Saint Mary's students spend a week of their summer serving at Catholic Heart Work Camp in Groton, Mass.
As one of our Saints put it, "It's the highlight of my summer." For most teens, summer means vacation, social media, video games and relaxation, but during the week of June 18-25, our saints experienced manual labor, sleeping on the floor and serving those in need. You would expect the phrase "it’s too hot" or "it's too early to wake up" but not this week. This week at CHWC Groton teens woke up at 6am and began their day with Mass and breakfast. Then they were on their way all over the city and other towns to live out the Gospel message- to put their Faith into Action! It was an amazing sight to witness, 400 teens from across the country, paying money to sleep on the floor and serve others. I wish the news channels would captured these moments more often.
Our saints were just one of about 10 Churches/High School groups to attend the week long service week. After their 8 hour work day, they returned to their home base (a local high school) and got ready for evening program. 400 teens and adults would gather with games, music and skits and then go deeper with prayer, praise and worship and a witness talk. Our students not only lived their faith during the day serving others, but at night, they refueled through prayer opportunities and the sacraments.
Josseline Rodriquez, who attended CHWC for the first time as a junior at St Mary’s said “Although CHWC wasn’t on my things to do for the summer, I am so glad I was able to attend. It was the Highlight of my summer! Meeting new people from different states and seeing the joy of the residents we helped out was amazing. Everyone was so nice. It was awesome knowing that we all shared the same faith and it brought us even closer. I loved this experience and I will certainly be attending next year. I encourage everyone to do it. It’s one week filled with fun, service, and opportunities to get closer to God!”
Chance White, a rising sophomore, said “CHWC was an eye-opening experience for me. When I first arrived I thought my nerves about it being a religious camp would get the best of me, but then I realized that , through helping others and worshipping God, I was put to ease. I grew closer to those who attended the camp and especially grew in my relationship with Christ. I look forward to going again!”
Trevor Martinez, a sophomore Cross country and golf player loved his first experience of CHWC. He said, “CHWC was a great opportunity to help others and grown in my faith. I made friendships and memories during that week that will last me a lifetime.”
Saint Mary’s High Schoolwill attend CHWC again in June 2017. Keep an eye out for sign up information. This trip fills up fast! Go make a difference!
St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.