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Student Reflection: 5th Friday of Lent

Dominic Tortorello '25 provided the student reflection before Mass on Friday, March 22, 2024. Read his full reflection below.
Good morning, my name is Dominic Tortorello of the class of 2025. And today, I am truly thrilled to welcome you all to this celebration of God during the fifth Friday of Lent.

In today’s readings, there’s a common message about putting one’s trust in God, especially in dire situations. From the Israelites asking for God’s strength in war, to God hearing our pleas for help in our distress, to Jesus trying to persuade those who doubted him by witnessing God’s works through him. In each respected case, we can view God as not only a safety net, but someone to rely upon and trust. He’s the only one who truly understands every single one of us, and his unconditional love can go great lengths to help us. God will always answer our calls for help, yet they will not always be answered in the way we expect. But we have to realize that God will give us the best possible solution.

There’s been a few special instances in my own life where God has heard my distress, and answered. Coming to Fenwick was a tough transition for me. I barely knew anyone, so I stayed close to the few kids I knew coming in. The time I spent with these friends was great, and I was happy. Sophomore year came around, and we started hanging out less frequently. I'd make an effort to talk to them during school or at least hang out with them once a week, but I could tell they just weren’t enjoying their time at Fenwick. Then halfway through the year, I had the bomb dropped on me. Two of my closest friends, who were part of the reason why I was at Fenwick, transferred. I felt like I failed them as a friend, and over this period of time, I was confused. I lost my sense of belonging at this school, and began asking questions such as “where do I fit in?”, “do my classmates even like me?” and “why am I here?” I was considering transferring also, but there was one factor that kept here, and that was God.

Now, I truly believe that he put all of us here for a reason: to succeed in life and in our relationship with Him. At this time, I started attending Sunday Mass more frequently, and it gave me clarity. God works in mysterious ways. For me, that was getting myself involved in new activities. I was no longer concerned about other people’s perceptions about me, and decided to pursue activities that actually appealed to me, not to the person I was trying to be. In the absence of peer pressure, I tried out for volleyball, a sport that I thought would never be my thing, and I loved it. I’d be downplaying it to say it genuinely hasn’t changed my perspective on Fenwick.

And I know what you’re thinking, is this kid really saying volleyball is why he's still here? And to put it briefly, yes. I made great friendships, became confident, and finally found my sense of belonging here. It became a place where I felt valued, and it helped me manage still coming here. While Fenwick is a large community of faith, we sometimes encounter God’s love the most in the smaller groups or activities we do. God had a plan for me, not in the way I expected, but in the best way possible. And since then, it’s been mostly uphill. I still manage to reach out to my old friends, and although it’s more of a rare occasion, the time I do spend with them is phenomenal. Through the experience of me trying out volleyball, God answered my prayers and showed me that he has a plan for me.

God has a plan for all of us. We all are bound to go through tough times, but there’s one person we can always count on: Him. For me, the knowledge of His love gave me the courage to take risks, and it worked out. To take something away from my story, it’s to know that God will always be there to hear out your problems, and help you solve them. It may not make sense to you then, but in retrospect, you’ll be glad you followed through.  Although this phrase I’m about to say may seem extremely corny, I believe it perfectly represents today’s message, and that message is: “Trust God, Bro.”
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