“Friday, March 26, was supposed to be the first day of our annual senior pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Once we received word that this year’s trip would not be possible, Fr. Thomas wanted to make sure the seniors had an opportunity to bond as a group and to share in an experience of reflection and service as they head into the final months of their senior year. The class had the opportunity to experience this and so much more this past Friday on senior service day.
The seniors started their day early with donuts and coordinating a caravan to Detroit. Their destination was St. Moses the Black Parish. When they arrived, Fr. Thomas celebrated Mass for the seniors and a few of their parishioners. The seniors were taken back by the beauty of the church and the sunlight through the intricate details of stain glasses windows. After Mass, father exposed the Blesses Sacrament and asked all present to pray for this special class.
After Mass, the students were greeted by Fr. Marco, the pastor of the church. He explained his mission of working with the poor and the homeless in the city. He has developed an organization called Better Way Detroit that helps people who are homeless or struggling with addition to find dignified work. He gave a beautiful testimony to the students that God has provided him the means to be a lifeline for many local people and God’s Mercy has helped over 30 people escape homelessness and start their lives anew.
After Fr. Marco’s testimony, the seniors prepared care packages of items they brought along with them to meet the specific needs of five families near the church. The care packages included clothes, sheets, laundry, and cleaning supplies. Each package also contained a loaf of homemade bread baked by senior Rachel Callaghan. After the care packages were prepared, the class dropped off each of the packages to the families accompanied by Fr. Marco, Fr. Thomas, Miss Regina, and Mrs. Van Wagoner. The senior boys were also able to deliver two sets of bunk beds to a family of five who were currently sleeping on the floor. The seniors were humbled by this experience.
After returning to the church, the seniors met a gentlemen named “E”. He told the students a touching story of his life on the streets prior to encountering God and Father Marco through the church. He explained to the students that God’s protection and Grace brought him to the church and allowed him to make an honest living. He also asked for the students prayers as he works as a mentor to other young people. He shared he has plans like then to start college classes in the fall.
After his testimony, Fr. Thomas lead the seniors in a group reflection discussion where they were able to share their future aspirations, fears, and requests for prayers. The service portion of the day concluded with a group prayer for the intentions of the day and picture at the grotto on the church grounds.
The seniors finished the day with lunch at HopCat. It was an impactful day for our senior students as they head into Easter break. A special thank you to Father Thomas for organizing this trip and for Fr. Marco for the opportunity to collaborate with his parish.” -Mrs. Van Wagoner, HS Dean of Discipline