This year’s vibrant and dedicated group of Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) gathered together for the annual Midyear Retreat on January 15-18. Our Camino, as was the theme for the retreat, brought us to Point O’Pines in upstate New York where reflection, discernment, and community was embraced.
The Midyear Retreat is a time for us as Young Lasallians to really look at our first half of the year, and reflect on our time and our experiences of faith, service and community. Second year LV David Anderson who is serving as a recreational coordinator at La Salle School in Albany, New York, said, “Going into Midyear I was prepared to reflect on what was to come next after the end of my second year of service. The retreat didn’t just help me relax, but it also helped me prioritize my hopes for next year. I still have some uncertainty but the retreat helped me realize it’s okay to not have everything figured out.”
Our facilitator for the retreat was Kevin Regan, an educator at The San Miguel School of Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. LV staff and Christian Brothers also accompanied us.
Like many of us, we have people we look up to and use as examples of how we want to live our lives. Kevin introduced us to Walker Percy, Dorothy Day, Flannery O’Conner and Thomas Merton with the intention for us to relate, connect and learn from them. This aspect was so important because although these people are no longer living, they became examples for us in our mission to serve others. They provide us with a base but also the question of “Who is OUR Dorothy Day today?” or “Who has a new way of viewing religion like Thomas Merton?” They were ordinary people with a passion, just like us.
First year LV Kacie Kusinski who is serving as a social studies teacher at De Marillac Academy in San Francisco reflected on what Midyear was like for her and said, “Midyear for me was such a rejuvenating experience. Hearing about everyone’s experiences, discernment and reflection with all of the other LVs left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my service year.” In order “to tackle” the rest of our year, we all will share the tasks of being guides in the front, companions on the left and right of us, and protectors in the back as we continue on with our Camino.
Submitted by Maddie Hodapp, 2nd year LV serving at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn, New York.