A few months ago, I was chaperoning my alma mater’s high school team for Night for the Fight, a 12-hour overnight event for teens that raises money and awareness for childhood cancer. We had just arrived and found seats as a group when my aunt, who was chaperoning, too, tapped me and told me that two girls above us were trying to get my attention. They asked me if I remembered them…I had just had them the week before on a retreat, and they had helped with music. They pointed out some other girls from their school who were also there, and I recognized a few of them from yet another retreat we did for their school. They were pumped to see me, and I was excited to see them!
Anytime someone asks me “What have you learned?” I immediately begin to rattle off a long list of lessons and skills and the likes…partially because I truly learn a lot from every experience I have, partially because I can’t decide what lesson I want to tell them about, and partially because I like to talk and this is an excuse to talk a lot! So, of course, that was my first instinct when I began to brainstorm my response to the above prompt. And I came up with a pretty awesome list, if I do say so myself. But, when I thought about it a little more, I realized that I didn’t want to just write a bullet-point list. I wanted to explore in depth the impact one of the lessons I learned has had on me: learning to share my story.
Over my time as an intern at the JSC, I have learned and refined many skills. I have learned how to play bass guitar, I have learned how to set up a sound system, I have learned many aspects of ministry, from how to better give a talk, how to lead a small group, how to plan music, how to use music in its proper setting, as well as many other aspects that are too many to number. If I had to name one thing that I grew in most though, I would say it is in my ability to better relate with a vast majority of people. That is not to say that I am perfect at it now, but I have definitely grown in this area.
While working at the JSC, I have had many cool experiences. I think one of the best was while working one of the all school retreat at Mother Theresa School. Here we are with 800 kids, all somewhere between Kindergarten and Eighth Grade, and they start coming in, and they just keep on coming. It was a beautiful thing to see all these kids coming into the retreat space, and all of them seem to be super excited to be there and excited about their faith. While we led them in praise and worship music, they were all excite and giving themselves totally to the experience.
This experience was one of the first times that I experienced working in a team in a workplace. I had worked in other lines of business before, but they lacked the true team spirit that I have come to know at the Jesuit Spiritual Center.
One of the most memorable experiences for me was when we went to the National Catholic Youth Conference as a team. I never gone to a conference like this before, so it was amazing to see all these people celebrating being Catholic, praying, and worshiping together. One night specifically was powerful when we had adoration and 25,000 people were completely silent. Along with the amazing music provided by Matt Maher, that night was incredibly powerful for me and I would not have been able to go if it were not for my internship at JSC.