Article by Faith Agolia, class of 2018:
The ninth-period bell rang, and everyone scrambled to the locker room to change into street clothes for the evening of recollection. The excited shouts of, “What are you wearing?’’ and, “What are we going to do?” echoed throughout the school. At 3:15, we piled into the auditorium, while Mr. Harnisch greeted us with some of our favorite songs from morning announcements, such as “Hold Us Together.”
We watched a music video called “Come to Jesus.” After the video, Mrs. Harnisch spoke about its message. We should run to Jesus and place all our burdens on Him when we have no strength anymore. Especially in Lent, this message is a powerful one we should all follow. Lent is a time to improve our relationship with God and prepare for Easter. God will always take up our burdens; we only have to ask him. She also explained to us the three things – Fasting, Prayer, and Giving – that we should aim to accomplish in Lent. Fasting is not just giving up food; we could be fasting from sin and temptation. Also, challenge yourself to fast from certain things each day. It could be not texting for a day, I know it’s hard, but this is one thing that we can do to prepare for Easter. Praying a rosary once a week, it just takes 15 minutes! Or, giving money to the church or charities can help so many people! Even if you give a small amount, your contribution helps. Following Mrs. Harnsich’s talk, we watched a beautiful video called “Change for a Dollar,” about a homeless man who does good things with the little that he has. This video opened my eyes to the good works people can do. I was astounded that this man went into a store with the money he had received, bought a coffee, and gave it to a homeless woman! I was definitely not expecting this! How many homeless people do you see sitting on the streets of New York City every day? I see so many, and I never gave them anything! I always thought that these people would hound you for money and then use it for drugs and their addictions. This video changed my whole perspective on our homeless population. I was sure that everyone in the room was totally floored by this, as I was. Mr. Moran gave an inspirational talk about the video, highlighting the generous heart of the homeless man, who acted like Jesus; trying to take away some of the peoples’ suffering by doing simple things to brighten their day.
After the video, we played some games with exciting twists: blindfold musical chairs, eating jelly donuts off a string, and bouncing basketballs through a touchdown. We went for a scavenger hunt around the school, and had a yummy snack of cookies and juice in the cafeteria. After a refreshing break, we filed into the auditorium for Stations of the Cross, a perfect way to grow closer to God during the season of Lent. Hidden by a curtain, several eighth graders, seemingly disembodied voices to the audience, took turns reading the stations. I had the honor of reading a reflection after each station. These reflections were created by all the Latin school homerooms, describing their interpretations on the stations. We had a delicious dinner of pasta, salad, garlic bread, and macaroni and cheese, followed by cookies and Italian ices.
Finally, we proceeded into the auditorium for Eucharistic Adoration. Father Tom came in and placed the monstrance on the altar with candles surrounding it, while Mr. Harnisch sang some of our favorite worship songs: “Lord I Need You,” “Adoration,” “I Lift My Hands,” and “Come, Lord Jesus.” Elizabeth Trick, a sixth grader, said, “This evening was a great way for me to spend time with my friends and grow in my faith. I definitely will come next year!” The Latin School Evening of Recollection is a spiritually rewarding event for all!