We had a wonderful Wednesday with the 7th grade class of St. John Vianney at Schoenstatt Retreat Center. Laudato Si’ Project has partnered with Marquette University High School and St. John Vianney for our Common Home Explorer Program. We were privileged to work with St. John Vianney’s youth minister, Claire Hoffmeyer, in the planning of the retreat which had a focus on prayer, relationships, and stewardship.
The morning started with Mass and witness talks by SJV pastor Fr. Miniatt and MUHS student/SJV graduate Phil Volkert. Students were split into groups to discuss prayer, trust, and relationships. Students then took part in a skit about St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation. This was used as a springboard into our afternoon which focused on Care for our Common Home.
The afternoon activity included a reflective group walk up to our woodland restoration site. Students helped with our ongoing project by removing and stacking invasive buckthorn trees. The amount of work that 34 motivated 7th graders can do is truly amazing. Temperatures in the high 40’s didn’t seem to negatively impact this group at all. We finished the afternoon by hiking a trail that loops much of the beautiful retreat center property.
Here is a brief video clip showing our land stewardship.
Canticle of Creation: St. Francis of Assisi
O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God, to you belong praise, glory, honor and all blessing.
Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation and especially for our Brother Sun, who brings us the day and the light; he is strong and shines magnificently.
O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon, and for the stars which you have set shining and lovely in the heavens.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Brothers Wind and Air and every kind of weather by which you, Lord, uphold life in all your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful to us, and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire, through whom you give us light in the darkness: he is bright and lively and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth, our Mother, who nourishes us and sustains us,
bringing forth fruits and vegetables of many kinds and flowers of many colors.
Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for love of you; and for those who bear sickness and weakness in peace and patience – you will grant them a crown.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death, whom we must all face. I praise and bless you, Lord, and I give thanks to you, and I will serve you in all humility.