By Bea Scott
Spanish & Religious Studies Teacher
Every October, as the sophomores and juniors are taking the PSAT, the entire freshman class of Archbishop Mitty High School enters the Fien Gymnasium to begin their Freshman Day of Service. The day begins with prayer, after which the freshmen board buses and vans and travel to more than 25 different locations to perform service.
This year, Freshman Day of Service took place on Wednesday, October 10th. More than 450 freshmen packed, prepared and served food; sorted clothes; tutored children at Catholic schools and schools for those on the autism spectrum; walked with the undocumented; cared for the environment; worked with the developmentally disabled; harvested food; and cleaned up community centers.
Every year my colleague, Kristin Byrnes, and I drive around to try to see students at as many service sites as we can. When I see them dancing with clients at HOPE Services; tutoring children at Queen of Apostles, Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Grace Nativity, or St. Martin of Tours; riding bikes with students on the autism spectrum; getting their hands dirty digging up vegetables; making sandwiches and handing out food at St. Justin’s; I feel tremendous hope for our future.
Many students noted that they were anxious about working with people who are different than they are but experienced moments of joy, laughter, and gratitude. This annual Day of Service for the freshman class created a sense of community and mission among the freshmen. One student noted that it brought out the best in all of us. As students are stretched to interact with people or be of service to people they might not normally meet, it gives them the opportunity to see God in those they serve and to remember that all of us are created in God’s image and likeness.
Archbishop Mitty’s liturgical theme song for the 2018-19 school year is “Fearless,” and we sang it together at the opening prayer at the Day of Service. The song encourages us to call on God’s name and “walk out in faith,” to lift up our burdens and tap into the power of God’s love. The Archbishop Mitty High School Class of 2022 did this in concrete and beautiful ways on October 10.