Students and Staff Reflect on Their Blessings With Gratitude at Thanksgiving Prayer Service
Posted 11/21/2017 12:37PM
Montini students and staff gathered in prayer and reflection to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday on Tuesday, November 21st at their annual Thanksgiving Prayer Service. The service has become tradition - with students giving thanks together through meditation, prayer and song before leaving for the long holiday weekend.
"Be most grateful for your faith," said Campus Minister Michael Blanchette. "Miracles happen when we step out, in faith - and let God step into our situations."
Students, Grania O'Flaherty and Ellie Krick, were invited to share their unique experiences, over the past summer, on their trip to the Garbage Dump area in Nicaragua. Montini Catholic took their third trip this summer to the area to help build homes for the impoverished families in that area.
"My trip to Nicaragua completely changed my perspective on life," Ellie told her fellow students. "I met a little girl named Naomi who taught me a lesson about gratefulness." Ellie admitted that spending time with Naomi was the highlight of her trip. "I pulled out a bottle of bubbles and her eyes grew so big," she said. "I was amazed that such a simple toy, that can be found almost anywhere here for less than a dollar, gave her so much joy." Ellie shared her story about how on the team's final day in Nicaragua, little Naomi tried to give her her best dress to take home and wear. "Of course we were nowhere near the same size, but that wasn't the point," said Ellie. "A girl who had close to nothing was offering me everything - one of her most valuable possessions."
Grania O'Flaherty also joined the team on the trip last summer. She was fortunate enough to be joined by her mother, Peggy, who helped chaperone the mission trip. "We asked the ladies at the Garbage Dump if they needed specific items in the hopes that we could supply them," she shared. "Almost every woman asked for simple, everyday items like Band-Aids, paper and medicine. I was amazed that most of those items I was carrying with me in my backpack."
"After coming back from Nicaragua I have been more thankful than I have ever been," said Grania. "I am thankful for my family, friends, health and education. I have started to worry less about my small problems because I know in this world there are people worried about where their next meal will come from."
After speaking to the student body, the girls shared a special video of their photos and memories from the Nicaragua trip. "This Thanksgiving I will be reflecting on just how blessed my life is," said Ellie.
Both Ellie and Grania plan on returning to Nicaragua on the school's next mission trip in the summer of 2018."The power of gratitude is the ability to see the good in all things," summed up Mr. Blanchette. "Let's be real, not everyone is feeling grateful right now, many are experiencing things that they are not happy about. But, that's where faith comes into play. God allows bad things to happen so that he can give us strength and transform us into a place of grace."
Upon the conclusion of the service, Mr. Blanchette challenged the students. " Go out and do something good for someone," he said. "But make sure that it is someone who can't pay you back. For that is the basis of true Christian service."