Written by: Denise Serafini on Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury is a top-rated educational institution for young catholics. They are committed to providing the best of education for their students with an enhanced curriculum that focuses on our Catholic faith. We were invited to present Relics of the Passion to 150-200 students by Dan Mathews of the Archdiocesan Office of Campus Ministry and the School Principal, Anthony Azzara.
Mary, one of Sacred Heart School’s students and a young girl from Torrington, is acquainted with our guitarist, Patty, and they just happened to meet in the hallway as we entered the building. Patty asked if we could invite Mary to participate in directing the musical portion of the program to engage the students in the sung elements for the event. I couldn’t have been happier to include Mary as part of our team. She has a wonderful voice and sings here at one of the local parishes in Torrington. She did us proud.
Our program for these types of settings is abbreviated from the full program that we run at parish events so it plays out in 30-35 minutes. This approach is used to minimize the amount of time devoted to an extra activity, not because the students wouldn’t be attentive for the longer period. These young ladies and gentlemen were the model of what we would all want our children to be in a school or church setting. They were gracious, attentive and eager to learn from the concepts presented to them.
At the end of the program we provided gloves to several of the students and they held the relics for veneration. What a tremendous job they did. They fully understood the significance of the artifacts that they held and all were reverent in approaching the relics. I was particularly impressed with one young woman that was holding the relic of the Holy Table. A group of her peers were walking through the line and she suggested to them that they should take a moment and kiss the relic, not just touch it as they passed. This girl understood the value of what occurs when one venerates with a true desire to connect with the very essence of what a holy relic represents and she took that courageous step to teach her contemporaries. It doesn’t get any better than that.
If these high school students are indicative of what’s in store for the Catholic communities of the future, Praise God. However, if there is work to be done in Catholic families to foster a more wide spread imitation of the example set by these students then I encourage us as a broader Catholic faith community to help build it. We need the hearts, minds and souls of the coming generation to promote solid Catholic beliefs that provide the hope and meaning in their lives which gets created via a sound foundation in faith.