by Liam John '19
Retreats allow for the opportunity to escape, providing moments to reflect. SLUH is challenging and time consuming, but on retreats, you have nowhere to go – you get time for yourself to reflect on parts of your life that would get overshadowed with the busy school schedule.
The Kairos Retreat was very special because it unveiled God for me. With the many wonderful things I did at SLUH, Kairos showed me that God was in each of them. One time on retreat, I was talking to my leader Nick Parisi ‘18 on the rocking chairs at King's House, and he related to me about the troubles I was having. Talking with someone I looked up to, I realized how God can be in something as simple as a conversation. I felt loved, like I had a good grasp of where God was in my life.
Service instilled in me the grace of finding God in others, a way to befriend others as God does. I love service because it allows me to connect with people and hear their stories. Service challenges me to want to make a change for the people I work with. Service gives me a drive to be better for them and myself.
While on a service trip in Honduras, I was holding one of the babies at the child nutrition center and I felt as if I understood him. It is hard to explain, but I was holding the baby and he was staring at me and we were both just smiling. I took him over to a paper Christmas tree on the wall, and seeing the laughter and beauty in that child really showed what Jesus meant when he told us to be children entering into Heaven. In that moment, I was not stressed about responsibilities. I was just admiring the little guy.
Finally, I find God in ceramics. Over the summer, I visited the art room to work alone and became immersed in the process of sculpting and transforming the clay into something beautiful. Every time I hop on a ceramics wheel, a shiver flows from my spine to the tips of my fingers like a whisper saying, “I am here.”
About the Author
Liam John ‘19, recipient of the Archbishop May Service Award, was active at SLUH in Sisyphus, Prep News, theater tech, social justice clubs, National Honor Society, President’s Ambassador program and racquetball. He wants to study public health and health management in college, and to travel to East Africa and possibly work for the United Nations.