Last winter, the BC High community came together to hold the first schoolwide Ignatian Values Day. The focus for the day was “What Makes a Loving Community?” and had both individual and institutional goals for all that participated.
Beginning with a prayer service in the McNeice Pavilion, a church in the round was created, with the bleachers pulled forward and seating surrounded a very small stage set only a few feet off the ground. The choir sat closest to the stage and when the opening hymn began, they simply rose from their seats and began to sing. The center-piece of the service was a conversation between four seniors, Danny Abraham, Kunchok Dingyon, Braeden Mahoney, and Jack Murray. Guided by religious education teacher, Jillian Maxey, each student represented a different belief system – Christian Pentecostal, Buddhism, Judaism, Roman Catholicism. Their conversation revolved around how BC High has influenced them in their own religion. It was a reflective moment to witness how our Ignatian values enable each of us to act more lovingly.
After the prayer service, students broke into workshops that were both interactive and reflective. The first workshops were focused on how individuals have created loving communities at BC High, at non-profits, at global and local institutions. Presentations were given by faculty and current students, as well as over twenty guest speakers. Topics ranged from caring for cardiovascular patients in Rwanda with Team Heart, nurturing to the “whole person” of developmentally disabled adults with the L’Arche organization, to learning about the many ways BC High students have found loving communities in their work here and abroad. Former Senator Linda Dorcena Forry P’22 shared her experience of love through public service while President Grace Regan P’12 met with student leaders to discuss ways the school could carry out the lessons of the day. The second workshop gave students a chance to participate in activities such as meditation, yoga, painting, or letter writing. The student body experienced powerful presentations, including Tom Hermanowski of Aadapt Inc., who shared his personal story of finding God during his journey to recovery from alcoholism, and Minding Your Mind’s stellar speakers Jordan Burnham and Carl Antisell presenting on mental health. These activities enabled students to reflect on how love is shown in our community and the world.
The day ended with the first pep rally in 16 years to celebrate the diversity and accomplishments of our clubs and teams. Fans enjoyed performances by the Hip Hop Dance Club, Drumline, as well as competitions that pitted mascot against mascot and students against faculty. It was a great day to celebrate our shared Ignatian beliefs and build a loving community at BC High.
These activities enabled students to reflect on how love is shown in our community and the world.
–Campus Minister Beth Killorin