The 20 members of Mayfield’s Campus Ministry Council assembled like professionals at a brown-bag lunch meeting, prepared to tackle pressing year-end matters.
"But first, like everything we do at Mayfield, let’s start with a prayer,” said co-chair Lauren Spensiero ’18. “Lord, please watch over us and guide us with your wisdom through all our tests and quizzes and projects…”
Amen and down to business!
They assigned a team to plan the year-end Liturgy. They discussed how the Communion line was too crowded at the recent Mother-Daughter Mass. Lauren took notes to assign more ushers next year. They made a list of announcements for the next school assembly, including the need for volunteers to work at a homeless center.
As they checked off their agenda items, what emerged is a portrait of young women of faith who are developing leadership skills through service to others. In its inaugural year, the Mayfield Campus Ministry Council has brought a series of creative and decidedly teen-centric services, activities and Liturgies to their school community, and along the way they are learning what it means to be modern-day disciples.
“Part of the goal of the council is to bring our faith alive through service,” said Director of Campus Ministry Teri Gonzales. “At the heart of all we do, we recognize that our faith calls us to service to the school community, and at the same time extending this to the wider community, especially to those in the margins.
“We are about forming women servant-leaders who believe that faith impels us to action, to serve,” Mrs. Gonzalez said. “This is what Holy Child spirituality is all about, ‘Actions Not Words.’ ”
The Campus Ministry team built their own online information page. They brought slideshows, music, dance and even origami-making to prayer services and they highlighted the diverse Liturgical seasons. They are the young women who served at Mass, and facilitated discussions after the school-wide Cornelia Connelly Day of Service.
Yet among their most formative experiences was the simple act of serving a hot plate of breakfast grits and eggs.
Throughout the year, the Campus Ministry Council, who invited all students to join them, ventured beyond the gates of Mayfield and outside their comfort zone to prepare and serve a hot breakfast to homeless at the Union Station Homeless Service in Pasadena.
The girls performed this hands-on work at 6:50 a.m., not during school hours.
“What was most meaningful was that we just didn’t make the food, but we served it,” said Colette Momartin ’19. “When you hand a plate of food to someone and say good morning there is this connection that you make that is so inspiring.”
Lauren Clawson ’20 said her early-morning work at Union Station introduced her to the idea of servant leadership. “Seeing the needs of others and realizing that they are people just like you, but with a difficult set of problems, gave me a new perspective—and getting an hour or two less sleep wasn’t important.”
Campus ministers also extended their early morning service to the St. Francis Center, located on Hope Street in Downtown Los Angeles, again serving breakfast before school.
“At first, I’ll be honest, I had a little fear about serving the homeless,” one student said. “But then you get to talking and having conversations and you form a bond. I found myself really looking forward to it every time we would go.”
So while these young women are all-business during their lunchtime meetings, their actions remain rooted in Catholic social justice teachings and Holy Child values.
Emily Mar ’18 said she did not get the chance to meet anyone when she performed her service. That’s because she was deep inside the kitchen.
“I didn’t mind because it’s part of the process of helping to feed others” she said. “Someone has to wash the dishes.”