Because I have the Church

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, February 9, 2020

By: Addison Hagan, Graduating Senior, Class of 2020

I feel very lucky to have been able to grow up within the church. I have attended St. Mary’s throughout all my time in middle and high school, and it is a place where I really feel I belong. This feeling grew from regular attendance of the youth group meetings and events, and I loved becoming close friends with the others that participated. Attending a Shrine Mont weekend is one such event that strengthened my bond to my peers at St. Mary’s. With lessons in faith and charity as well as personal growth, I feel I left that special place as a better person of faith than when I arrived. One of the best parts of the trip was when Matt Rawls, the youth pastor at the time, set aside time for us to walk the Shrine Mont labyrinth. While it is just a circle of stones with a single path into and out of the center, it evoked a reflective and somber mindset, and became a moment when I was aware I was close to God. Shrine Mont is a place I hope every member of the youth group has the opportunity to go.

I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had so far through St. Mary’s. The time that I have spent with the youth group has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Because I have the church, I have a comforting place to turn to when I’m stressed, and a network of people eager to offer help and guidance. Without the church, I would be without some of my closest friendships as well as a second home, and I am extremely glad that is not the case.