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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
In place of some of my thoughts, or even the thoughts of Pope Francis, I present these reflections from six of the fifteen members of the Mount Carmel Youth Group who recently returned from a week of service to others.
Fr. Ron

Ali Legg (Senior)
When I first decided to go on the mission trip, I was a bit resistant at first about what I would be doing, who I would meet and the things I would see. Part of the reason why I wanted to go was to be exposed to more of the “outside” world and get out of the “bubble” we live in. I also simply wanted to help people and strengthen my faith.
One particular day that stands out was when we went to the Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Here we built bird houses. At the end, we were given the opportunity to dedicate the bird house to a loved one we had lost. The whole idea of building them was to bring life to a place that isn’t always associated with being “happy” or “lively”. The process of building and painting the bird houses was soothing to me. I tried my best to pay close attention to detail because I wanted to dedicate it to my cousin and grandma who I lost this year.
In the end, I was able to build a bird house that would create a brighter environment for those who want to remember their loved ones and I realized the beauty of the cemetery.

Ailish Bennett (Junior)
Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the six day mission trip in Kearny, NJ. When I signed up, I was very excited to spend a week with some of my closest friends; however, as the week approached, I was very busy and tired, so I was not looking forward to going.
The first day exceeded my expectations, but I was apprehensive about going to Camp Acorn to work with special needs children on the second day. I didn’t have much experience working with children, especially children with special needs. Once I spent a little time at the camp, my nerves started to settle. At the lake, I realized I recognized one of the girls attending the camp. Once I saw a good opportunity, I went up to her and said hi. She immediately recognized me and was beaming with joy. She said things like, “Ailish! I didn’t know I was going to see you today! I’m so happy!” In this moment, I truly saw God through this girl. Her wonderful smile made up for her physical and mental restrictions. She was overjoyed at such a simple hello. For the rest of the trip, I went into every activity and worksite trying to show the same positivity she taught me.

Lora Sonnick (2016 Graduate)
One of my days on the service trip was spent at a special needs camp called Camp Acorn. I was assigned to work with a grown man who due to disfiguration, was unable to use his and legs. He was very positive, and even talked to me about his faith in God and love of religion. It was eye opening for me to meet him because I realized that although we might be treated differently by society, God loves both of us equally.

Ali Luby (Senior)
This past week I was in Kearny on the mission trip for the youth groups in the Archdiocese of Newark. I want to share parts of two days, both were at Camp Acorn, a camp for the special needs. On the first day of the trip, Glen had told us to pay attention to who we saw God in. Between the two days, I was with different campers and counselors. With my first camper, I saw how much the counselors and volunteers are needed and I saw them as instruments of God. They were so loving and caring towards the campers and made them all so happy. The second day I was there I had a different camper, and through her I saw God as well. She was so joyous and friendly. She had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Through those two days I was reminded that God puts all of His children on the earth to help each other.

Tara Moore (Junior)
I went to the St Ann Soup Kitchen on my third work day and after we prepared the food we were given the opportunity to serve the food to the people. I jumped on this and was really looking forward to seeing everyone. I don't know what I was expecting but I saw so many different people: workers coming in during their break, the elderly, single men and women, families, young kids and the one that hit me the most, teenagers. There was one boy that caught my attention because he came in alone, was very quiet but polite as he thanked everyone there. I saw him sitting by himself so I asked the man working there if he knew who the boy was. He said that he was only 12 years old, lived with his grandmother, and came often. It really made me realize how fortunate I am to have a meal waiting for me every day and I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to go on the mission trip.

Tara McGuire (Senior)
On the Wednesday morning of the trip, as I sat in the chapel for daily mass listening to the homily I realized why I went on the mission trip. I went to help others and spread God's Kingdom; and I was up for the challenge. That morning during the homily the priest had said "God does not call those who are able, he enables those who are called". In that moment I knew why I was in Kearny for the week, God had called me to help the community surrounding me. He called me to help paint classrooms so that kids could have a better school year, to go to a special needs camp to help the staff have a better day and to have fun with the campers, and he called me to clean classrooms in a catholic school so that the room would be setup and ready to be used by the students. I wasn't an expert at any of these jobs, but that didn't matter because each day God enabled me to be able to do the job well. This trip was just what I needed in my life, it was spiritually rewarding and I had a lot of fun. I encourage everyone to go on this trip next year!

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Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
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