Our meeting began with doing a group prayer with both the Junior and middle school Conquest groups. The teen leaders led us in praying the ‘Morning offering” prayer in their prayer books as we thought this was a good way to lend our hands/feet to Jesus in our service project that evening. Then a final review of our virtue campaign of Self-Discipline and what that really means. The Junior group designed their virtue posters based on some stories that we read recently on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The middle school boys finished up their group discussion on what Holy Week means and then helped ask questions and judge the Junior posters along with the dads present. We then finished up the meeting with a pizza party before we started in on our service project this quarter: Cleaning the Worship space at our church to prepare it for the holiest day of the year, Easter.
We divided the boys up based on 8 stations in the church. Every Conquest middle school member was matched up with 2 younger Junior program members and worked on their assigned station. They proceeded to wipe down pews, hymnals, scrape gum off underside of pews, dust the icons, clean the choir area, ambo, alter, scrub the floors, vacuum the carpet and anything else they could see needed some “attention and love”. They boys worked hard and fast and really showed true virtue in action/teamwork. The adults really stepped up to lead these boys. Dads, moms, siblings assisted with the project to make it a family affair. I have never seen such faith in action. Everyone came together, and not a single person complained. We had about 50 people present for this event. With the efforts of everyone involved, this project took us about 90 minutes. There is no cleaning service that comes in to maintain the parish, so the boys really took pride that they did such an important job. Here are some of the comments from parents and kids alike:
“That is great! What a wonderful project.”
“This is a wonderful thing to see.”
“Seeing these boys, girls and their wonderful parents do this important work, warms my heart! I know God was smiling down on them! Many blessings!”
“The boys did a great job! Went to Mass this morning and it still smells good in the church! Also, nice to rest your hands on the pew in front and not have it feel sticky!”
“I am so excited we (Junior Conquest member) get to come to Mass in the morning and be the first to use the clean church!”
We then proceeded back to the dining space, put away our cleaning supplies and served the boys cookies for a job well done and closed in prayer with a Prayer for the Pope for Holy week from the Conquest Prayer book.