CFW: Friday

Well, today is the last day. 🙁

We had a small group of people show up for Morning Prayer this morning. It was a very, very tired Morning Prayer. But, it was still pretty cool to do because waking up and praising God through praying the psalms is pretty cool. We even talked about St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, whose feast day is today.

So, for those of us who didn’t get up to be ready for Morning Prayer at 7AM this morning, we didn’t need to be at breakfast til an hour later than usual. When I went back to the guys’ area to finish packing up my stuff, I had the privilege and honor (from Hedg) to wake up the other guys’ rooms. And I love creativity when it comes to waking people up. I really wanted to pull up The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” song on my iPhone and play it as loud as I could for the guys, but alas, I didn’t have it on my phone. Instead, I went with the next best thing…

…turning the lights on and off followed by a dramatic reading of the chorus line from Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Yes. It is true. The torture (or awesomeness?!) is enough to wake anyone up. 😉

Following a breakfast of champion leftovers, we all went off to our work sites. Today, we went to Mission: Arlington, which is a ministry dedicated to providing material needs, basic healthcare, and basic education for the poor in Arlington right next to UTA. Our small groups split up between helping clients in the store, sorting clothes, and sorting school supplies. I decided to go sort clothes since I have lots of experience in sorting clothes at a similar ministry closer to home.

When I walked upstairs where they stored a bunch of clothing donations, it was a little difficult to find walkways to walk around the boxes and boxes of unsorted clothes. It took us a little while to decide on a game plan and then execute the game plan because it was difficult to know where to begin! x_x

We decided on separating winter and summer clothes. All the winter stuff we would bag and set aside, and all the summer stuff we would places in boxes to be sent to the store downstairs later.  Because it felt like we weren’t making any progress after a while, we decided that we would at least try to stack and organize the chaos of clothes donations.  So many bins, so little time.  I’m sad that I didn’t find any clothes to try on because I didn’t find any skirts in my size. Oh well, but I’m glad that a guy A-Teamer was able to find something that fit him.  Didn’t match, but who cares?  Haha.

Two hours later, we stopped working to head off to shower. Today was a half day because we needed to help clean up back at St. Vincent De Paul.

But, apparently home site’s job today was to clean up around SVDP so there was a ton of down time after everyone showered.  What most everyone did was take pictures and sign each other’s branded blocks. Or nap. Or play games.

At one point, we took a group picture of the whole camp, and I squeezed in a quick picture with my group from SEAS before the closing Mass.

Not pictured is the five minutes waiting for the camera to work


Bishop Vann came to celebrate daily Mass with us. As many times as I’ve been to a Mass with Bishop Vann, I’ve never been to a daily Mass with him and with a small gathering of people. Cool stuff. He asked questions during his homily like he does with a Confirmation Mass.  Luckily, we passed the test! 😀

After Mass, we received our CFW crosses, watched a sideshow, sang more songs, dismissed, then cleaned up.

Then after everything, there was a lot of taking pictures, hugging all around, etc.  Our SEAS youth minister had showed up at the end of everything, and so both he and I were conversing with whoever.

Well, so camp ended at like 7:30PM.  I didn’t leave SVDP til close to 9:30PM because I stuck around to talk to everyone who stayed behind, it seemed.  Haha I guess I couldn’t just…leave.

In conclusion, I had a pretty amazing week.  I now see why people speak so highly of Camp Fort Worth.  It was pretty awesome getting to know a bunch of different Catholics and having the opportunities to serve others.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to share this experience this week with everyone there–in a way, I felt like a camper as well, even though I was a chaperone/adult leader.

I think the one recurring theme throughout the week was taking these experiences back home.  The thing with any type of retreat/mission experience is that you have to return back to the real world.  Have I changed?  Have I grown deeper in my relationship with God?  Do I find Jesus not just in the temple, but in every person that I encounter, no matter how different my life is from theirs?

I’ve had all week to reflect on Camp Fort Worth.  Thus, it deserves one more blog post.

Many thanks and blessings to those who made Camp Fort Worth at St. Vincent De Paul possible!

Take it home.
– JD