During Thanksgiving break Mrs. Garcia-Lavigne and Mrs. Omaña took 7 students to Chicago for a trip that opened their eyes says Nick Pizzano’18. On the trip the seven students went to a women’s homeless shelter, a food bank, the Precious Blood Center, and other places. When the students went to the Shelter they made the women pasta for dinner and ate with them. Before the food bank they served seniors a Thanksgiving lunch. At the food bank they had to unload a truck full of different foods. The Precious Blood Center was one of the last stops the group made. At the center they met Sister Donna who inspired the students. When they were there Sister Donna explained to them some stories of some of the boys she worked with. They even met some of the boys that were there the day they went.
The 7 students, Mrs. Garcia-Lavigne, and Mrs. Omaña went on November 18th till the 22nd. The 7 students included Connor Cassidy’18, Nick Pizzano’18, Nick Toth’18, Kasey Celniker’19, Nikki DeCola’19, Jack Cassidy’20, and Kayla Jendras’20. The students were selected through an application process that asked questions about different subjects. On the trip they met a Canterbury Alumni, Hilary’10. Hilary taught the group about immigration and the Chicago jail.
After helping out in the food pantry the group went to mass at the Old St. Patrick’s Church. The group sat in the front row and got to meet the priest. During the mass they sang songs and learned some lessons. Mrs. Omaña said it was one of the best masses she’s been to in her adult life. After mass the group went on a night walk around Chicago. On the walk they had to think of places of where they would go if they faced homelessness.
Also on the walk they noticed that a lot of places have strict rules on who is allowed to go in, Kasey’19 said, “I go into places regularly and not think about what I’m wearing or what I look like but when you look at the dress code and rules you realize that most people on the streets can’t even go into a little restaurant”.
Mrs. Garcia-Lavigne, Mrs. Omaña, and the 7 students learned a lot in just a span of 5 days. The students didn’t know what to expect when they got to the Darst Center but when they were leaving it they were very happy they went.
Nick Pizzano’18 said, “Without this retreat, I never would have had strong opinions on things such as restorative justice, immigration, and homelessness. Without this trip, I would not understand these issues and would never have seen Chicago through this light”.
Nick wasn’t the only one who had an amazing experience. Kasey said, “I am so happy I went on this trip because in today’s world we get so caught up in our own lives we don’t think about others and we need to help those who need it”.
The students enjoyed the trip and had an amazing time. They learned about new things and opened the door to some new topics.
As the Darst Center would say see it differently, because its never a bad idea to change the way you view the world.