Becoming a student at St. Paul’s School is more than simply becoming another student at another high school. It means becoming a member of the Lasallian family. This is exactly what the Pre-Freshmen learned on Nov. 14 and 15 when they participated in their annual retreat and newly instituted service day.
One of the five core principles for Lasallians is concern for the poor and social justice. In order to fulfill this principle, Lasallians complete service around their community. For years, there was an annual service day for sophomores, but this year, administration decided to extend this privilege to all underclassmen. Led by Coach Brad Marchese and Myrle Wiggins, the Pre-Freshmen went to places such as the Covington Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and Forest Manor Nursing Home to help serve their community.
“It went really well. The eighth grade was awesome. We got responses that people set aside jobs for these eighth graders to do, thinking that they’d complete this much in a whole day, and three hours later, they’re done with everything. You know, in some cases, they worked harder than people expected them to,” Marchese said.
Not only did the Pre-Freshmen go on a service day, but they also went on a retreat specifically designed for them that took place in the Briggs Assembly Center. They were led by the Lasallian Youth Leaders and eighth grade religion teachers Coach Christian Bobak and Coach Austin Ashcraft. At this retreat, Pre-Freshmen participated in games, small group discussions, testimonies, prayer, and Mass.
“The retreats are really the main focus here, they have always been. It’s that real life, tangible experience with the older students, some of their teachers, their experience, their testimony with God, and giving that to the eighth graders, getting them used to that whole format we use that will go all the way up to senior retreat,” Marchese said.
The Pre-Freshmen had an overwhelming response to the two days just for them. These two days taught them what it means to be a Lasallian. These days were an opportunity for them to grow deeper in their faith and give back to the community while, at the same time, coming together as a class.
“It was really fun. They did a really good job. It’s not what I expected. It was better,” Pre-Freshmn Ealon Boudreaux said.
Though their retreat and service day may have passed for this year, they have more upcoming opportunities to grow as a class, such as Field Day to be held later in the school year.