Experiences from the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools Retreat in March

All thirteen Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools participated in the five-day student retreat in March. It was an amazing week of learning and spiritual growth. The retreat included a day of service and Shenandoah Terry of St. Bernard School was chosen from her small group to share with the entire retreat group the impact the experience had on her. She was assigned to a child development center that hosts nearly 300 children from low income families. Here is an excerpt from her presentation:

 

I served in a three-year-old classroom. As I entered the colorfully decorated room, wide grins almost engulfed the class. The wooden block builders, abstract crayon artists, and the hair and makeup team for the Barbies' gleamed with excitement. I proceeded to sit down with the artists. Immediately a little boy, dressed in an "I'm Awesome" tee shirt hugged me. This surprise set the mood for my time with the toddlers. Next to this child, another boy quickly turned to look at me. Glued on his face was a brilliant, enormous grin. For the next hour, I played games with the builders, artists, and fashionistas. As I glanced around the room, the little boy I met in the beginning was still staring and smiling at me. The genuine love and appreciation from the children was unconditional and instantaneous. Their pure hearts and devotion in their smiles portrayed God's face. 

 

A similar kind of childish love was relayed through stories on the bus ride back within my small group. Whether it was a kid continuously untying his shoelaces waiting for them to be tied again by the coolest big kid or holding hands with a loving stranger, these children reminded me of what it means to fall in love with the service of God.  

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