It is the weirdest thing waking up with a Virgin Mary statue staring at you while you realize where you are.

That is the first sight I saw after going to a confirmation sleepover retreat, I spent the whole night playing games at the ministry center at St Columba. I ended up sleeping on the ground after a long night of bonding activities and woke up early not believing that I slept at my church.

I didn’t really know what to expect since this sleepover retreat was for many different purposes. But two of the main things this retreat was for to build community and doing community service. it was mostly a time for teenagers that believe in the same faith to get together and have a good time.

Lately I have been doing more in the St Columba church; on Friday (day before my retreat) I went with my dad to interview St Columba’s pastor, Father Mario Elias.

I observed the way a real interview for a news story is done. I think the most interesting part of the interview was that he is just like any other person. To me I see a priest as almost like an immortal person, I see them higher than regular people since they have a strong calling to faith. But even Father Mario admitted he felt very insecure when he started as a priest in the St Columba parish two years ago. But just recently this year he has finally felt comfortable and at home in this church now that he feels that many St. Columba church goers appreciate the way he speaks in the Masses.

It was also interesting to know that when he is not doing Masses or visiting the sick, he goes to the movies. He also is starting to play golf and really likes relaxing by walking around the church at night.

It was a long weekend. I spent parts of three days at the church. Friday I got to hear Father Mario's story and his take on the Serra Mesa area. On Saturday I spent the evening at the retreat and stayed overnight. Sunday morning I went to the childrens Mass.

It was a very tiring three days but it was meaningful.

-Bianca Sanchez-

Father Mario Image

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