02 May Student Trip to DC: Days 1 and 2
As we announced last April. we were awarded a grant from Catholic Extension to take a group of students from Ft. Belknap to Washington, D.C. The trip, entitled “Catholic Colleges and Cultures in the Capital City”, was open to applicants in grades 6-11. The themes of the trip were the universality of the Catholic faith, discerning our personal vocation, and how to succeed in college. We originally had 12 students and 5 chaperones scheduled for the trip, and though a few dropped out the week before, we ended up with 10 students and 4 chaperones.
We left the Mission at 2:30am on Saturday April 22nd and arrived at Reagan National Airport where the groups, made up of one chaperone and 2 to 3 students, were met by their host families. Saturday evening was spent enjoying dinner with the hosts, getting to know each other, and going to bed early after a long day of travel.
On Sunday morning, we rode the Metro to Capitol Hill to celebrate Holy Eucharist with the African-American community of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian. The church was filled with the sounds of praise and worship from the phenomenal gospel choir, soloists, and musicians. Msgr. Charles Pope preached a wonderful homily on the four pillars of the Christian life found in the Acts of the Apostles: Scripture, Sacraments, Prayer, and Fellowship. The community was so warm and welcoming to us, and many greeted the students and wanted to know more about their life in Montana.
After Mass, the group traveled to Georgetown University to attend the 5th Annual Pow Wow hosted by the Native American Student Council. The afternoon included talks by Native leaders, dancing, food, vendors, and contests.
On Monday, we returned to Georgetown University for an official campus tour, lunch at the Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall, and Mass at Dahlgren Chapel. After Mass, we met with Jessica Ciani-Dausch, Assistant Dean of Georgetown College. She shared her experiences in college and law school, as well as her current work advising college students. The participants were able to ask her all sorts of question about how to get into college, how to pay for college with grants and scholarships, and what kinds of degrees are good for various types of work. It was a very informative session.
Next, we attended an undergraduate course called “Religion and Politics” taught by E.J. Dionne. The lecture was perhaps a bit advanced for most in our group, but it was still a valuable experience. After class, we reflected on what the group had noticed about the professor (he was knowledgeable, could talk a lot about the subject, and was always learning more by reading books) and about the students (they were paying attention, taking notes, and not falling asleep).
After sitting in class for almost an hour and a half, the group deserved a treat! So we headed down to M Street, stopping for cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes. The Ft. Belknap Tribal Council made a generous donation to each participant, so they were able to purchase gifts and souvenirs at the many shops on M Street.
Check back for details on Days 3 and 4!