"MARISTAS UNITE! - Marist Youth Gathering 2k18" by: Catherine Gregory

Updated: Jun 15, 2018

This year five sophomores and juniors were selected to participate in Marist Youth USA’s Marist Youth Gathering. We all left our School on Friday and before we were on our way we picked up Pace High School from Florida, another Marist school. To break the ice we played some music to try and get everyone hyped up for the weekend ahead. We played everything from Beyoncé and Bruno Mars to Disney. By the time we got to Marist College we all were talking about is it LAUREL or YANNY. You could tell we all were excited for the weekend.

Pictured: (left to right) Zoelle Bennet ‘20, Alexis Anosike ‘19, Catherine Gregory ‘19 Jonathan Chevere 19, Josue Vasquez ‘20, Rafael Martinez ‘19, Jaden Lintag ‘19, Eduardo Aguilar ’20

So we all got to our dorms and met our roommates…

We had some great dinner and ice breakers with our different groups. We had a school fair for the different schools where each school got to show off themselves and give off some school merch. Each student got a brochure from each school and the first one to answer all the questions about each school got a prize. Our very own Alexis Anosike was on point with her answers won a Marist Youth Coffee Cup! After this we had a snack,evening prayer, then went to bed to get ready for our next big day!

Saturday morning we all woke up at 7:30am. We ate breakfast together and with our fellow Maristas. Then there was morning prayer outside with the young adults giving a presentation about Jesus. Our very own music ministry, including Rafael Martinez and Catherine Gregory, sang a few songs for everyone. This was followed by the first keynote of the weekend with Brother Ed. He talked about Marcellin Champagnat’s life story. He explained the importance of keeping his spirit alive in all of us. Former Marist graduates who made something out of their experiences with Marist keep his legacy alive for others.

After lunch and a little more music from the music ministry there were 2 rounds of workshops lead by Brothers, Marist Adults and Campus Ministers. There were some workshops on our dreams and inspirations and then there were physical workshops were you had to trust the people you were with. With faith you trusted that they would lead you the right way. Then there was dinner,another workshop, and a school check in where our Marist Bayonne group came together and talked about how the weekend was going so far.

After the check in it was time for the Music Ministry to showcase all of our talents and we put on a concert. There were solos, there were duets, Catherine Gregory and Rafael Martinez did a duet together. They did an a cappella version of “Rather be” by Clean Bandit. The concert was a big success. All of the Music Ministry was able to showcase their talents. The crowd joined in on the fun too! Then there was a snack, evening prayer, and Lights out for the night.

It was Sunday morning our last full day with each other and a long day ahead. It started with breakfast and a walk down to the field. There is where we had morning prayer with the prayer group doing a choreographed dance. After morning prayer we all separated into our teams 1-20 and then the 18th Annual Champagnat Games began.

It was incredible! There was an array of games from laser tag to human ring toss with a hoolahoop, to human hungry hungry hippos to one of my favorites , water balloon volleyball! It was a great time, an experience to remember. Later that day after lunch, free time and another keynote, mass and a workshop round. Our very own Ms. E lead one of the workshops. It was truly interesting. Later, it was time for the BBQ and the dance. We all went into the cafeteria, enjoyed the buffet and got hyped up for the dance. While we were still eating some kids go their speaker out and started blasting music and some teachers and young adults started dancing. The dance had not even started and there was already a party! The music for the dance was for everyone, there was Spanish music, French music, Jersey club, a square dance. Everyone was happy. And if that was not enough, there was ice cream too! After the dance we all went back up to the chapel and had Taize prayer. It was a very relaxing way to end off a great night.

Then the dreaded day had come, it was the last day of MYG. It was a sad breakfast but still a fun one. The kids from Mexico started to sing their national anthem so of course the Canadians had to do the same thing. The Americans followed with our own. A lot of pride was shown that morning. After breakfast we had a short school check in and we talked about our experience and what we want to take from this weekend to bring back to our school. There was a lot to learn and a lot to take back to #MHS in #Bayonne. Then we had our last Keynote of the weekend. This one was conducted by Ellen Salmi, a former Roselle Catholic graduate. She talked about how Marist changed her life and about what we can do to help people even at our young age. Also what we have to take away to help us from being held down so we can pursue our dreams. That day we were given bags with a pink shirt in it. We all wore them and took a group picture with everyone that participated. Then it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and say goodbye to the wonderful experience that is #MaristYouth2018. Photos and Article By: Catherine Gregory

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