Freshmen Reflect on Many Gifts

Freshmen Reflect on Many Gifts
Carrie Becher, Communications Manager

Build with no sight. Plan with no touch. Supply with no voice.

Now construct the tallest tower.

Provided with marshmallows, dry pasta, and a blindfold, freshmen teams took on the challenge.

As part of the advisory program that takes place in freshman study halls each month, senior compañeros led the Class of 2023 through the tower building activity after an initial discussion on what it means to be loving. Constrained by their assigned roles and the accompanying restrictions, freshmen had to work together to overcome their individual limitations and still accomplish the goal. The builder could handle the supplies but could not see. The planner could instruct the builder’s movements, but could not touch. The supplier could move the builder’s hands, but could not speak.

Afterward students discussed the challenges and the revelations of the activity, and senior leaders read from 1 Corinthians 12.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. –1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Winning teams credited communication and cooperation for their success, and students reflected on the parallels one can draw in our school and our community.

“We use different gifts,” said one freshman. “We have to work together to accomplish the task, but we all have different skills.”

When presented with a starting lineup of celebrity quarterbacks, students agreed that the team might bode well for fantasy points, but not so much for winning an actual game. Recognizing that each person is specialized, one senior summarized, “If you work together to combine all the gifts, you get the best team.”

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. –1 Corinthians 12:18-23

Students later spent time reflecting on their own gifts, the gifts of their classmates, and how those gifts can build up the brotherhood of De Smet Jesuit. Senior compañeros will follow up with the freshmen during homeroom each Wednesday morning during small group discussion time to carry the theme throughout the month.

“Each month we focus on one of the six characteristics of the Graduate at Graduation to give a basic introduction of our Jesuit identity to our newest Spartans,” explained Kelsey Grimm, Spanish teacher and moderator of the senior compañeros program.

“During October we are focusing on loving, as it is our duty to celebrate our own gifts as well as the skills and gifts in each other. We must learn to recognize how our own uniqueness adds to the diversity that makes us stronger as a whole, much like the parts of the body or the different positions of a team.”

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. –1 Corinthians 12:24b-28

For more information on our senior mentor program or four-year homeroom system, please contact our Admissions Team.

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