Josh Boulanger ’18
Going to mass use to be boring and uninteresting as a freshman, sophomore, and some of junior year in high school. As a senior I was able to part take in the peer ministry class and get even more involved with my school and God. After doing my first reading at one of the masses I realized how important each word was and that we were celebrating God. But when I looked up I saw a bunch of kids moping and keeping their heads down. Since that mass I have participated and payed attention to all the speakers. It took me a long time, but it hit me how important participation is. Also how sitting there with my head down does nothing for me and in a way disrespects God.
My favorite part about being a peer minister was hosting the freshman and sophomore retreats. It gave me a chance to meet and learn who some of the underclassmen were. We were able to talk about problems, successes, and anything they felt like sharing from their life. It gave me a chance to be a leader and give them helpful tips on how to approach certain things in life. It also made me feel good to prepare them for Kairos by talking to them in small groups and having them open up about themselves more than the basic answers.
Nick Bowes ’18
I couldn’t imagine my senior year without Peer ministry. I became much closer with my fellow Crusaders, got to run freshman and sophomore retreats, handed out the Eucharist at mass and often read readings or petitions. I learned countless lessons from various readings about various topics, which brought to me a completely different perspective no life. However, a couple of memories do stick out in my mind.
Late in the second semester, a small group of peer ministers including myself were given the opportunity to run the final sophomore retreat of the year. Since it was a smaller group of sophomores, it was definitely a more intimate experience with my group. One of the events of the day was a senior panel, where we answered questions that the sophomores had about decisions we have made and advice on how to make good decisions. I never really did anything like that before, so it was a totally new experience for me, but because of Kairos, I was able to talk about my personal life with ease. It was serious, but at times the whole theology center erupted in laughter. After that day, I gained a different perspective on how the younger kids think, and also how having fun is important.
Another memory came recently during the final mass of the year, which happened to fall on the feast day of Blessed Edmund, when the entire senior class joined in arms and sang the Edmund Rice song. This moment truly gave me butterflies, because on one hand our high school careers were coming to an end, and this was our final hurrah, but on the other it made me realize just how much of a brotherhood the Brother Rice community truly is. When I was a freshman, I had absolutely no idea what the brotherhood really meant, though I was told all the time that there is one. It was this moment where I knew that for as long as we live we will take care of each other and always be there for our fellow Crusaders.
Jack Donovan ’18
One of my best experiences at Brother Rice as a minister is going on Kairos. I was hesitant at first about going. I decided I should just embrace the trip because I was already going. From the first day I could tell it was going to be a special trip. I thought I knew my leaders pretty well but I was mistaken. I made a lot of new friends and life long brothers that I will forever share a special bond with.
Another great memory as a peer minister is the sophomore retreat. My group partner was Jack Gavin. We had a great group of young guys that I felt we had a significant positive impact on while also having a good time. From the nicknames we gave to the stories we shared I would say those young men had a wonderful day.
Cole Geinosky ’18
I would probably say my time as a peer minister started last year on Kairos 141, when I realized how important my faith and service really was. Throughout the whole next year, I continued to grow in my faith, service, and relationships. Among all the great memories, the best have come from Kairos and the freshman and sophomore retreats.
Being a leader on Kairos 142 as a peer minister has changed my life in so many ways. It has given me amazing friends, amazing memories, and most importantly, a new relationship with God. Being able to share my life experience and witness the stories of so many others was truly a blessing from God that showed me that we’re all human and we are much more connected than we think. I constantly thank God for the gift of Kairos in my life, because without it, I would have never rekindled my faith.
Another great memory I have being a minister is the freshman and sophomore retreats. Guiding these underclassmen to make the right choices, break bad habits, and follow God has also helped me improve my own faith and choice-making. In a way, we as peer ministers are role models to the underclassmen, and we ourselves have to make the right choices to continue the legacy of Acting Manfully in Christ Jesus.
Richard Godsel ’18
Some of my best memories of being involved in ministry at Brother Rice were made while running the freshmen and sophomore retreats. I liked the feeling of maturity that came from sharing lessons with the underclassmen. It was interesting to me that I actually had some experiences that students just a couple years younger than me hadn’t yet been through. This made me feel like I was actually doing them a service, perhaps giving them a little advice to prepare them if they ever get into the same situations that I did. The best memory I have from these retreats was watching the skit that Ben wrote about the party at Tian’s house.
Another good memory is giving out the Eucharist during Mass. My first time actually giving out Communion was surreal in a way. It made me feel like I had an actual part in Mass. This was a sense that you could not get from just bringing up the gifts or just participating by singing or responding. I felt most like a peer minister when I gave out the Host because I was literally giving my friends the Body of Christ and taking an active role in their receival of the sacrament. It is also a way that I can continue to be involved in Mass for years to come.
Without a doubt, my favorite memory of ministry at Brother Rice is when I led Kairos 142. This was the time when I felt like I was taking the most active role in being a model for my peers and actually spreading the Word of God. By leading my small group with Cole, I was able to learn more about people I apparently barely knew. When I made my Leaders speech, I had the chance to give advice through the sharing of experiences from my own life. By trying to give the candidates the same monumentally moving experience that I went through, I felt like a real peer minister.
John Horan ’18
There have been many things that I am thankful for being a part of this year, but without a doubt my favorite memory is my time spent at Kairos. I had heard good things from almost everyone that I talked to that had gone on one, so I was very excited to experience it for myself. I signed up for the first Kairos of the year in October not knowing what to expect but hoping that it would be a fun time.
However, I was not prepared for what followed. The bus ride there was a lot of fun, but when we got there everything seemed a little bit different, more peaceful even. I got exposed to stories and got to know people better than I ever had before. I became stronger friends with everyone there, and at the end, I realized that I wanted to become a leader.
And then, a week after I came back, I was asked to become a leader. The rest of the leaders were all kids that I had gotten close to on K142, so I was very happy. I was also extremely nervous. At K143, I was able to help kids tell their story and be themselves. Their gratitude was one of the best gifts I have ever received in my life, and convinced me to become a better leader outside of school as well as in class.
Keegan Jones ’18
Peer MInistry is one of the best decisions I’ve made. Optional faith based classes such as Peer Ministry may initially be made fun of by others. Yet, it has offered me so much. Through Peer Ministry’s comradery, faith, and love I was able to have some of the greatest experiences of my life.
Everyday no matter the circumstances Peer Ministry class managed to put a smile on my face. The ability to focus on my faith with 20 other guys for 45 minutes every day allowed me to form friendships with not only my fellow ministers but even my teacher. My favorites part of the day was Joe Menke’s opening prayer. It allowed all of us to form a bond in listing all of our intentions.
In all, Peer Ministry offered me an opportunity nothing else, other than a Kairos retreat, could. Peer ministry regardless of what maybe the popular belief it is an opportunity I do not believe anyone should miss out on. I will forever cherish the memories I have made in Peer Ministry with those who started as friends but are now my brothers.
Nick Marozas ’18
Being involved in Brother Rice Ministry has been a pleasure. Being a part of this class really opened my eyes to many things. Last year I did not think I was going to be a part of Kairos. Because it was a requirement for this class I was forced to go on. Kairos ended up being one of the best experiences of my life.
Going on Kairos opened my eyes to many things. It made me realize how much the little things have an impact on others. Simple saying hi to someone in the halls could make their day. Kairos brought me so much closer to my friends, and helped me make so many more friends in just four days. If it wasn’t for this class, I might have never went on Kairos, and Kairos would have never changed my life.
This class always brought a smile to my face everyday. It was full of good times, laughter, and God. I am extremely happy that I decided to take this class. I wish you nothing but the best in the future. Thank you for making this year special.
Jacob Marquez ’18
My best memory of being involved in ministry at Brother Rice would be as a camp counselor for the Edmund Rice Camp. Edmund Rice Camp is a week long summer camp that provides a fun, educational, and spiritual experience for underprivileged kids that would otherwise not be able to afford summer camp. I was paired as a camp counselor for an enthusiastic, young boy named Jaylen. I believe that my role as a camp counselor significantly impacted Jaylen’s life. I feel that Jaylen left the camp with a greater sense of respect, self awareness, and gratitude.
On the first day of the camp, Jaylen was upset because he did not get to play baseball long enough, so I advised him that when the instructor explains the game he should give his full attention. Jaylen learned that by listening attentively to the instructor, he would have less questions to ask about the game and thus have more time to actually play. On the third day of camp, Jaylen and I were discussing five of our biggest values in life. Jaylen already knew that his family was important to him, but when he actually wrote it down on paper he realized his family’s influences were with him even when the people were not.
Jaylen and I’s conversations also opened up Jaylen’s eyes to all the blessings in his life that he had not previously before seen as gifts. Jaylen overlooked the hugs from his mom or the cheering in the stands from his step dad at his baseball games. Jaylen became more grateful for blessings that he had in his life. When Jaylen asked me to come back next year and be his counselor again it validated my belief that I had left a positive impact on his life.
Jack McBrearty ’18
My best ministry moments would be at Kairos. As a leader on Kairos 144, I experienced a moments of grace that really made me feel like I was making an impact on others. I spent a long time struggling to write my speech. My normal lack of self confidence was boosted in the month prior to the retreat. After a lot of agonizing hours I managed to finish my speech on time. The results made all my anxiety wash away.
Watching the candidates react to all the speeches and was so rewarding. They opened up to others easily. I was glad when some of them came up to me and thanked me for my speech. It really made it feel worthwhile to do the Kairos. A moment where one candidate was feeling down and struggling to open up really defined that Kairos for me. His friends all went to comfort and talk with him. After that he really warmed up and got into the retreat.
Mike McShane ’18
The best memory I have of being involved in ministry is obviously Kairos. Kairos opened up my eyes so much, I never realized all the different type of things that my fellow classmates were going through out of school. Kairos is a special thing, you go to school with these kids for a long time but you really never get to know all of your classmates during your time at Rice. Kairos helps you learn so many things about your friends, kids you’ve never talked to before, and even yourself.
Another fond memory I have and will keep in my head is definitely the freshmen and sophomore retreats. Even though at first, to me, it seemed like we didn’t break through to the kids, I know we did. Ever since I led those kids on the retreat they always say hi to me in the halls and sometimes we stop and have a conversation. This made me feel very good because I know that I helped those kids feel more comfortable at Rice and made it feel even more of a home to them.
Another act of ministry that I will never forget is taking part in all the masses. It may seem like sometimes the peer ministers steal the show a little bit, but I don’t think we are. I would look into the student body and see some kids with a look in their eye, it was like they already knew that they wanted to do that when they became seniors. We acted as role models for all the younger kids of the school and I think it really paid off this year.
Luke O’Donnell ’18
As a Minister, I was given an opportunity that no other class provided. Peer Ministry taught me valuable communication skills that I plan to utilize in the future. Through holding discussions, preparing masses, and leading retreats I have enjoyed every experience in Ministry. Typical discussions in Ministry allowed me to develop strong relationships with my fellow classmates. As I recall past experiences in Ministry, every experience that I had was shared with a group of men who fully understood my personality. Peer Ministry has brought out a much more confident and collected version of myself.
Kairos will always remain as the most special memory I have ever had. By taking Peer Ministry, I was choosing to experience a retreat that could strengthen my relationship with God and change my perspective on life. Kairos allowed me to communicate with a group of men who I rarely knew. Besides Ministry class, Kairos is the only experience that gave me the opportunity to speak my thoughts and share personal information without feeling uncomfortable. One of my fellow kaironians introduced me to a quote that I value to this day: “Don’t judge the lives of others until you know their personal stories”. Over the four days I spent on the Kairos retreat I learned to live life to the fullest.
Another memory that I will always cherish from Peer Ministry is the story of grace discussions. Even though I didn’t get to experience Kairos with all of my fellow ministers, the story of grace discussions gave me the opportunity to share my story with the ministers that were not on K-143. Not only was each story well written,the chapel was a perfect environment for the discussions to be held in. I felt calm and confident to speak in a room knowing that God would be guiding me through my speech.The discussions allowed me to brush up on my communication skills since Kairos. The greatest part about the discussions was that all of my fellow ministers supported and complemented my story. I truly appreciated the concerns my fellow ministers displayed towards everyone who shared their stories.