Well, it’s been three months since I’ve left the novitiate and here is what I’ve been up to. I began a new ministry experience assisting in the culinary department of Mercy Vocational High. I work with the chef instructors there as well as about thirty culinary students in the only Catholic vocational high school in the country. It is a very unique and wonderful ministry all around, and the highlight for me is the Mercy heritage in there. The school was started by Mercy sisters and there are a dozen sisters ministering in the school at present. So far I have had a smattering of experiences in the classroom as well as out. I went with the senior girls to their retreat day, and I chaperoned field trips to the Renaissance Fair, theater, and art museum. I’ve tried my hand at substituting both classroom and lab periods. Aside from grading, and planning courses I’ve gotten to try just about everything in three short months. I hope the experience of snow days will be in my future, in order to round out my teaching experience!
This ministry has stretched me in new ways and I have been so thankful for the support of the sisters I minister with as well as the support of the local community. Students in Philadelphia face many challenges, as many children do in most cities, and these challenges impact their time in school. Some see school as a haven while others do not wish to participate. On the whole I have been able to see the students, especially those in the culinary lab, work together to achieve things they didn’t think they could do. In October the chef announced to the senior class that they would be creating a Ghost Buster themed cake display and many of the students didn’t think it could be done. After a few weeks, just before Halloween, they were proud to present their final project to the school. I am always so happy to see a student realize they are capable of doing or trying something they were scared of, and I am inspired by their resilience.