Edgewood High School peer ministers lead retreat Print
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Edgewood High School Peer Ministry Retreat
Edgewood High School in Madison peer ministers Sophia Pandelidis and Zach Bosco pray for God's blessing over middle school students at Blessed Sacrament School in Madison at the conclusion of a retreat they led for the students. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- As part of Catholic Schools Week, students in the Peer Ministry class at Edgewood High School had a chance to give back and help younger students grow in their faith.

The Peer Ministry class challenges students to develop their personal faith and leadership potential. Students plan and lead liturgies and prayer services throughout the semester along with participating and leading retreats and service programs.

Middle school retreat

Almost 20 juniors in the class took the half-mile walk to Blessed Sacrament School to lead a retreat for the seventh and eighth grade students there.

"We wanted to come and share our enthusiasm for Catholic Schools Week with some of these kids because we’re both Dominican schools," said peer minister Tess Heinrichs. "We're hoping to have some fun with them and inspire them a little bit."

The theme of the retreat was "Using Our Gifts to Serve One Another."

After the peer ministers introduced themselves to the Blessed Sacrament students, they went into small groups of five students with one to two peer ministers.

One of the small group icebreakers was making name tags where each student and peer minister had to share three gifts they have -- talents, personality traits, good qualities, etc.

Each group then planned, and later performed for everyone at the retreat a skit demonstrating how everyone shares his or her gifts with others.

"Our main focus is talking about the gifts that we’ve all received from God and how we can get those gifts into the community," said peer minster Andrew Frucht.

Seeing gifts in others

The students were then asked to come up with ways they see people -- themselves, other students, teachers, parents -- sharing gifts at their school. Each group wrote these ideas on a large banner with the words "USING our GIFTS to SERVE one ANOTHER" on it in colorful letters.

The banner is being kept at Blessed Sacrament, displaying the gifts shared at the school.

For peer minister Zach Bosco, the retreat is about "growing and helping the kids understand the importance of faith in the community and understand the message of using the gifts . . . trying to figure out what their gifts are and how they use them."

The retreat concluded with the peer ministers praying for their new friends.

"I just love meeting the kids," said Heinrichs. "It's so fun to work with them and it’s cool to get the chance to be a role model. Even if every kid doesn't get inspired, if you can inspire any of them, it's awesome."

"I was proud of the peer ministers for putting themselves on the line and sharing from the heart," said Peer Ministry teacher Amy Richardson. "I was also proud of the middle school students for engaging in the activities and stretching their comfort zones a little to share of themselves."


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