Together at Last

Good Evening!! It is Morgan (from Dayton) and Bridget (from St. Mary's)!! It is 10:30 pm here in LA. After the Dayton group getting delayed a day due to airplane issues and what not, we finally made it this morning!! We instantly began getting to know each other and clicked pretty quickly and started forming a beautiful community right away (#Marianist). While the rest of the group was waiting for the UD people to arrive they went to mass on the property where we are staying. They said mass was great and got a special greeting from the priest that called them students from Ohio but obviously none of the Ohio students were there hahaa. Once the Dayton crew got to Santa Teresita, our home for the next week, we raided the kitchen for food since we hadn't eaten all day!! Once everyone got back, we began with prayer and then a little "would you rather" game to break the ice allowing us to see where we were all at with this trip and where we have been before this trip! It was really cool and we really began to get to know each other. We then loaded up into our three minivans and headed to downton LA where we stopped at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels. Brother Brandon Paluch lead us in a reflection of all the Saints that decorated the walls of the Cathedral on a series of beautiful and amazing tapestries. He really enforced that we have everything we need to be a saint and we should strive everyday, especially this week, to be saints. It was a place of some needed prayer for some of us and a great place of reflection and reconnection with God. Our next stop was the Marianist brother's house in West Hills. We were warmly greeted outside of the house and like always, it felt like home. They had snacks waiting for us which thank goodness because here came a bunch of hungry college kids =) Soon enough the pizza was delivered and we had a very fulfilling meal along with some great community building with each other and the brothers. There were also some guests from Chaminade High School. After dinner, the brothers introduced themselves and their history in the Marianist family. Then, they allowed us to share all of our journey's...where we came from and how we got to where we are today and how we have gotten to know the Marianists. Like Lindsey mentioned tonight, we have all come from all different backgrounds and walks of life and will continue to all live different lives but we all have one thing in common: we strive to live out the Marianist charisms in our daily lives...that is just so amazing!! Once our time with the brothers was over, we packed back into the minivans, and were sent off by the brothers from the driveway. We headed back on our hour long journey home, made some tea, and met for evening prayer where we journaled about where we saw God in today. Some of us shared about the community we're starting to build, about the feeling of family, and the faith and support we have in each other, to name a few. We are all very tired and are ready to get rested tonight in order to have an epic first day of service tomorrow!! We are all so excited to discover what God has in store for us the rest of this week. Continue to keep us in your prayers as we keep learning about others, ourselves, and God.

peace, love, and Marianists,
Morgan and Bridget

Some photos to document today...
Brother Brandon leading us in reflection at the Cathedral.

The group outside of the Cathedral.

The West Hills Community.

Us listening to their beautiful stories.

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