The Middle School Day of Recollection

Matthew Pasko, Staff Writer

At Delbarton, each student is able to reflect on his personal life by attending Mass, services, and other ceremonies during the day. Another way we do this is through our many retreats. The high school students have retreats by grade, which often involve weekend or overnight participation. Instead of a long, overnight retreat, the Middle School has the Middle School Day of Recollection. Just a couple weeks ago, the middle school headed to St. Paul’s Inside the Walls in Madison. We were allowed to wear dress down, which excited the students. Our chaperones were Mr. Chiarolanzio, Mrs. Luludis, and Mr. Mazzola. Dr. Hajduk and the campus ministry team led all the students in activities, reflections, talks, and games throughout the day. The theme of this year’s retreat was Benedictine values — obedience, stability, and conversation — which we try to follow during our lives. The campus ministry team did a great job of helping us understand these values.

Derek Lattmann ‘19 gave a powerful testimony about Obedience. He talked about respecting people in a position of power and following their examples and instructions. John Manahan ‘19 gave a powerful lesson on Stability. He talked about his own experiences in getting bogged down with work and inefficiency, in addition to how we can avoid those problems. Aidan McLaughlin ‘19 explained the vow of Conversatio. This is the vow that Benedictine monks take to lead simple lives at the monastery. The monks vow to live only with what they need, and to stay devoted to God through work, prayer, and humility. Finn Gannon ‘19, Aidan Higgins ‘19, Will Collins ‘19, and CJ Gasser ‘19 also helped to lead the middle school in prayer and reflection after these talks. After the impactful moments of discussion in our small groups, we then did skits about a day in the life of a monk. Father Ed and Father Andrew came after lunch to hear confessions, and we had a quiet period of prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. To finish off the day, Father Joseph led the middle school in mass, which included a reading by Quinn Kenny ‘23 and Will Collins ‘19. The Day of Recollection is a special event each year for the middle school, and it is a unique opportunity for us to reflect on our faith and its impact in our lives. As a middle schooler, it makes me look forward to the full retreats that we will have a freshman and sophomores.