May Crowning Mass Honors Blessed Mother Mary and Recognizes Benedictine Sisters

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Scecina held its final all-school Mass of the academic year on May 1. It was a beautiful May Crowning service that honored our Blessed Mother Mary and commemorated St. Joseph the Worker. The day was filled with gratitude, celebration, and reflection.

During the Mass, the administration, staff, and students honored the Benedictine sisters for their exceptional service, care, and hospitality in supporting several years of Senior Christian Awakening Retreats. The retreats allow students to connect with themselves, others, and God and have been a life-changing experience for many seniors.

Natasha Hernandez shared her reflections with the sisters about her retreat experience, expressing her gratitude for the opportunity.

President Joe Therber also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the entire school, and Dr. Peg Dispenzieri presented the sisters with flowers and a tree. The entire school community celebrated and gave a loud applause, appreciating the sisters’ contributions to the school and the community.

Although the Benedict Inn & Retreat Center, an integral part of the community, will close on May 31, 2024, the school community is grateful for the memories, experiences, and connections that have been created there. The current buildings will be demolished and a new Benedict Inn and monastery will be built in its place. You can find more information about this development in a March 2023 story published in the Criterion.

If you would like to read Natasha’s reflection, which offers just a glimpse of what our students experience during the retreat, please continue reading.

Thank you to the sisters of St. Benedict of our Lady of Grace Monastery for joining us for our Holy Mass today. 

My name is Natasha, and I am a senior at Scecina Memorial High School. I want to express my gratitude for your ministry by telling you about my Senior Christian Awakening Retreat.

When I first arrived at Benedict Inn, I was not very open to the retreat experience. However, I set a goal for myself to take away at least three life lessons that I could use throughout the rest of my high school career and into the next chapter of my life’s journey.

My first life lesson was always to make an effort to hear, know, and value others. I also learned that my story and my feelings are important and that I should be open and let others into my life.

The second lesson I learned during my retreat was to look for the movement of God in my own life and the lives of others. As I learned more about God during my retreat and experienced His love, I committed to living my faith and being more deeply engaged in Mass.

My third takeaway from the retreat is the relationships I developed. After days together, I learned more about my classmates and what makes them who they are. While learning about them, I also learned more about myself as a person. We developed strong connections as a group and as a class. These relationships, I hope, will sustain me after we graduate.

Thank you to my small group members, classmates, the adult and alumni leaders, and the Sisters of St. Benedict, who made my retreat possible.

I know that the members of my class and the members of the decades of classes that have gone before me share my appreciation for you and all you have made possible.

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