Everest Students’ Field Trip Gives Them New Perspective

By: Junior Fernando Caccia

“I’m truly blessed,” said one poor old African American lady sitting in a soup kitchen. It was clear that she was hungry, and her medical condition forced her to stay connected to an oxygen tank. A majority of people would think the lady was delusional, but these Everest students would beg to differ.

On a windy Thursday morning, the junior class of Everest Collegiate, half asleep, went to the east side of Detroit with a goal in mind: to learn about second chances.

Brother Ed, a member of Servants of the Word, greeted the Everest students with generous arms at the Solanus Casey Center. The Solanus Casey Center is where the idea of the On the Rise Bakery initiated. Founded in the late 1800s, the center has always had a mentality of giving and service. During the depression, the Capuchin monks set up a very nice and generous center that gave food and clothes to the poor of Detroit. Now, it has grown into a great ministry made up of multiple soup kitchens, a bakery for ex-convicts to get a second chance at life, and a clothes shop where the less fortunate can get decent clothes for a budget.

On the way to the Solanus Casey Center and Bakery, one student remarked, “I bet we’re going to see a ton of homeless people, and they’re all going to be in a bad mood.” As he would later find out, his prediction would not be 100% accurate. As they approached the east side of Detroit, it was clear to the students that many of the people living there were not in the best conditions, and the neighborhood was surrounded by torn down houses and graffiti. This set a sort of stereotype of what the students thought this was going to be.

When they arrived at the Solanus Casey Center, they learned many interesting facts about the life of Blessed Solanus Casey. They learned about his generosity and his power of healing. If this was what the Capuchins were about, then it is safe to say that the less fortunate of Detroit were in good hands.

The students then visited one of the Capuchin soup kitchens. The place was in acceptable condition, and the people there looked ragged and tired. The students all gathered in a circle along with some of the people there and talked about a moment in their life when they were facing controversy and pushed through after saying a prayer and reflecting on a scripture passage. “It was really cool just seeing all the positivity and energy and good vibes even though they were poor and hungry. I really like that attitude and that’s something that is important in life,” said one student after a reflection of the field trip.

Brother Ed told them about a story of how he was driving on the coldest day of the year and suddenly his heat stopped working. He was frustrated and thought about all the negative aspects of the situation. Then, he encountered a man whom he had gave some pink sweatpants to just so that he could stay warm, and the man said that he was blessed. Brother Ed asked why he was blessed, and the man responded, “I slept under a bridge last night, and I didn’t get frostbite!” Brother Ed rethought his situation and noticed that he wasn’t being grateful about the things that he had.

At that point, most, if not all, of the Everest students had a pondering expression – thinking about if they were being grateful enough for all of their blessings. It was a moment that really changed the students.