Skip to main content

Student spotlight: Natalie Homison

Student spotlight: Natalie Homison

by Public Relations | June 13, 2024

LATROBE, PA – Natalie Homison, C 25, has taken on two very different internships, both of which have deep and meaningful impacts. One provided nourishment for the body and soul, the other aims to rejuvenate the community.Natalie Homison

Last spring, Homison created tasty treats in the Saint Vincent Archabbey and Seminary bakery. This summer, she is doing research and marketing work on a remote internship for the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program (LCRP).

As a student in Saint Vincent College’s Benedictine Leadership Studies program, Homison is required to complete an internship. After working as a volunteer at the Archabbey bakery in fall 2023, she was excited to be an intern there during the spring 2024 semester. “When else in my life and I going to get to bake with a Benedictine monk?” Homison said with a laugh.

Br. Angelo Lichtenstein, O.S.B., the Archabbey’s head baker, cooks up a mouthwatering array of croissants, cinnamon rolls, pepperoni rolls, bagels, cookies and fruit pies. Throughout the year, customers eagerly check the bakery’s Instagram page for news of when it’s time to preorder. When there is a bake sale at the Gristmill, most of the goodies usually are sold out before the doors open.

The monks use the ovens and other equipment in the College’s kitchen, which means most of the baking is done late at night to avoid interfering with the students’ meal schedule. “We start after dinner and Vespers,” Homison said. “Br. Angelo never requires any of the volunteers to stay late. But it’s fun and it really brings people together, so you don’t mind [if it goes late].”Natalie Homison during her bakery internship

A double major in communication and digital art and media, Homison created some promotional materials for the bakery. Most of her time, though, was spent kneading and shaping dough—a mundane chore that conveyed some surprising lessons.

“I learned so much more about baking than I could have possibly imagined,” Homison said. “What I didn’t expect was to learn so much about Benedictine spirituality and really seeing those hallmarks in action.”

Through their baking, Br. Angelo and his assistants actualize the Benedictine motto of ora et labora—to pray and to work. “Working alongside Br. Angelo and seeing someone live out his monastic vocation was a really beautiful experience,” Homison said. “I’ve seen him respond to everyone with patience, joy and so much generosity. While we’re baking, we pray for the people [for whom] we’re baking. It’s putting ora et labora into practice, which is awesome.”

Although her bakery internship is over, Homison plans to stop by on some weekends and do volunteer work. It’s going to be a busy summer, as she has a part-time job as a nanny and recently began her internship with the LCRP. “Yeah, we’ll see how it all works out,” said Homison, grinning.

The LCRP partners with the City of Latrobe to assist property owners wirth exterior renovations, fill vacant storefronts and boost investment in the city's infrastructure and recreational amenities. Homison is collecting property data that will be used to develop programs to combat blight in the downtown commercial and residential areas. Her research will identify real estate sales trends and discover better uses for underutilized properties.

Steve Guilford, an outside consultant working with the LCRP, is Homison’s supervisor for the internship. Guilford said Homison’s ability to work independently and apply critical thinking when gathering and analyzing data made her a great fit for the position. “Natalie's knowledge of digital media, graphic design and communication is a bonus,” Guilford said. “The LCRP can expand her project list to include creation of real estate promotional material.”Latrobe Community Revitalization Program logo

Homison grew up in Zelienople (population 3,800), a town about half the size of Latrobe, and knows the value of a tight-knit community.

“This is my first formal [external] internship, so I’m excited for that,” Homison said. “I love the Latrobe area, and I’d be happy to stay here after I graduate. I’ve seen how Zelienople has changed over the years with new businesses moving in. I’m excited to be part of a program that’s working hard in Latrobe to bring positive effects to the community.”



PHOTO 1: Natalie Homison

PHOTO 2: Natalie Homison during her bakery internship

ATTACHMENT: Latrobe Community Revitalization Program logo