Farewell commemorative open houses for the last days of the Loyola House, Dorothy Day House and other houses slated for demolition on Xavier’s campus were held on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the houses on Herald Avenue.
A prayer service from 2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Loyola House, 1617 Herald Ave., followed by a reception, provided opportunities for people to share stories and memories about their experiences at Loyola House. Also that day, Peace & Justice Programs held a commemorative event at the Dorothy Day House at 1619 Herald Ave. from 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
As Xavier’s Hoff Academic Quadrangle continues to take shape along Dana Avenue and Ledgewood Drive, the remaining houses on Herald and Ledgewood, converted to offices years ago, are being vacated in preparation for demolition in February. In addition to the Loyola House and Dorothy Day House, the Bellarmine Parish Center and the offices of Residence Life, Mission & Identity and Student Publications are being removed to make way for a new student residential and dining center approved by Xavier’s Board of Trustees at its December meeting.
Dorothy Day, born in 1897, was the founder of the Catholic Worker movement, best known for houses of hospitality located in depressed urban areas. As home to Xavier’s Peace & Justice Programs for nearly 20 years, the Dorothy Day House has served as a center where students can learn, act and reflect on social justice issues.
Visitors viewed scrapbooks, photo albums, program flyers, a slideshow and other memorabilia from the history of the house. They contributed to a wall of expression in the house which was photographed and preserved. A watercolor of the house, painted by area resident Peter Moreno, was unveiled and will be displayed in the program’s new offices. There was also a drawing for mementos from the house such as crosses, a wooden name sign, plaques and wall hangings. Alumni may e-mail their memories to Molly Robertshaw, assistant director of Peace & Justice Programs, at RobertshawM@xavier.edu.
“It is important for each of us to carry the community that the house has enabled to our new space where the same social analysis, reflection and action will continue,” Robertshaw said.
The Peace & Justice Programs’ new home is in the Gallagher Student Center where it continues its work of building and improving communities. Upcoming activities of Peace & Justice Programs this semester include the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Community Action Day, Summer Service Internships and 22 Alternative Breaks trips. The Just Off Victory Community Garden begun last year is being relocated to a new, larger home in the coming months.
“There is a commitment to ensure that we remain at the center of student life and have the characteristics necessary for us to continue doing that which is most central to our work of building community,” Johnson said. “The three key ingredients to three decades of success have been the people, the commitments and the community. When we move, we will bring all three with us.”