The Mount Mercy Academy junior class held its annual retreat recently. Mary Colby, the Mount Mercy Academy campus minister, arranged for the students to provide service to the local community that addressed the five critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: The Earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism and women. Some students also had the opportunity to serve as student leaders, assisting the adults who were in charge of each group.
“I enjoyed the junior retreat. It was different than what we had done in the past. I believe it really focused on the five critical concerns,” Danielle Lewis of Cheektowaga commented.
Students provided service at Journey’s End, Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo, Harvest House Baby Ministry, Olmstead Parks Conservancy (Cazenovia Park), NativityMiguel Middle School, St. Monica Scholars Division, Our Lady of Black Rock Elementary School and Harvest House.
Alyssa Zydel of Elma did not mind working in the rain or mud. “I very much enjoyed the junior retreat. It was nice to get outside and get muddy! I’d gladly do it again. It was also a great experience to be a group leader,” Zydel remarked.
Some of the service that was accomplished by the juniors included helping prepare an apartment for a refugee family from Somalia, preparing lunch and cleaning at Ronald McDonald House, organizing and folding clothes for families in need of baby clothing, answering questions about high school and assisting with writing skills, working on reading skills, beautifying and cleaning up a flower bed in the park and preparing a meal for the entire junior class.
“I liked how we were assigned seats at lunch. I thought it was a good way to expand and break away from our usual friend groups and talk to new people,” added Olivia Andriaccio of Buffalo.