Senior prayer day 2017 – the end of an era

Susan Peters , Writer

On March 3, 2017, Xavier seniors altered their usual 5th and Highland travel routine and instead drove to Mount Claret for their final prayer day. With a clear blue sky and nice weather, it was a beautiful day, perfect for the meditation, reflection and gratitude that followed.

Mass was first on the agenda. Mr. Wyman played guitar and sang throughout the ceremony, which made it all the more special. A visiting priest gave a humorous and meaningful homily and the Class of 2017 experienced the comfortable familiarity that being part of a community can lend.

Afterwards, the seniors returned to the main rec room at Mount Claret. We watched a humorous and nostalgic skit performed by senior student council and listened to the visiting priest speak about the huge transition we are about to experience. Next, we split into groups, taking turns between listening to Scripture with Father Kevin and walking the Stations of the Cross with Mrs. Patterson.

Finally, the moment we were all waiting for arrived. We received the letters we had written to ourselves at every previous prayer day. For many students, it was humorous to look back on the musings of their past self. I, for instance, incorrectly predicted the 2016 Presidential Election results in my letter from the first senior prayer day.

About her experience, Brittany Robinson said, “Opening letters from my past self was super awesome! It was amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a person… I was shocked at how much my freshman self had foreseen.”

Alex Murray added, “My letters from freshman and sophomore year were hilarious—my only goal back then was to have a boyfriend by senior year. But my junior and senior letters made me cry—I had told myself to cherish the time I had left with the people around me. It hit me pretty hard then that in a few months, I won’t see my friends every day, or even very often.”

The final prayer day was our favorite of them all. By the end, we felt closer to God and each other and I will always remember the surreal uncertainty of opening the letters from my past self and using them to motivate me about the future. In the words of Alex Murray: “It reminded me how precious and fleeting this time is.”