Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Campus Ministry

I want it to be known that I had several options for my "c" post. But in the end, this topic felt right.

I went to Mercy High School-an all girls, Catholic high school in Farmington Hills Michigan. Campus ministry is one of the perks. We had prayer services, catholic masses, and retreats. All planned by the campus ministry department. Plus, daily prayer over the announcements and service projects. It was led by two staff members, but students helped to run it and to get the rest of the school excited about these different things.

I remember when the very first bell rang after our first advisory period (homeroom) my first day of freshmen year. There were people everywhere, and we were all looking lost and rushed trying to find our first class. I quickly walked past the campus ministry office. Miss Buckley, one of the campus ministers at the time, was standing there, helping girls get to their class and also yelling out things about the campus ministry office. I sort of rolled my eyes and kept walking. I wasn't interested- I had sports and was too nervous about classes and making friends than planning prayer services.

I didn't step foot in that office my entire freshmen year. In fact, I kind of avoided it. I wanted to be "cool", and I didn't think campus ministry was my way in. In the beginning of my sophomore year, I had my sophomore service retreat. In your 2nd year at Mercy your retreat is doing a day of community service with other classmates. I was one of the first groups to go and we went to a daycare in downtown Detroit. It was a really fun experience and I talked to Miss Buckley a little bit more. But it wasn't enough to make me join campus ministry.

Junior year is when things started to change. I didn't make the field hockey team and I was becoming friends with all the theatre kids rather than the athletes. One day I was walking down the hall with my friend Anna and she told me she had to stop in the campus ministry office. I went in with her. My life started to change that day, I promise you that. Mrs. Mac, the director of campus ministry, welcomed me with open arms. We chatted and I wondered why the heck I had avoided that room for so long. I was soon very much a part of the campus ministry team. I'd go there on my off hours instead of the cafeteria or libraries, I participated in school prayer services and masses, led service projects.  I went on Kairos, a very intense retreat directed at seniors, as a junior so that I could lead it as a senior.

Right before my senior year started, I requested to switch advisors. I switched to Mrs. Mac's group so that I started and ended my days in the campus ministry office. I was in there all the time, especially because I did end up leading Kairos in the fall and had many meetings with Mrs. Mac and my fellow leaders. Campus Ministry soon became the only thing I really knew about high school. It was my constant. In between the fights, drama, school work, and heartbreak, I could go in there and feel like I was at peace, and that I was home. I learned so much from the other girls on the CM team and from Mrs. Mac, who was my mentor and role model during my last two years at Mercy.

I honestly think that Campus Ministry was a calling for me. I needed something fulfilled, and that did it. It was home. And I am still, 8 years after graduation, extremely grateful. I have gone back to visit Mercy a few times, and when I have I have gone directly to that office, making a beeline for Mrs. Mac. It's still the same- girls coming in to turn in permission slips for retreat, Mrs. Mac at her computer budgeting for retreats, and a group of girls at the back table, planning a prayer service or retreat. What a blessing they have. I hope they realize it.


Anonymous said... Add Reply

It sounds like a great experience. I have not felt that sense of fulfillment from an activity, but hope to at some point. Thanks for sharing!

Stratoz said... Add Reply

I love how choosing to walk with a friend changes a life... If one allows a life to emerge.

Kimberly Gabriel said... Add Reply

I love that as we get older we feel more comfortable being ourselves and doing things that feel right for us. Great post. ;)

Michelle aka Naila Moon said... Add Reply

I was involved in ministry for a number of years starting when I was 14 years old.

I too went to Catholic schools but campus ministry did not exist then but I was involved in TEC and later a youth minister for LifeTeen.

So, happy to hear it was for you.

Bethe77 said... Add Reply

I never went to college though I did go and further my education. But...family and raising the children became the most important things. Went to a trade school when I was going through the divorce. It is wonderful that you had such a wonderful experience and someone to share it with. Ministry is wonderful and that you continue in doing what you love.

JennaQuentin said... Add Reply

It's great when women mentor girls and young women! I'm sure will or have found a way to continue the legacy.

Tara Tyler said... Add Reply

how wonderful!
wish more girls could enjoy that positive experience!
you never know where your path may lead!

inspirational c day =)

Deanna said... Add Reply

What a special memory you have. You learned at a very young age what it really meant to be cool.

Unknown said... Add Reply

It's a powerful thing to "find your people." I was a theater kid in high school. I found my people there and even married one of them :)

dayebydaye said... Add Reply

I love that you are writing your memories in this challenge! What a great way to do it. And I too am thankful for the community that I have found throughout life that has strengthened and encouraged me in my walk with God and life in general. Nothing else quite like it, is there?!!

Anonymous said... Add Reply

very cool!

Crystal L. Kirkham said... Add Reply

Maybe you just weren't ready for it until the day you walked in there. It sounds like that place was a real blessing for you. :)

Misha Gerrick said... Add Reply

Sounds like a wonderful activity to be part of.

Anonymous said... Add Reply

It sounds like a wonderful haven in what can be a particularly tumultuous period of a persons life. I'm glad you found it.

Maria said... Add Reply

I went to Catholic schools, we didn't have Campus Ministry, but I have many happy memories.

sharon sant said... Add Reply

This is a fascinating post. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)

Unknown said... Add Reply

Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories from that time in your life. Treasure them, and keep them safe and intact. ♥


Donna Hosie said... Add Reply

What a special memory.

Sarah Allen said... Add Reply

I love reading personal experience posts like this. Great post.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Unknown said... Add Reply

It's always nice to have something to rely on, especially while in the akward formative years. Well, that's how it was for me. haha

Cerrillos Sandy said... Add Reply

I love your C post! It brings back so many good memories for me . . . from more than 50 years ago. I was involved in our version of your Campus Ministries -- Baptist Student Union. Such a wonderful organization! I'm a bit behind in my postings because I got a late start (in fact, I'm not an official member because of hearing about the challenge too late to join). I still need to write my B entry, so BSU, it'll be. Thanks for the memories to write about. By the way, I'd love for you to check my blog: http://foreveryoung279.blogspot.com.