Tuesday, September 6, 2011

VITA Orientation Weekend 2011

Hi everyone!!

My name is Alex Byrne and I am a Sophomore Psychology major and SMC Blogger. What you may not know about me is that so much of my life in college has been dedicated to the programs within Edmundite Campus Ministry.

When looking at colleges, I looked for a place that would help me grow, not only as a student, but as a friend, and a compassionate leader. I wanted a place where I could enrich my passions for community service and peer ministry, but most of all, I wanted to find an accepting place where I would feel included and welcomed.

Saint Mike's was just that perfect fit :)

My first year at SMC, I was so warmly welcomed by MOVE's amazing directors,
Heidi St. Peter and Erin Bodin and constantly presented opportunities to volunteer for projects through MOVE (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts.) Whether it be dancing the night away at the Senior Citizen Prom, going on the MOVE First Year Apple Picking, or spending my Monday nights playing Bingo at the local nursing home, I really enjoyed getting involved in giving back to the community.

VITA became my second family. Coming in as a new student, I was extremely shy and a bit afraid of getting involved with things, even though I was really passionate about them. However, from the moment I went to my first VITA meeting, I felt at home and felt as if this was where I was supposed to be. VITA includes so many programs, from serving at 11am and 7pm Mass as lectors, choir members, Eucharistic Ministers, and alter servers, our weekly faith sharing groups, LINK, Dessert and the Divine, and Connections, semester retreats such as LEAP, Busy Student retreat, and Emmaus, and workshops throughout the year, I met so many amazing friends, gained so much confidence, and grew greatly in my faith.

Looking back, I could not imagine my life without Campus Ministry. The opportunities they have and continue to provide me with are endless. Now, as a Sophomore, having the chance to welcome and include First Years as I was so included last year is one of the best feelings in the world. So, when Anna Lester, SMC's Campus Minister (and my SMC Mom :) emailed me if I was interested in helping out for VITA at this year's Move-in and Orientation, I was soooo excited!!!!

The VITA Team got the chance to move in the Wednesday and our schedule was set like this:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
1pm-4pm – Meet in Anna's office in Alliot
Gather and reconnect, talk about our summer
Discuss outline for week coming up
Go over Fall Activity List and VITA Calendar
Tackle the “To-Do” List of crafting
Bake food for move-in day
First Year Letters
5pm - Pizza

Thursday, August 25, 2011 – Wear VITA shirts all day!!
8am – Breakfast in Upper Room
9am-3pm – Walk in Residence Halls with food/water in the Residence Halls
9am-1pm – ECM/VITA table in Ross Sports Center
11:30-2pm – Free lunch in Alliot with First Years and Families
5pm – Family style dinner in the Upper Room

Friday, August 26, 2011
9 or 10am – Breakfast in Upper Room
11:30am – Orientation Mass
12pm – Lunch in Upper Room
1pm-3pm – Finish “To-Do” List and writing letters to first years
6pm – Family style dinner in the Upper Room

Saturday, August 27, 2011
8:45am – Quick bagel breakfast
9-1pm – Join MOVE Core Team for Service Project at Rock Point (bag lunches)
1pm-5pm – Prayer and reflection as a group at Rock Point
6pm – Moe's!!!!!!

Overall, a very busy schedule, but totally worth it!! Here are some pictures :)

Derek and Abby at the ECM/ VITA Table in Ross during Move- in!!

Taylor and Melissa at Ross!!

The Rock Point School in Burlington, where MOVE and VITA joined together to do a Saturday Service project :)

Maura, my VITA partner in crime, mowing the grass at
Rock Point.

My great friend, Melissa, cutting the hedges at Rock Point.

Three of my closest friends, Abbey, Angelica, and Allyson, all members of MOVE's Core Team, on the front steps of Rock Point.

My roomie from last year and good friend, Bri, with my "big sister" Tracy, and friend, Sarah, having lunch together on one of the big rocks bordering Lake Champlain :)

Now, an extremely important part of VITA programs is reflection. As we said goodbye to the MOVE team, we all sat by Lake Champlain and just reflected on the work we had done the past couple of days. On the left side, you can see my friend, Katie and myself on the right side- who wouldn't feel relaxed and reflective in such a beautiful place?

Tracy, reflecting and reading one of the Scripture passages Anna gave to us earlier in the day :)

My friend, Denise and I, reflecting together about our faith and goals :)

VITA Team 2011!! From left, Denise, Melissa, Tracy, Me, Katie, Maura, Abby, and Taylor.

VITA Orientation weekend was one of the best weekends I've ever had at SMC. The closeness, compassion, and fun felt that weekend was priceless and I couldn't have had a better time :)

Please feel free to reach out to VITA on Facebook or Twitter- we're always so happy to hear from you!!

Sending you all my best wishes,
Alex :)

No comments:

Post a Comment