By Cailey Larmore ’20
Archbishop Mitty High School’s Living in Faith Experience (LIFE) Team is a campus ministry group comprised of seniors who represent the heart of the school. As student leaders, their mission is to set others’ hearts on fire and to encourage everyone to share their talent, love, or light with others.
In large part, the members of LIFE Team share their gifts and “life lessons” with other Monarchs through retreat reflections. Seniors lead retreats for younger classmen and divulge personal information that relates to the retreat’s theme. Agape, the sophomore retreat, focuses on God’s all-encompassing love. So, a senior LIFE Team leader on this retreat might bring up a time in their life where they felt alone in their suffering but found genuine love in a community they encountered. The sophomores who hear these reflections are able to relate to the experiences of the upperclassmen they look up to. Listening to these seniors share experiences of when they felt vulnerable is extremely helpful to those who face or might soon face a similar trial. In a sense, listening to a retreat talk is like receiving advice from an older sibling.
Other members of LIFE Team are given the opportunity to share their insights with the larger school community at liturgies. At the Senior Liturgy, senior Luca Filiz connected his reflection to the story in Mark’s Gospel in which the disciples and Jesus are out at sea. While Jesus sleeps on the boat, a storm rages outside. When the disciples wake Jesus, he asks, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
Luca wove this phrase into his reflection while discussing the difficulties of senior year. He admitted that he too has felt overwhelmed. But, he noted that we often associate the word “overwhelmed” with negativity. We rarely allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the things in our lives that are positive, like beauty, nature, or music. Luca encouraged fellow classmates to let themselves be overwhelmed by beautiful moments in their lives. Like Luca, anyone who accepts the opportunity to share wisdom or a personal story with the wider community is helping set others’ hearts on fire. LIFE Team members are challenged to be open, honest, and authentic. In turn, they inspire others to become the best, most genuine versions of themselves–in the way God intended everyone to be.