The “Walk to Emmaus” is a three-day journey meant to bring about spiritual renewal and faith formation. On October 3rd, 2019, 60 Bishop Montgomery juniors participated in our version of this, a one-night retreat to a remote high desert monastery near Palmdale. On this retreat, eight seniors in the Campus Ministry religion class gave personal talks about friendship, family, characteristics and values, suicide, and death. The seniors led a group of 6-7 juniors to a private place after each talk to discuss each member’s own experiences with the specific topics. Heartbreaking confessions, realizations of gratitude, and inspiration for the future characterized the small group sessions, as these courageous students opened up to each other and to themselves.
Personally, this event was one of the most iconic events of my high school life so far. Everyone became so real to each other as they shared their stories in their group and we all saw the sides of each other that are normally hidden. The realization that many people around me are going through similar struggles as I am gave me the reassurance to relax and respect the process of growth, which inherently involves struggle. I also understood how privileged I have been to live the childhood my parents have given me. I’m very grateful for this and Emmaus has caused me to be aware of my blessings and show my gratitude to them.