When I first stepped into the Catholic Worker House with a group of teenagers from Saint John When I first stepped into the Catholic Worker House with a group of teenagers from Saint John Fisher led by Mrs. O'Neill, I had my doubts about the atmosphere I was entering. Entering a new environment brings new challenges and difficulties; how would I fit in there?
I was very nervous…meeting a lot of new people with different backgrounds from mine. I soon discovered that I had nothing to be afraid of; the kids were very open to new faces. Before lunch there is a gratitude circle where everyone says what they are thankful for. The first time I went, one of the kids said that she was thankful for me. I enjoyed the Catholic Worker house so much that I decided to go again and went twice a week until the program ended.
By the second time I went to the house, more kids had learned my name. By the third time kids would run up tome once they got there, say “hi,” and I would get in a conversation with them, This usually led to me pushing them on the swings and occasionally clearing up some squabbles. As my mom said “it's very important to learn the kids’ names,” so I did. I remembered their names and they always seemed to be very happy to be recognized as a friend and individual.
There is the scripture “where He is standing is holy ground.” Where the Catholic Worker House stands is holy ground. God has been watching and protecting it since it first opened.
God used me to connect with the kids, to shine His light through me onto them. While I was helping the kids, they were also helping me. God was using them to shape me. I initially went in the Catholic Worker House to positively impact another child's life, but I learned that my life was positively impacted so much more than I originally believed and I got much more than I gave.