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.