Monday, September 23, 2013

Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

Hello everyone! Hopefully this post finds you settled back into the school routine.  These first few weeks of the semester have been pretty busy for me, but I'm doing my best to enjoy every minute.  This past weekend I was able to get away from all the craziness and go on a retreat with the Liturgical Choir.

As some of you may know, I have been a singing with the Lit Choir here at SMC since my freshman year.  It is my absolute favorite activity on campus, not just because it got me to sing (something I never did much of before college), but because the group has truly become like a family to me.  Saint Mike's is known for its community atmosphere, and I consider Lit Choir to be its own community within SMC.

Last spring, Jerome (the Lit Choir director) began to think about having a retreat for the choir and he asked me if I would help him plan it and give a "talk" during the weekend about prayer.  (As you may remember from my last post, I returned to SMC a few days early to have a "team retreat" for the core group of students working on the retreat for the whole group).  After lots of hard work throughout the summer, everything finally came together.  The retreat was held at Saint Anne's Shrine in Isle La Motte, Vermont.  It was an absolutely beautiful location for the retreat.  Our group (along with the men's basketball team) was actually the first to stay at the Shrine.  All of the staff were extremely friendly and provided us with delicious food!  Here are some of the beautiful views from right outside the cafe:


As I mentioned, Jerome asked me to give the prayer talk on the retreat.  I honestly feel so blessed to have had this opportunity, especially because I never would've expected anything like this to come about from simply deciding to sing in the choir.  Being a part of the choir has shown me that something that seems so small can really have a big impact.  I look forward to Mass each Sunday because I know that I will see many familiar faces who all share my love of prayer and worship through music.  The choir is a place that makes me feel comfortable and confident expressing myself, through faith and through the silly jokes that I bring to the group each week (which usually involve pirates).

One of the things I loved the most about the retreat was that it brought old and new members together.  Some of the people in the group have been singing with Jerome for many years, and it's awesome to hear about their past SMC experiences as well as to know that even after I graduate, I will still be welcomed back into this SMC community.  The fact that a 2013 graduate returned tonight to play violin with us goes to show that once you are a part of the SMC (and Lit Choir, in this case) community, you never really leave it.  It comforts me to know that the place I've come to call my second home will always be there to welcome me back.

I hope that the Class fo 2017 is starting to feel like SMC is a second home and that those in the midst of the college search will come see what SMC is all about :)

Until next time, I'll leave you with some more pictures from the retreat.  Thanks for taking the time to hear what I have to say and have a fantastic week!
Marianne (one of Jerome's friends who helped us plan the retreat),
myself, and Jerome
My lovely roommate Emma, enjoying the sunset on the beach!
Group photo!

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