HUNGER FOR JUSTICE

April 19, 2019: IMPORTANT UPDATE 4.16.19

As we progress into Holy Week and look forward to commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus this weekend, we are writing to share information about the annual Hunger for Justice event at St. Mary’s.
 
Although the traditional Hunger For Justice program will not be offered this year, St. Mary’s is offering Good Friday events in a revised format. 

The St. Mary’s program will proceed with the following Good Friday activities.

1:30 p.m. 

  • Meet at Short Beach in Nahant for welcome, explanation of the day and opening prayer. 
  • Walk Nahant Road carrying the cross and praying the Rosary

3:00 p.m.

  • Attend Good Friday services at St. Thomas Church in Nahant

4:00 p.m.

  • Marian Division Students to be picked up at St. Thomas Aquinas by a parent
  • High School students proceed to St. Mary’s (transportation will be provided)
  • Eat a meal donated by Brothers Deli of Lynn
  • View “The Passion of the Christ” 
  • Engage in discussion and prayer

8:30 p.m.

  • Event concludes 

The program will end with the final events on Friday evening. There will be no Saturday events this year. Students are responsible for getting to Nahant Beach by 1:30 p.m. Friday and being picked up at St. Mary’s at 8:30 p.m. We will transport students from St. Thomas to St. Mary’s after the Good Friday service.
 
On Saturday evening, everyone is invited to join the 7:30 p.m. Service of Light on the Lynn Common followed by the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary’s Church at approximately 8:00 p.m. Please note that these events are independent of Friday's activities and attendance is voluntary. 

We are confident that this event, as in the past, will provide participants with the opportunity for meaningful prayer and reflection on the supreme sacrifice made by Jesus at Calvary and the joy and hope that the resurrection offers for us all.
 
Thank you for your understanding and we wish you and your families a blessed and happy Easter.

Sincerely,

Father Brian Flynn, Pastor, St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart
Dr. John F. Dolan, Head of School
David Angeramo, Associate Head of School

ABOUT HUNGER FOR JUSTICE

The Hunger for Justice retreat is a 35+ hour event leading up to Easter. Students begin with a beach prayer service and a final meal before beginning their 30 hour fast. Fasting allows us focus less on our bodies and to connect instead with the spiritual. Students often appreciate the challenge of not eating for 30 hours, and have a deep sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of the fasting time.

During the fasting retreat, students play group games and participate in spiritual reflections, but the primary focus of the retreat is the "homeless experience." Attendees build and spend the night in their own homes constructed out of cardboard in gym and cafeteria. The following day, we take a trip into Boston to hand out food to the homeless of Boston, then continue with service activities before attending the Easter Vigil mass. The event ends after Mass, followed by a giant feast to break the fast.

Hunger for Justice Leaders Retreat

This meeting is for leaders and staff of the Hunger for Justice retreat. The leaders retreat lets the leaders get to know one another, as well as show them how to lead students in group activities and discussions.

When we wake on Saturday morning we begin our day of service. All 350 participants board busses for Boston. Once there we hand out food, drinks, socks, hats, and gloves (that have been collected at the parishes) to the homeless at Boston Common, behind the Franciscan Shrine on Arch Street, and at Pine Street Inn. Before and after serving at each site, where the high schoolers not only hand out the food but also talk with the people and hear their stories, each participant hears a talk about healing grace and is offered the Sacrament of Confession at Arch Street. It is an amazing and heavenly thing to see so many youth receive the Sacrament of Penance and talk about how wonderful it is!

Early in the afternoon we return to the North Shore and divide into smaller groups in which we do several hours of service at nearly twenty different locations – food pantries, family homes, homeless shelters, and parishes. We do a variety of work including cleaning windows, yard work, organizing food and clothing donations, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, and work in the parish churches. Throughout the whole experience the youth interact with the people that they are serving and are able to hear their stories and share their lives with one another. It is these experiences that the youth remember from year to year and that they share with their families and friends. After the many service projects are completed we come together to process and discuss the service experience that we have just engaged in. The reflections from the youth and adults are phenomenal!

Hunger for Justice concludes with the Easter Vigil Mass – some groups staying at St. Mary’s in Lynn and others returning to their own parish – followed by a Resurrection party and celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.

Each year the students enter into the suffering and Passion of the Christ through this retreat. They experience His presence in the people that they serve; they experience His life saving grace in the Sacraments; they see His mission being lived out in their parishes; and they live out John Paul II’s call for the new evangelization by calling others onto participation the following year.