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Lauren Schmidt’s Faith Journey at Mercy

Faith can be interpreted in many ways, and it can be very personal to many people. Here at Mercy there are so many different opportunities to express your faith and get involved with various faith based clubs. I had the opportunity to chat with Junior Lauren Schmidt to see how she gets involved with her faith at school. Lauren is involved in the Pastoral Council, so she gets to help plan all of the prayer services and masses. Most of the time, you can also catch her altar serving during our school Masses.
When asked what goes into a Pastoral Council meeting to plan these services, Lauren said, “Before prayer services, Pastoral Council meets to decide on a theme. Some examples of themes may be self love, thankfulness for education, or gratitude in general. Mrs. Miller does the bulk of the work. She writes down all of our ideas in a prayerful manner that keeps the student body engaged and plays into how we can implement the Mercy community into what the theme is.”
Mrs. Miller is the school’s campus minister, and she aids this club in planning Masses, prayer services, class retreats, all things concerning service hours and opportunities in the Omaha area, and so much more. She always puts together great activities for the school and finds great ways for the student body to help out and serve our community. Pastoral Council is open for any grade and all grades a Mercy and it is not required to be Catholic to join this club.
I asked Lauren what might’ve inspired her to join this club and how she knew that she wanted to be so involved in planning these faith service. Lauren replied, “I knew I wanted to be involved in a club that could help me grow in my faith. I believe Pastoral Council helps not only me, but also my peers grow closer to God.”
Pastoral Council is not the only faith based club here at Mercy. There are also clubs like Monarchs for Life, which is our ProLife club that is run by Mrs. Kessler, and the newest club, Cultivate, which is run by theology teacher Mrs. Walters. Cultivate is a new outlet for Mercy girls to enrich their faith, it is essentially a youth group for girls to better connect with their faith.
I then asked Lauren Schmidt how her faith has grown since coming to Mercy and involving herself in these faith groups. She said, “My faith has grown in allowing me to have a personal relationship with God. With my dad’s recurring cancer I had a really hard time understanding how God was at work in my life. Cancer is terrifying to a little kid. My faith really depleted in middle school. Therefore, when I got to Mercy it was a time for me to start fresh and reaccept God into my life.”
One really great thing about Mercy is that during your study hall you’re able to sign out to the chapel and have time to yourself during the day to pray. Not many students utilize this, however, it is great to know that students have this opportunity if people are having an especially tough day. At Mercy we have mass at least once a month and, and, closer to holidays/holy days of obligation we have masses, leading up to Christmas break we have Advent prayer services every week.
Pastoral Council not only has prayer services, masses, and events for holy week, but many more. When asked about the other events, Lauren Schmidt said, “We also work with admissions for events with incoming students and alums. Pastoral Council also does dress days to support our funds and other Catholic organizations in our community. We use those funds to buy products like bread for prayer services or sticky notes for bathroom affirmations.”
The sticky notes left around the bathrooms with affirmations are one of the small details at Mercy that really makes people feel welcome and empowered here. I personally love to look at the little notes when I’m having an especially hard day and need a pick-me-up. As the year is coming to an end, there are only a few events left, including May Crowning.
Lauren said that she really wants to make sure everyone is “hype” for May Crowning, especially the seniors! “This is a super beautiful celebration that the Mercy community participates in every year and I cannot wait for the class of 2027 to participate!”
Have a great mission week monarchs and as Lauren says, “get hyped” for May Crowning! Thank you Pastoral Council for all of your efforts here at Mercy, our faith community wouldn’t be the same without you.
Maura Williams
Junior at Mercy High School.
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