“Small change. Just holding the door open for someone, making peoples’ day. There are a lot of sad people in the world and just one person can make their day a lot brighter.” – Maura Budd, Sophomore , Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls
Over 5,000 students from all 17 high schools within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently gathered at Temple University to celebrate the 2nd annual METANOIA rally.
METANOIA stems from the words ‘to change’.
Father Christopher Walsh, pastor of Saint Raymond of Penafort parish in Mt. Airy, served as emcee of the rally and described the event as a “taste of what the Church really is.”
At the rally, students were given the opportunity to learn about the multi-dimensional outreach of the Catholic church by meeting with chaplains of prison, hospital, college and homeless ministries.
Maura Budd, a sophomore at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, was surprised by what she learned, saying, “We think our lives are difficult and hard and to see that other people are struggling even more than we are, I think it’s pretty eye opening.”
A Mercy Cross, built by students of Mercy Career & Technical High School, united archdiocesan students as it was adorned with 6,000 colored ribbons symbolizing their intentions. They were asked to pray for victims of human trafficking, Syrian refugees, and children starving in Africa and the Catholic Relief Services workers who serve them.
“I think that’s part of the metanoia, to get out of your own bubble, to get out of your own little world and to know that many of their peers across the world are not as blessed as they are,” said Father Walsh.
Camrin Rodriguez, who attends Mercy Career & Technical High School, says, for him, the message is simple: “Everybody can change in their own way.”