October 14, 2013

Friday Frenzy

For about 6 years (with 1 year away discerning a vocation to the priesthood and religious life) I worked for a financial services company just outside Boston.  It was a good company and they treated me very well.  However, I was pretty bored and unchallenged.  There were stretches where I would cringe when my alarm went off in the morning and I would hate getting out of bed.  When I was hired at Trinity High School in May of 2006, I had a countdown on my desk at work until my last day in August, I was so excited.  I have never, ever, ever looked back.

This past Friday was one of the days where I realized how much I love my job and how different my life is from the corporate world.  It wasn't a typical day but is a sort of day in the life of a Campus Minister.

My day began shortly after 7am with a meeting of the department chairs.  I am the chairperson of the theology department and all the department chairpersons meet with Mr. Gadecki every other Friday morning to discuss what's going on and to offer suggestions and ideas to improve our academic program.

After a good discussion, I was off to the main office to meet with two visitors from Catholic Relief Services.  They were in town to promote their work and they asked if they could have some time to meet with our students.  We could not schedule a full assembly as we had one the other day but we were able to have them meet with the theology classes during the first two periods of the day.  The main speaker was Peter Kimeu of Kenya.  Mr. Kimeu, as you can read in this column, grew up hungry.  However, thanks to Catholic Relief Services, his family was able to rebuild their lives and become self-sustaining.  He now travels around the world speaking on behalf of Catholic Relief Services and their efforts to help fight global hunger and poverty.  He is very lively, funny, engaging, warm, and lovable, and he had the kids eating out of his hand (no pun intended).  He spoke of the amazing natural wonders and resources of Kenya and Africa as a whole and then asked the kids, "Why then is Africa so hungry?"    He then spoke of the creative ways Catholic Relief Services has helped the people of Kenya stop hunger.  They don't just provide food, he said, they teach the people how to provide their own food.  For example, one area was having a horrible outbreak of diarrhea so they built a natural outhouse and once it was full, they would top it off and dig another hole.  Eventually they planted an orange tree in that spot and they now have the most delicious oranges in the area.  It's like the old adage, "You can give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  But teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."  After speaking to two periods (about 100 kids total) they were off.  The talk didn't really fit into any of our current class discussions per se but we always are open to opportunities for our students to become more engaged with the world and the global Church.

From here I went to say the daily prayer over the intercom and then met with Mr. Mailloux '72 about some theology department matters.  I then taught my first class of the day - AP US Government and Politics.  Following this we had lunch where about another 50 students eat and hang out in Campus Ministry.  After lunch I had my second class of the day - AP US History.  Following US History I took Mr. Carnevale's homeroom over to the Puritan Backroom for ice cream as a reward for bringing in the most food for our food drive (617 pounds).  They not only got free ice cream but they got to miss the last hour of school.


It was a whirlwind and I was asleep by 9:45pm or so that night (after taking my own children out to the driving range, mini-golf, and dinner so my 8 month pregnant wife could have a break!) but I would not trade this life for anything.

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