Brendan Coghlan ’18
My best memories of being involved in ministry occurred at our mission trip to Rutledge, Tennessee through Brother Rice. The purpose of the trip was to provide service to underprivileged children by running a kids’ camp and doing light construction work, combined with periods of reflection and spirituality. Throughout the week, I learned gratitude, humility, how to truly become a leader, and the importance that service plays in our role as human beings. My experiences there greatly impacted me and greatly influenced the person I am today.
Each day, we spent a lot of time with the children, leading them in activities and providing them with meals. Working with these children showed me how much I took for granted in my own life. The kids at camp did not have a guaranteed meal each day or any snacks. Notwithstanding their lack of material things, these children could not have been happier and more appreciative of what they received from us. I may have spent the week teaching them how to play various sports, but they taught me gratitude and humility. This service through Brother Rice is a memory that I will always cherish and hold close to my heart. It is where I found out what it means to be a Christian leader.
Before the trip began I considered myself to be an introvert and led by example, but through this trip I became much better at expressing myself to a group. While we were there, I was put in charge of the recreation group. From the beginning, I could see how much the children looked up to us. They gave me the confidence to be myself in front of a group. I brought that confidence into our nightly periods of reflection and was able to share my feelings and experiences with all the other students and teachers in our group.
Tom Farrell ’18
One of my favorite memories of being involved with Peer Ministry through Brother Rice was going on Kairos. At first I was nervous about going on Kairos, but it turned out to be one of my favorite things I have ever done in my life. I was able to grow closer with classmates that I thought I would never have talked to and it helped me grow closer to God. It helped me strengthen my faith and my relationship with my friends and family.
Andres Fernandez ’18
My third favorite memory of being involved in ministry was giving my grace speech, because it was a chance to tell my story to everyone who did not go on Kairos with me. Although it was difficult to tell my story, I was up for the challenge, and I think my fellow peer ministers saw moments of grace in my story. I also enjoyed listening to my other classmates’ grace stories, and got to know more about them and the moments of grace in their lives. This was kind of like a mini-Kairos to me.
Tom Kleist ’18
One of my best experiences at Brother Rice was going on Kairos. If I wasn’t involved in Peer Ministry, I am not sure that I would have gone on it. I was very skeptical of the whole experience, but I loved it so much. It really helped me to get through senior year. Going on Kairos has given me memories that I will never forget. I will always remember my time on K142.
Being a part of the Edmund Rice Society the past two years has also been a favorite memory of mine. Being able to go to the PADS shelter every month and feed the homeless has been very special. Being able to do this with my mom and my brother made this memory even better. Another part of this that I have come to appreciate is being apart of this with Mr. Antos. Now that it is his last year, I am happy I got to spend this extra time with him.
Being a Eucharistic minister at Brother Rice has been very important to me. It a special to be able to do this and I loved being able to do it. I also loved being able to run the retreats for freshmen and sophomores. Being able to act as a leader to them has helped me as much as it has helped them. Having an impact on these kids is something that I will not forget after I leave Brother Rice.
Dan Klimczak ’18
At the beginning of this year, I was slightly regretting taking peer ministry. Many of the people in my class were a lot more involved in ministry than I was and it was a bit intimidating. Most people seemed to have much more of an idea of what they were doing than I did. I soon realized that this wasn’t true.
What I didn’t realize before is that when I cantor for the choir, it is a form of ministry. One of my favorite parts of my senior year and specifically of peer ministry, was being able to lead the school in song at every mass. I was also very glad to be able to take a more active role in choosing music for the mass. I spent many nights consulting my mother on which psalms would be best for which mass. My mom is also heavily involved in the music at our church so I was able to ask her whenever I needed help with choosing music.
Matthew McCormick ’18
When I first walked into Brother Rice, I had no clue what extracurriculars I’d get involved in besides football. I thought that sports were the only thing that most kids got involved in, but I was very wrong. Sure, I have taken part in swim and water polo as well, and though enjoyable, they won’t do much for me in the long run. Through all of the things I’ve gotten involved in outside the classroom, on top of sports, NHS, and other clubs, the two that stand out most to me with memories of being involved in ministry are Robotics and Kairos.
I joined Robotics my Freshman year, and like me, this club was fresh to the school. Through the years, we’ve gone to two international competitions, and this June we’ll be going to our third. Through it all, I’ve put in my effort, but this year was the most important for me. As a senior, I knew I had to take a step up; at one of our first practices, I was voted to lead the Prosthetics division, which ultimately lead to the first Helping Hands Project. Teaming up with the Advocacy Club, a fellow student and I led a three-hour workshop in which we built twelve hands. These prosthetic hands will be sent out to less fortunate individuals, such as landmine victims overseas or poor families with a low budget or no insurance in the states. Through this experience, I learned a true passion in my life while also helping a very vital cause.
Kairos easily has changed and even saved many lives, including my own. K142 is an experience I will not ever forget because it changed the course of my life. K143 is also memorable because I got to pass the message on to others and through that I served them. Though it technically was a type of ministry, I did not feel forced or obligated to do it. Leading Kairos was an honor, and though I knew it required a lot of work, I knew that if I declined the offer I would regret it. In leading Kairos, I gained more friends from my small group and even one friend who led the previous who helped me with my speech. This goes to show that Kairos is so surreal since it manages to bring so many together while also being a type of ministry. Kairos was easily the greatest experience at Brother Rice and even my entire life.
Jake Koos ’18
My best memories had to of been doing the retreats with the freshman and sophomores. I remember being in their shoes and I thought the retreat made me break into the school, especially getting to know the upperclassman. So doing the retreat got me to feel good about myself.
Doing the retreat was good because I got to speak to the freshman. I knew I wanted to and was going to do good but I really feel like I did good after they talked to me. A kid on my baseball team, Mike Bernas, who is a freshman, told me that me being his leader made him feel more comfortable about the school and glad he chose Rice. Also not only did I get close to the freshman class that I was with. I’ve gotten much closer with the kids in the class.
Lastly, kairos was a big part into this year. I put this with peer ministry because the only reason why I went was because of peer ministry. I believe it was the best experience of my career. It was great because I learned a lot about my classmates and myself. I also believe I became closer to God.
Liam McGinnis ’18
Throughout my time spent in peer ministry at Brother Rice I have made countless memories with friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. Peer ministry has taught me how to lead a life of strong morals and character. One of my memories from this class is being able to lead the freshman and sophomore retreats throughout the year. I remember going on the retreats myself, and to be able to lead the new faces of BR through a spiritual journey was truly awesome. It reminded me of when I was a freshman/sophomore and had a new found sense of community.
My second memory of Peer ministry is having the opportunity to lead a Kairos Retreat. I was blessed to have lead K142 this past September, and it was definitely a highlight of my time here at BR. It was a very inspiring week and I heard the stories of many of my close friends. Being able to give the gift of Kairos to so many of my peers was an unbelievable feeling. I will never forget the times spent at the Port and all my brothers in Christ.
My final memory of peer ministry is being able to sing the Edmund Rice song. I know it may sound corny but being “the guy who sings the edmund rice song” meant quite a lot to me. I was able to watch my brother Luke play it my sophomore year, and I was able to fill the role when he graduated. As a performer I loved being able to get up in front of the school and show my talents. However I truly understood what I was singing about and how much it meant to the school.
Matt O’Donnell ’18
Through my time at Brother Rice I have made lots of memories, but some in particular have stood out the most. One of my most memorable moments at Brother Rice is being a counselor at Edmund Rice Camp. This was such a memorable experience because it was so rewarding. Helping these underprivileged kids was not only just rewarding, but also a fun experience.
Another memory I have through Brother Rice ministry was working the freshman and sophomore retreats. Working these retreats was very interesting because I witnessed them in both points of view. I went on these retreats as a freshman and sophomore and it was very different than working it. I thought getting a two sided perspective on the retreats was very memorable.
Matt Papiernik ’18
My best memory of ministry being at Brother Rice was Edmund Rice Camp. During my first year of camp, I was an incoming Freshman. I knew no one there or even the layout of the building. This didn’t stop the students of Brother Rice and the teachers from letting me have a good time as a counselor. I would run over from baseball camp and then help my brother with his camper. I still remember how fun it was to go through my first Friday as a ERC counselor. One word comes to mind, WET.
This story doesn’t end here. The very next year, I was a counselor again. I was given my camper Gabriel. Gabe was a beast and I had such a fun time hanging around with him and making his camp the best it could have been. Gabe was such a nice kid and I felt obligated to give him a great experience. Everyday during the free time at the end of the day, we would play pick-up basketball. I would be dribbling around Gabe and he would get frustrated, but then Gabe would just start laughing. This kid was so nice. He never did not obey what I told him to do or anything. He always listened and because of this, I had a great time and so did he.
The third experience with Edmund Rice Camp was last year. Last year, I was the assistant art leader. Because of this, I had a lot of freedom but a lot of responsibility. As art leader, I was able to see a lot of people have fun making art. This was very fun but stressful. We made many things that year, and while doing so, I learned how to become a true leader of a group. I believe this will help me in this year of camp along with my next 4 years of college.
Leo Staudacher ’18
One of my best memories of being involved in ministry through Brother Rice was definitely my experience of attending and then leading kairos. Through these two experiences I was able to grow my own faith and assist other people in the development of theirs.
When I went on Kairos as a candidate my faith wasn’t as strong as it could have been. Through this experience I was able to see God through the people and things around me. In all honesty I wasn’t sure what part God had in my life before I went on Kairos but after much reflection I was able to see how he had impacted my life.
Leading was a different kind of experience in my faith. I was able to take what I learned on 142 and apply it to other people’s lives. I also learned that everyone has a different journey of faith than mine. I expected everyone to experience Kairos the same way I did so when that wasn’t the case I was confused. I learned that everyone is different and no one experiences kairos the same way. It was a rewarding experience seeing the guys in my group get something out of the retreat and know that I helped them with that. It was like my journey of faith had come full circle, because of Kairos my faith became stronger and then I was able to strengthen other people’s faith through it.
Evan Sullivan ’18
I think the best thing about being a peer minister at Brother Rice is that you have to do an extra ten hours of community service each semester. It encourages you to go out and do a little extra. In my prior three years, the ten hours is kind of easy to achieve. This year, an extra ten adds difficulty to the task.
Another good thing about being in peer ministry is that you express your opinion about certain topics in the church. We would read different articles from people across the country on problems in today’s society. In other classes, we usually just read from a textbook. In this class, we can look at a wide variety of modern issues, and we can talk about how solving them. Learning about how to really follow God’s example is also a huge part in ministry.
Matt Zimecki ’18
One of the greatest memories I have at rice for ministry is leading the freshman retreat. I remember my freshman year when we had the retreat. At the time I wasn’t all that talkative and even less so in the small groups we were put in. But over time I opened up and answered more and more. I remember wonder what these seniors were doing. I had no idea that they were peer ministers and they were taking a senior class. Most of all I didnt even think I’d end up doing peer ministry either.
Another is kairos. Kairos was something I saw in the student planner my freshman year. All I knew was it was a week long event that involved some sort of retreat. I never gave it much thought until December of my senior year when I learned I had to go on one for the peer ministry requirement. Im quite glad that was the way it turned out because otherwise I may have missed my chance to go on it. Kairos offered me a deep reflection of my life that I’d never gone through before. It showed me to value the relationships in my life and re-evaluate my views on god, life, and my time at Rice.
Finally I’ve always liked the masses. Being in lyrical fight club offered me an opportunity to sing. While the masses for some may be boring, hearing Father Mark’s homilies have always interested me. That combined with the fun of being in the choir made masses at Rrice some of the most memorable ones, especially the winter mass when the band gets to play for the whole of Brother Rice. Overall, the ministry at Brother Rice has strengthen my relationship with God and my peers. It has offered me a unique and special access to something I would’ve otherwise never have gotten if I went to a different school.