By Lili DeGrasse
(Tampa, Fla. – April 16) – Recently, a Cristo Rey Tampa student who was on campus during the weekend said to me, “There is so much going on today!” I smiled at her surprise and amazement. For the first time, she was seeing her school campus for what it really is – Mary Help of Christians Center, a Salesian oratory that is simultaneously a home, school, church, and playground, and that daily lives the mission of St. John Bosco.
She was right about all the activities. That day alone we had a picnic going on by the lake that included kayaking, canoeing, bounce houses, rock-climbing, face painting, a petting zoo, and other games. In the church and hall there were a funeral and repasse. At the youth center, there was a summer camp open house in progress that included tours of the grounds. In the main building and Pitsch Hall an overnight Confirmation retreat was taking place. In the gymnasium, basketball teams were playing. At the pool, there were scuba-diving lessons going on.
The student’s comment also illustrated how, sometimes, each ministry of Mary Help sees Mary Help only from its own viewpoint. For example: This is where I go to school. School is open Monday-Friday. What is all this activity going on that’s not “school”? Who are all these people? It looks like fun. Can I be a part of it?
Mary Help of Christians is a 24-7 place. Its ministries, collectively, make it what it is, and alone none can fulfill the mission. Together we are strong and together we serve, educate, and evangelize the young and those in need. Every day.
Now the body is not a single part, but many. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be?
– 1 Corinthians 12:14, 17-19