Sports

    Ready to take on the Blue Devils