July 21, 2011

Prayer, Service, Community

At the top of this blog are the three pillars of Campus Ministry:


Playing with the kids at
 Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius School
As I was thinking about our week at Lasallian Youth Assembly so far, it dawned on me that this whole experience is based on the same three pillars.  We've prayed together each morning and evening, we've performed service the past two days, and we've grown together as a community through our nightly socials, playing capture the flag, during meals, or just hanging out.  It seems the pillars of the Lasallian Christian Brothers are very similar to those of Trinity - the legacy the brothers left behind are still intact.

One of the best parts of this week for me has been learning about other Catholic schools on the East Coast.  After taking my group to a food bank called SHARE this morning, I drove over to St. Lucy's School to see what Kerra Photiades was doing for service.  Turns out that St. Lucy's is a Catholic middle school for the visually impaired - the only Catholic school, I believe, like that in the country.  I was so impressed with the mission of the school and the dedication and devotion it must take to operate a school like that.  The kids from Lasallian Youth Assembly were cleaning the school - mopping floors, cleaning walls, etc.   The school recently won a video contest by making a music video called "If Blind Kids Ruled the World."  I felt so raised up being at this amazing school.

I had the good fortune of spending yesterday and today with a group of 9 students from 9 different schools (Ms. P. and Kasie Bourque were also part of the group as was Bro. Joseph Wilkowski from Lasalle Academy in New York City).  The kids did amazing working yesterday painting at Lasalle Academy in Philadelphia and today they were so mature and generous, even though the service site wasn't all that great.  They didn't have a lot of work for us to do at SHARE and while I was visiting St. Lucy's, they were standing around with no work to do.  When I returned, they assigned us to a pretty hard job cutting down weeds and shrubbery in a back alley way.  We wouldn't have minded but the kids really weren't dressed for that type of work.  So after lunch we got another job moving old shelving units.  It wasn't a lot of fun and seemed at times to be busy work but the kids did their job with pride and selflessly.
The students and chaperones with whom I served these
past two days (sorry that Kasie's face is a little blurred!)

This evening we had a chance to meet with our service site groups to talk about the week and our experiences.  Ms. P. told the kids how impressed she was with the way they came together so quickly and worked without grumbling.  I added how happy I was that that we are now connected and in the same general geographic area (East Coast).  As such, we can still work together on future projects.  One boy, Christian, wants to organize a charity bike ride throughout New York City.  Ebony said she wants us to come and visit her school in Brooklyn if we do a service trip to New York.  Nadia asked us to come to her school in Providence and do projects with them.

This experience has opened our eyes to a whole new world and brand new friends.  Trinity High School now has contacts and opportunities throughout the world!  On his way back from service this afternoon, Ryan Carrier sat next to Joe Gilson, a native of Malta who works for Young Lasallians in Rome.  Joe told Ryan about his recent trip to Kenya and Ryan was so excited by it, he arranged a meeting tonight with Joe to talk about ways in which we could organize a similar trip.  Thanks to our new contacts and friends, it might just happen.

Good and amazing things are happening folks.  Get ready!

No comments:

Post a Comment