Mr. Dontay put his thumb and forefinger in his mouth and blew out a shrill ear bursting whistle. Then he yelled, "Okay everyone, settle down! Settle down." When it finally quieted down, he said, "Welcome back Children of God! This is the first gathering of the school year of the most fabulous teens in Saginaw, Michigan!" The hooting, hollering and clapping teens turned the room back into chaos. Miss Montalvo smiled as she watched Mr. Dontay join in the pandemonium. She could tell he loved it as much as they did.
As she looked over the room full of high school students she couldn't help but focus on one very small girl. She was watching everything with wide-eyed wonder. She had dark circles under her eyes, and very little hair peeking out of a close fitting crocheted hat. It made her look fragile and actually quite ill.
As the students settled down again, Miss Montalvo quietly observed the girl trying to figure out who she was with. Liv Rodriguez sat down next to the waiflike girl and whispered something in her ear. They both covered their mouths and giggled while turning to look behind them at Liv's sister, Kyla, sitting close to Javier.
When she saw they were looking at Kyla and Javier, Miss Montalvo was distracted from her original idea about wanting to help the young girl. Instead, her thoughts turned to young love.
It really was true that girls in high school could change boyfriends as often as they changed their clothes. She could never keep current about who was dating whom! She was a little surprised that Kyla and Javier were an item! They never seemed to pay any attention to each other during the Easter mission trip.
There were so many new teens tonight. Many of them didn't belong to the parish. They came with their friends who were members of St. Mary Cathedral. The staff believed it was vital to reach out to every person, parishioner or not. Bringing the love of God to these students would have an everlasting effect on them. Miss Montalvo was always happy when the students practiced evangelization by extending an invitation to their friends.When everyone quieted down again Mr. Dontay began the night with a prayer, "Lord Jesus, we gather in your name, to do your will. Thank you God for filling this room to overflowing! Holy Spirit, we ask that you fill us with your gifts this brand new school year. First and foremost, fill us with your wisdom to see the good choices available to us, and then give us your counsel to follow them." Everyone said, "Amen."