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The Everest Collegiate juniors attended a field trip to the Solanus Casey Center and Capuchin ministries in Detroit earlier last month. The students took the opportunity to practice their journalism skills, writing articles about the experience. Following is a guest post by one of those students – Grace Lowney.

On Thursday, March 8, the eleventh graders from Everest Collegiate High School, located in Clarkston, Michigan, went on a field trip to multiple locations in Detroit. They went on the trip with their English teacher, Ms. Mellis, to help with their study of journalism. The locations they visited were the Solanus Casey Center, On The Rise Cafe and Bakery, and The Capuchin Service Center. Visiting these places impacted the student’s lives, and the class would like to go back to Detroit and help out more often.

The students’ first stop was the Solanus Casey Center located on Mt. Elliot Street. The students prayed at Blessed Solanus Casey’s tomb along with one of the Capuchins from the center, Brother Tom. They then went into a room with Brother Tom to talk about Blessed Solanus and to learn more about the Capuchin community. They learned about how Blessed Solanus became a part of the Capuchins through his hard times. Hospitality coordinator, Sally McCuen, talked to the students about Solanus Casey and gave them a tour of center.

Student Grace Lowney gave us some words about her experience at the Solanus Casey Center. She said, “I really liked going to the Solanus Casey Center. Hearing about all of the miracles he has performed helped me realize that with prayer, anything is possible. If we don’t understand what God is capable of through our prayer, then we will not be fully happy on earth. Solanus Casey had all of those things. He had the trust in God to do great things.” Overall, the students had a great time at the Solanus Casey Center and their relationships with Christ grew as they were there praying at his tomb.

The next stop for the students was On The Rise Café and Bakery located on Gratiot Avenue. There the students got the chance to try some pastry and baked items, soups, and ice cream. After seeing the café, they drove to the bakery itself and talked to some of the workers there. After asking some of the students a few questions about their experience, you could really tell how much these men impacted their lives. Student Trevor Myers said, “The bakery really opened my eyes to how amazing the world truly is. The people working there were so happy and positive even after all that happened to them, and that really helped me realize how blessed I am.” These men that work at the bakery have been through so much. To go from being in prison, having drug problems, or having alcohol problems, to working in the bakery years or months sober, that is really something that can impact our lives. Another student, Shane Dolan said, “The stories [the men told us] gave me a unique inside look into some of the brokenness and heartache of certain people in the Detroit area, and the journeys they made to change their lives.”

The men’s stories helped the students of Everest realize how lucky they are. They taught the kids to stay true to themselves and not give in to what is “cool”. They showed them the effects that drugs and alcohol have on people. The men showed them how much God can help someone through hard times.

One of the last places the students went to was the The Capuchin Service Center. The center is somewhat like a store filled with clothes, appliances, beds, furniture, and food for the citizens of Detroit who are in need. There the students watched a short film about the Capuchins and what they are doing for the city of Detroit.

Student Serra Lowney told us her thoughts on the center. She said, “Personally, I never realized that there were people who lived so close to me who don’t have the luxuries I have like being able to get groceries whenever they need them, or go online and order clothes and have it be at their house two days later. One story that stood out to me the most was the story about the mom and child who were getting groceries at the center and the child asked their mom, ‘Where are we going to put all of these groceries? We don’t even have a fridge.’ That stood out to me the most. I’ve been blessed with so much in my life, and seeing all of this made me realize that what I have isn’t something everyone is blessed with.”

Overall, the students learned many new things about the city of Detroit. The places they visited impacted their views on life. It showed them how God has the ability to bring others closer to Him, no matter the circumstances. They students thanked Ms. Mellis for taking them on the field trip, and it will stick close to their hearts for a long time.

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