Best of the Week 2019-2020: Holy Cross Values
STUDENTS ORGANIZE AND LEAD "GO AND DO LIKEWISE" 2019-2020 THEME RETREAT
This year's school theme, "Go and Do Likewise," not only focuses on the Holy Cross pillar of Servant Leadership but has inspired the St. Ed's community to live out the mission to act with compassion and to emulate the mercy displayed by Christ. Inspired by the meaning of "Go and Do Likewise," student ministers took the lead in planning, organizing and running their own retreat experience for their fellow Edsmen. "This was the first retreat of its kind," says Campus Minister Ms. Cari White. "At the beginning of the year, I challenged the student ministers to commit to something that would help our students better understand and live out the school theme. They came up with this idea for an overnight retreat centered on the school theme for underclassmen because there isn't a retreat option that we already offer for that age group. Their leadership experience formed a new understanding for what it takes to organize an event like this and the different components that go along with it. This retreat is unique in that it was planned and led entirely by the students, who served as great examples of Servant Leadership in every moment of their work."
Planned by Andy Hoffman '20, Hunter Velasquez '20, Michael Manning '20, Kyle Sullivan '20 and Jack O'Brien '21, the "Go and Do Likewise" retreat included a variety of activities and prayer services that focused on servant leadership and love for your neighbor. Activities ranged from an Exodus themed escape room, an exercise on economic justice using Skittles to illustrate inequality, and a team-building photo scavenger hunt. The retreat's student minister leaders not only planned and outlined the retreat experience but also went out of their way to visit freshman and sophomore students in their Theology classes to invite them to participate in the retreat. In addition to the fun activities planned, students participated in prayer services and reflections designed to help them more deeply encounter the meaning of "Go and Do Likewise."
"This year's theme really helps students understand that their lives aren't just about themselves. We are all called to look beyond ourselves and work to uphold the dignity of everyone," says Ms. White. "Our school theme helps students focus this year in an intentional way to look beyond themselves and really see the face of Christ in another, especially people who society might overlook like the homeless, hungry, ill, elderly, etc. We are hoping that this retreat will become an annual tradition and have a group of student ministers plan a retreat around our school theme every year."
"One of the biggest things that I noticed on this retreat was the difference from any past retreat at St. Ed's," says Jack O'Brien. "We designed it purposely for students and by students, in order to involve our community in a way that we never have had an opportunity to before. Everything we planned was created for this reason, and especially so that underclassmen could have a great retreat experience. I was excited with the result of the retreat this year, and can't wait to see what it turns into next year."