By Marco Alvarez and Thomas Salzar, Eagle Pride Publisher reporters
Eighth graders in the Faith in Action class this trimester hosted a service retreat focused on the Works of Mercy for Saint John School and three other schools in the diocese, including St. Mary Star of the Sea in Oceanside, Notre Dame Academy in Carmel Valley, and Saint Francis of Assisi in Vista.
About 120 people attended the March 1 event, also led by Mr. Isaac Deken, the parish youth minister, and Mrs. Teresa Roberts, the FIA teacher.
“The retreat was pretty fun,” said Elliot G. of Mrs. Amy Jones’s eighth grade class. “I enjoyed hanging out with my friends and meeting new people.”
Cynthia M. of Mrs. Amy Jones’ eighth grade class was one of the student leaders of the retreat.
While preparing for the retreat, she said, “I am looking forward to meeting new people who I may be going to high school with and doing the service events we have planned.”
“What a great blessing to gather with so many eighth graders to do the Works of Mercy and carry out our Catholic faith together,” Mrs. Roberts said after the retreat. “I think it was a lot of fun for everyone and also benefited those in need.”
The students in all four of the schools were randomly placed in groups, so they could bond and get to know each other. The event was held in the parish hall, and many activities took place, such as icebreaker games and service activities like making blankets for Father Joe’s Village, baking cookies for Kairos cookies, and making cards for imprisoned and sick people.
The Kairos Prison Ministry collects cookies and cards to distribute to prisoners at Christian retreats.
The retreat ended with Father Ben Awongo offering a reflection on the Works of Mercy and a blessing of all of the participants and the items they made to be donated.
Overall, the retreat seemed to be a huge success, among both students and teachers.