Saturday, July 13, 2019


As I sit here, the kids are frantically running around making sure their beds are stripped and everything has been packed, and just like that, this week has come to a close. This past week has been a wonderful week full of service, fun and strengthening relationships. I have been completely blown away by the depth of conversations from this group of young people this week and all of the thoughts they've shared. I was lucky enough to go to Honduras twice on mission trips while I was in high school with Holy Comforter. Those two trips were, and still are, life changing weeks that helped deepen my relationship to God and helped me to understand myself and my faith a bit better. I hope that this group has been able to have the same experience that I was lucky enough to have and I pray that they will remember this trip as fondly as I look back on my own. I know that this trip, and the relationships that were formed, is something that I will hold closely in my heart for a long time to come. 


Friday, July 12, 2019

Day Six

Today was our last full day of our mission trip in Boston. We went to Fenway Park, and took a tour, learned some very cool history about it and the players who played there. We got to tour the green monster, the press seats, and the famous red seat that marks the farthest home run hit in the park. We all enjoyed it very much. 

After the park tour, we went to lunch at Tasty Burger. We had some fun drawing on the chalkboards. 

We wrapped up our lunch and walked over to Newberry Street, which is known for its shopping. We all split up into smaller groups and made our way down the street filled with all of kinds of shops. After about 2 hours of shopping, we drive over to Yankee Lobster where we had our last group meal.

 After we all ate, Susan announced that the winner of the cooking competition was Abbey, Tommy, and Isobel. They cooked rice, chicken, and vegetables, their appetizer was a garden salad and they baked Rice Krispies for dessert.

We just finished a closing ceremony of our week of mission and God's work. We all passed around a candle which represented God's light and shared the most impactful thing that happened to us this week as well as how we saw God in the person sitting to our left. Susan also gave us a gift of a coin that says "Love never fails" that she saw in the monastery and immediately thought of our group. The blessings we encountered this week have been monumental and we are forever thankful and hope to have made a difference. We are off to play manhunt outside and play some cards before we go to bed and get up early for the journey back home tomorrow.

Service and Reflection

Today was challenging on several fronts .
Every morning its a feat to have time for a morning service to get ourselves right with God’s plan for us each day , then fed , make our lunches , and fight Boston traffic for 45 minutes to get to our destination . But it works - usually
But today we had  one youth who not feeling well and since it could have been serious we decided to take her to the Urgent Care , who then referred her to the local hospital who eventually decided it was not serious and released her. But that meant juggling adults and cars  and calling parents and praying for her .
Rosies place as you have already read was unbelievable in the efficiency and kindness on how they fed 140 women in need . They feed between 400 and 500 a day with three meals .
 They provide a day shelter , help with work placement , provide counseling and a number of other services in South Boston.
This was followed by a trip to Sleepy Hollow cemetery that had some challenging moments.
Back at the ranch we were enthralled by an amazing dinner with unsurpassed service.
Evening reflections were meaningful and inspiring and followed by the kids playing a card game ,but best of all we got to bed by 11 am Yea !!!!

Day 5

Thursday started off at Rosie’s Place in south Boston. We were pleasantly greeted by Eddie who was one of the workers at Rosie’s Place. We were divided into many groups with different jobs. Mark and I sliced bread and placed them into four different containers. Other jobs involved slicing tomatoes, cleaning tables, and preparing tables for lunch. As the women were allowed to enter the cafeteria, we served them the bread and soup that served as the appetizer for their meal. After their appetizer, we constructed an assembly line to create around 140 plates for all of the women. Cailean, Tommy, and Denis walked the plates over to Jon who connected with the women as he gave them their plates.
-Cailean G

Denis was driving a lot of us to Rosie’s Place, where he spent at least twenty five minutes finding a spot to park in the city of Boston, where parking is super hard to find a spot and its extremely expensive. We went in the building, and walked through a lot of women that looked like they all had interesting stories. Eddie gave us a locker that we shared, and then he gives us supplies to use. Immediately he told me and Mark to cut tomatoes and I liked that a lot more than I thought I would. Then, I was the main bread handler person and soup giver. We dealt with difficult people for sure, but we also met some great people. After Rosie’s Place, we drove somewhere. It turns out, we want to a cemetery. It was difficult for many people including myself, when we were told to think about death. It made me very sad, but in the end, I saw God in Emma Setlik when I silently needed a hug and she offered one to me. I learned how to think about sad things without being depressed, but being content-ish. I bonded a lot with Denis and I feel so much better about being a part of Holy Comforter, because I truly feel welcomed and loved.
-Libby C

Today was my favourite day of service. We went to a women’s shelter called Rosie’s Place. We prepared the meal by cutting tomatoes, making drinks, and preparing bread plates. When it was time to serve lunch, we made plates from big batches of salad, meat, corn, carrots, and fruit. We brought the plates right to the tables. I believe we plated and served about 145 plates, and it was amazing to see how we can we together to efficiently feed all the women. After Rosie’e Place we traveled to Concord to see the Sleepy Hollow cemetery. We had a unique experience in reflection and the peace of God’s creation.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Letter to the Parish

Dear Friends in Christ
I only wish you could experience at first hand what your prayers and generosity has brought to the lives of these ten young people . Libby , Isobel, Will, Cailean , Abbey , Owen, Emma , Thomas and Gwendolyn .
Seldom have I seen in the 17 years I have been working with the youth at Holy Comforter a more cohesive , selfless and faithful group of young people.
You are playing your part , fulfilling your baptismal vows and being a member of our village .
The daily blogs , I hope you are reading don’t really reach into the spiritual depths that we reach every evening in our check in and noticing where we see God everyday .
God touches us all in different ways sometimes through other people , and sometimes as in yesterday for me when I was on my knees weeding and feeling the earth in my fingers and hands and realizing how precious this earth is and how we have to care for it and be good stewards of God’s creation.
Others have been really touched by how welcome they have made feel by the people we are here to help but in fact I think they are helping us more.
The one on one conversations between our kids and either the other adult volunteers or the clients are making an impact.
Thank you

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day Four

On day 4, we started off with gardening at Re-Vision Urban Gardens. One group took rocks from the greenhouse and put them under the fence on the sidewalk. The other group worked on weeding the lettuce rows and the spicy pepper row. We were blessed with sunny but hot weather!

Next, we drove to the Boston Harbor to have a picnic lunch and some of us walked to Starbucks. We then had a tour of the Boston Tea Party Museum and got to pretend to be people from the time period. Mark and Owen even had a few lines in the reenactment of Town Meeting which they presented very excitedly. We went on a replica boat and threw boxes of tea overboard to act like the Sons of Liberty. The museum portion of the tour had some interesting visuals including talking paintings, holograms and a video about the start of the Revolutionary War. We all agreed that the whole tour really immersed us in the past, and we were able to experience the Boston Tea Party is a new, original way. And we say "huzzah!" to that!

We then quickly walked, AKA "Jonwalked", to The Old North Church and had a tour following in Paul Revere's footsteps to the bell tower and learning about how the Steeple had fallen twice before. We then walked down the steep spiral staircases to the Crypt and saw the old tombs that had been surrounded by brick to keep the spirits inside. Our tour guide then led us outside to share a possible ghost story about someone in his group who supposedly saw a little boy with injuries on his face while they were walking through the tomb. The tour guide then consulted his coworkers and apparently there actually was a little boy who was buried in the crypt who was involved in a wheelbarrow accident. So is the crypt haunted? We might never know for sure. We then walked around the inside of the church, where supposedly the most realistic bust of George Washington is located.

The day ended with card games, baked potatoes, and a movie night. It's hard to believe that the trip is halfway over. It seems the first few days flew by! Each day is bustling with equal parts hard work and good times. With two days left, we are all excited to see where else this trip will, and where else we will see God's work!

Talking to Brother Jonathon

i have never met a monk before nor have I ever talked to one.
Brother Jonathon talked with a gentle rhythm that gently but firmly explained how
men come to the order as novices and go through a period of self examination in fellowship with others but mostly with God and guided by their spiritual director
They are called to live their baptismal vows in public.
Based on three aspects of life- power, trust and celibacy.
Everything is in common ownership , when and if they are fully accepted as monks they are given a wedding ring to symbolize their marriage to God. Will asked about his typical day which starts at 5am and ends at 9pm during that time there are periods of silence   Prayer ,Pastral care , education   Teaching   , 2 hrs for recreation. Eating .And work around the Monastery.
At 9  pm the period of great silence begins when they seek to be with God and in prayer.
Then sleep until the next day at 5am
Brother Johnson extrudes the presence of Jesus in himself and touches your soul with his kind eyes and friendly manner. Someone you would feel comfortable talking to about anything and everything.
Someone you could ask questions of but more than likely he would guide you to find you own answers in your heart and soul.