Saturday, June 16, 2012

Meet the Team! VITA 2012-13!

Hi everyone!!

I hope everyone is having a phenomenal day!! As I've said before, I am just SO EXCITED to get started on this new year in Campus Ministry. Last year, we had such a successful year, with all of our events, retreats, faith sharing groups, etc. That's why I am so excited to start this year- getting involved is so important to your college experience and we want to make the experience that much easier for you!! Sometimes, however, you don't know where to start!! No worries, because the next couple of ECM blog posts will be introducing you to many of the people that take part in making these groups, retreats, and events occur throughout the school year!!

Number one thing is: WE ARE HERE TO HELP!!

So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to VITA Team 2012-13.

Alexandra (Alex) Byrne, Junior
Nicknames: Vitamin C (with Maura!!)
Major: Psychology
From: Mamaroneck, NY
Campus Ministry Involvement: member of Emmaus and LEAP retreats, Way of the Cross, Eucharistic Minister, and Lector
VITA Program She Leads: LINK
Favorite VITA Event: All of them!! One of my favorite things in the world to do is organize and plan events, so planning many of the VITA events this year was amazing!!
Fun Facts about Alex: 
-I love making new friends, hugs, and adore welcoming and bringing people together to make them feel at home!!
-I am a social media addict- feel free to tweet or fb me :)
-I can rap Kanye West's "Gold Digger" (ask me to do it sometime hahaha!!)

Maura Grogan, Junior
Nicknames: Mouse, MM, Vitamin C
Major: Computer Science
From: Fords, NJ
Campus Ministry Involvement: Coordinator, Altar Server, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, member of Emmaus retreat, LEAP Team, Way of the Cross
VITA Program She Leads: LINK
Favorite VITA Event: Toss up between Snowflake Semiformal and End of the Year Picnic.
Fun Facts about Maura: 
-I'm accident prone.
-I'm a wiz at names- I can usually remember your name after meeting you once.
- I love peanut butter/ chocolate anything!

Lauren Murphy, Sophomore
Nickname: Murph
Major: Psychology
From: Bronx, NY
Campus Ministry Involvement: member of LEAP retreat, Way of the Cross
VITA Program she Leads: LINK
Favorite VITA Event: Absolutely love the VITA Girls Night Sleepover and the End of the Year Picnic!
Fun Fact about Lauren: I used to want to be a Nascar driver aka the new Danica Patrick!

Katie McNally, Junior
Nickname: Pocahantas (Po)
Major: History
From: Dedham, Mass
Campus Ministry Involvement: Way of the Cross, LEAP Team, member of Emmaus retreat.
VITA Program She Leads: Connections
Favorite VITA Events:
-Snowflake Semiformal- hey, it had amazing chocolate fondue!
-Move in Day, welcoming the first years!
-Cookies and ice cream after mass!
-Girls Night Sleepover!
Fun Fact about Katie: My nickname is Po, given to me by Alex Byrne, because of my signature Pocahantas hair styles and my love of the movie!

Katelyn Whitman, Junior
Nicknames: Kate, Sassylady (SL), Whitey
Majors: History/ Theatre
From: Meriden, CT
Campus Ministry Involvement: Way of the Cross, LEAP Team, Altar Server, Eucharistic Minister, Lector.
VITA Program She Leads: Connections
Favorite VITA Event: Snowflake Semiformal. I just love the opportunity to dress up and have a dance party with friends!
Fun Fact About Kate: One of my pinkies is hyperextended!

Merrill Poor, Sophomore
Nicknames: MERRILLPOOR! (Hahaha when Alex is very excited to see her!!)
Major: Psychology
From: Mont Vernon, NH
Campus Ministry Involvement: Liturgical Choir
VITA Program She Leads: Dessert and the Divine
Favorite VITA Event: Halloween Pumpkin Carving! I carved a Deathly Hallows pumpkin!
Fun Facts about Merrill: I have goats and love the Jonas Brothers!

Alex Brenock, Sophomore
Nickname: MOA (My Other Alex :)
Major: Psychology
From: Medway, Mass
Campus Ministry Involvement: Liturgical Choir
VITA Program She Leads: Dessert and the Divine
Favorite VITA Event: Pumpkin Carving! It was my first Campus Ministry event; it was so much fun meeting new people and having fun together!
Fun Fact about Alex: I'm the same height as Shakira!

Tracy Peterka, Senior
Nickname: TRRRRRAACCCCYYYYY!! (You'll understand when you meet Tracy- everyone is always so excited to meet her that you elongate her name for years- she's just that lovable!!)
Major: History
From: Newport Beach, California
Campus Ministry Involvement: Way of the Cross, Taize, member of LEAP and Emmaus retreats, Eucharistic Minister.
VITA Program She Leads: Connections
Favorite VITA Event: the Girls Night Sleepover in the Upper Room
Fun Fact about Tracy: I am on SMC Fire and Rescue and can drive the fire engine!

And last, but not least, is the wonderful Anna Lester!! Anna is our amazing campus minister/ fearless leader with whom VITA would not be possible today!! She is the nicest, kindest person and what all of us involved in VITA love about her is that she is always there for us, no matter what!! Anna is the best SMC VITA mom anyone could ask for!! I absolutely recommend that if you're interested in Campus Ministry, go to her office, sit down on her comfy couch and talk to her- she always has the best advice and is always willing to help you get involved in whatever way you're comfortable with. Her email is 

What I think is so wonderful about SMC in general is how easy it is to approach people about getting involved. We want you, as people interested in campus ministry, to feel comfortable if you see us in the halls or in the middle of Alliot on the sandwich line, to get in touch with us and feel okay about asking questions- were always here to help and always happy to talk to you about anything you may be interested in pursuing!!

Please feel free to ask VITA any questions via Formspring or Twitter or email us individually!! We'd love to hear from you.

-Alex :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VITA Events!!

Hey Everyone!!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the summer!! I can tell you for a fact that I'm really missing SMC and can't wait to start planning for a new year.

To get you excited, I wanted to let anyone interested in VITA in on a couple of our fabulous events throughout the year. While VITA is greatly involved in peer ministry and faith sharing groups, we also love to have a ton of fun throughout the year as well!! We have an amazing "Social Team" which plans these amazing events- from pumpkin carving, a semiformal, movie and ice cream nights, and an end of the year picnics at the Waterfront...


Here are some pictures from this years events :)

Pumpkin Carving 2011!!

Cookie Making and Sledding 2011
 Snowflake Semiformal 2012!!

VITA Movie Night!!

                                                             VITA Bake Sale!!

The best part about VITA is that it is so easy to get involved, no matter what part you're interested in- we are always so open to new ideas, leadership, and members, so never hesitate to join us!!

-Alex :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Liturgical Choir trip to Portland, Maine!

Hello everyone!

My name is Marci Wood, and I am a sophomore here at Saint Michael's! I am involved in campus ministry through some of the retreat programs that we offer, and am a member of the liturgical ensemble here on campus (I play the violin!).

Every year, the Saint Michael's Liturgical Ensemble (made up of the choir and instrumentalists) travels to different places to play at Catholic high schools and parishes. In the past, they have traveled to Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and many other states. This year, the trip was to Portland, Maine, and it was the first trip to Maine ever! It was also my first time going on the trip, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.

In preparation for the trip, we practiced A LOT. In addition to our weekly rehearsal, the weekend before the trip we played at 3 masses - one at a local church on Saturday and both masses at Saint Mike's on Sunday. All that practice payed off though, because we were prepared to play and sounded great! Here is a basic run down of the trip schedule:

Thursday: Left Saint Mike's at 4:45pm, had an approximately 4 hour bus trip to Maine (with a pit stop at Pizza Hut!!!!), set up at the high school we were playing at in the morning, and checked into the hotel around 11:30pm.

Friday: Play at 2 high schools in celebration of Catholic schools week, eat dinner at Courtney's (a member of the lit choir) house - her parents prepared dinner for all of us and it was SO GOOD! Seriously, the best mac and cheese I have ever had in my whole life.

Kayley with a lion statue
outside one of the high schools!

Priests play basketball? At SMC, you bet!

Emma, Merrill, and Alex!

Saturday: We had some free time in the morning (aka do homework), ate lunch at a really cool restaurant inside a boat, played at the 4:00pm mass at a local parish, and then set up at Courtney's parish where we would be playing the next morning.

Kayley and me!

Kayley inside the restaurant!

Sunday: Woke up early to load the bus and headed over to play at our final mass of the trip. Then, Courtney's family cooked us breakfast at the church - delicious pancakes and fruit salad! We departed Maine, and arrived back at SMC around 4:30pm.

One of the BEAUTIFUL churches we played in!

The entire wind section and Matt, who plays percussion

The trip was such a fun experience, and I am really glad I was able to go on it. Liturgical choir has been such a fun way to get involved at mass here at SMC - everyone is so friendly and nice!! If you like to sing or play an instrument, I would definitely recommend joining lit choir!

The Lit Choir!!

I'll leave you with a few videos I took (just a warning - I took them on my phone and was located directly behind all the percussion, so that's why the sound quality isn't the best). Enjoy!!

If you have any questions about liturgical choir (or anything about SMC!) feel free to contact me! Hope to see you on campus in the future. :)