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Strength Through Faith

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Many qualities and aspects of Memorial High School set it apart from other high schools. One aspect in particular is its focus on faith. I attended a Catholic grade school, so going to mass during school was not anything out of the ordinary for me, but at Memorial, I believe the focus on faith goes so much deeper. Memorial makes a big deal about tradition, and walking by faith is just yet another one of Memorial’s traditions.

Once a month, the whole school gathers together in the auditorium for mass and at every mass, one student from each class carries in a banner during the entrance. Each of the four banners symbolizes a class, and all together, they symbolize the whole student body up on the altar. I think this ritual truly helps visualize the concord of our school and faith. Then, at the final mass of the school year, another ritual, the passing down of the banners, takes place. The freshman stands their class banner in the middle of the altar symbolizing the waiting for the new freshmen of the next school year. The sophomore passes theirs down to the freshman, the juniors’ down to the sophomore and the seniors’ down to the junior. This simple act contains so much symbolism for Memorial students, and it really emphasizes our school in unison.
At the beginning of the year, seniors can choose to become a Eucharistic minister. This choice allows them to serve communion at mass to the school. I really like that students can participate in this action during mass, because serving communion demonstrates faith in action. It is one thing for adults to be Eucharistic ministers, but when students make that choice, it displays so much of their belief in God. When the seniors serve communion, it also shows leadership within our school.

Memorial requires each student to complete a total of fifty service hours throughout his or her four years in order to graduate and our school also takes part in many fundraisers throughout the year. These two tasks show so much about our Memorial community such as faith in service. We can give back to the school that gives so much to us. Service gives to others, but it also gives back a certain sense of joy that makes a person feel good about helping someone else. When you add it up, Memorial consists of roughly about eight hundred students, take eight hundred times fifty, and it adds up to forty thousand. Memorial students alone complete forty thousand hours of service each year alone.
Theology class is another requirement for graduation, but I do not think of it as a “requirement.” This class offers an opportunity for students to share their thoughts about their faith with each other. Mrs. Falcony, who taught me for three out of four years tries to focus on the moral choices we will make in the coming of our early adulthood lives. Many of the decisions discussed in that class are choices we will make very soon. Each year the classes go out retreat with their theology teachers. This retreat allows for a day out of school, but also a time for reflection, faith outside of Memorial, and this year a new trip to St. Meinrad.

Also beginning just this year, in concordance with the pledge, a student says a prayer each morning over the intercom. It is also encouraged that teachers begin class everyday with a prayer, while at public schools, teachers and students cannot even mention God’s name. At Memorial, we are lucky to have the privilege of praying daily with our fellow classmates and teachers. Memorial also contains its very own chapel which students can use whenever they need to throughout the school day. Our priest also holds mass there in the morning on Thursdays and Fridays.

Memorial does so many numerous things that reflect its faith and belief in God, whether by spending a day with classmates on a retreat at the Catholic Center or by simply participating at our school masses. When a student tells someone that he or she goes to Memorial, many people react very fondly to that. Not only because we excel in sports or academics, but also because Memorial exhibits such a strong focus on faith. So when asked whether I think the Memorial community walks by faith, there is no other answer to that question except yes, yes it does.





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