Martin S: I chose the element “Evangelize Youth within the Mission of the Church” because I believe it applies to me the most. I have been involved in many retreats and groups through my years at Rice ultimately supporting my mission for the Church. I have been on two Kairos retreats, mission trips, numerous shelters, and am a peer minister. Being a participant and leader on Kairos helped to find who they really are spiritually and it helped me to find who I am deep down. Attending mission trips and shelters help me to spread love around the world by giving to the poor and homeless. Lastly, being a peer minister has helped me to serve my highschool as one who younger kids can look up to while they are trying to find their mission in the church.

Tyler C:  Proclaim & Witness to Catholic Identity stands out most for me.  When I started class in Freshman year, I considered myself to be an atheist. I heavily doubted the existence of a higher power. As I progressed through sophomore year, I started believing in the existence of a higher power, but I did not believe that it was the Christian God. My experience on Kairos changed that. What I felt on Kairos is unlike anything I have ever felt before. It was warm and comforting, and I knew it was God. It felt like I could see the Holy Spirit flowing around and in each and every one of us. I felt in tune with God’s Creation in a way that I never felt before. I was still me, but I understood my place in life so much better through just a few short days that felt like weeks. Kairos means God’s time, and that couldn’t be any closer to what I experienced on the trip. I witnessed my own faith coming back to me.

Owen G:The willingness to Stand in Solidarity with those Marginalized by Poverty & Injustice has shaped who I am as a person at my time at Rice. Through Love without Boundaries, Helping Hands, Fear the Beard, and Edmund Rice Camp, I have helped serve others in my community and those around the world. This element stems from the idea that we are all children of God and therefore all deserve the same dignity. When I see a person struggling or know there are struggles around the world, I feel an empathic connection to that person and want to help them. I believe that the most important thing about Brother Rice is instilling these values in students so we can go out and truly put them to use in our careers. Watching teachers and students do their part to stand in solidarity with those marginalized has motivated me to follow in their examples and do the same. I would not be the person I am today without their guidance. I have looked up to Richard Godsel and Jimmy Calcagno as they have led the school in service and academics. I felt this calling to continue in their footsteps at my time at Rice. I want to continue this pursuit in college and for the rest in my life, to stand together with everyone around the world as brothers and sisters.

Martin M: The 7 Essential Elements of a Christian Brother Education are very honorable. I find them honorable by themselves, but I find them even more respectable knowing what Edmund Rice and his students had to go through to just to get an education. A banner in the gym says Edmund Rice is a man for our time. I completely agree. The world could use more people like Edmund Rice. Edmund was courageous, kind, and generous. Of all the Essential Elements, I like the third one most: Stand in Solidarity with those Marginalized by Poverty and Injustice. In my time at Brother Rice, I have been able to participate and witness many situations where this Essential Elements was lived out. 

I joined the Advocacy Club at Rice, and I was able to help in activities that helped the helpless. Through the Advocacy Club, we raised money and awareness for kids in Cambodia living rough lives. These kids have limited foods and don’t have many luxuries people around the world take for granted. All that these kids want is to get an education and provide for their families. Through our efforts at Rice, I hoped we made a difference for these families. I saw a few pictures of the kids who had enough money to get school uniforms, and it was heartwarming to see how their uniform was their prized possession. The kids made me think about what I take for granted sometimes, and I hope one day these kids can get out of the extreme poverty they currently live in.

Jack F: I chose Foster & Invigorate a Community of Faith because that is exactly what Brother Rice did for me. Whether it was a sporting event or a mass, the school made it easy to stand behind the things they put forth. Faith was not pushed, you were only invited to join in faith. The culture and environment made it almost impossible to not immerse yourself in all that faith had to offer. I slowly loosened the reins as I saw what the community of faith had to offer.

Charlie K: Foster & Invigorate a Community of Faith gives me the opportunity to learn, grow, and a place to be with God. Throughout my four years at Rice, I felt I had the opportunity to grow closer to God. I became closer to God through mass each month, the missions, and everyday theology class. Teachers would find ways to educate us about God and as result I feel I became closer to God. During my time at Rice, I would attend mass at my parish every Sunday and was able to become closer to God. I didn’t attend mass on a regular basis until I got to high school. Rice was a place where I was able to learn and grow my faith during class, mass, and missions.

Dan G: Celebrates the Value & Dignity of Each Person & Nurture the Development of the Whole Person” is an element I believe I can tie closely with my experience at Brother Rice. Most of the teachers at Brother Rice will not only take interest in you or your success in their class, but the overall success of your life in general. They make sure you aren’t missing assignments and that you’re staying on track. I know this from experience as I have faced rough patches in school before and instantly had teachers get on me about it. They really take responsibility for you and want to make sure that their students are doing the best they can and never selling themselves short. When people know that they are surrounded by people who want the best for them, the atmosphere is very desirable, and I believe it’s why I grew to enjoy coming to Brother Rice each and every day as my high school career moved forward.

Sean J: The Essential Element “Celebrates the Value & Dignity of each Person & Nurture the Development of the Whole Person”  has had a profound impact on me during my time at Brother Rice. I have come to realize the value of all human life. I have become a staunch anti-abortion advocate because Brother Rice has taught me to value all life. It has also certainly nurtured my development as a human. Through playing basketball, I have learned time management while physically challenging myself. I have become stronger and faster. Through taking 8 AP courses, I have nourished my mind, and qualified many of the things I’ve learned with fine details. I have also nourished my spiritual life. Praying before every class and having invigorating theological discussions has encouraged me to take on a more challenging and demanding spiritual life. 

Tom C: The essential element that means the most to me is Collaborate and Share Responsibility for the Mission. Not only did I enjoy watching all my peers take on their responsibility for the mission, but I also thoroughly enjoyed taking responsibility for my part in the mission. I was extremely involved with Brother Rice, especially during my senior year. From wrestling to student council to NHS, Brother Rice was an extremely big part of my life. My involvement was my way of sharing responsibility for the mission. However, no person’s role was the same as my role and my role was not the same as anyone else’s. Even though we all had a different role to play in the mission, everyone at Brother Rice was able to collaborate and share their responsibility in the mission. I am proud to say that I was part of and will continue to be a part of a community as special as the one that is Brother Rice.

Jack D: The Essential Element that impacted me the most at Brother Rice was “Pursue Excellence in all Endeavors.” However, I didn’t truly understand this until the summer transitioning from sophomore to junior year. At this time, I was recovering from a knee surgery. Throughout this process, I began to realize that in order to make a difference and be successful, it takes time, effort, and discipline. This was an epiphany for me. By understanding this, I understood that nothing that I wanted in life was achievable by giving less than full effort. To pursue excellence in all we do is extremely rewarding, and over the past couple of years, it has brought me to places that I could have never imagined in regards to my social, athletic, and academic life.

Declan M: The element I am choosing to write about is Pursue Excellence in all Endeavors. When I think about or look at the 7 essential elements, this one always stands out to me. I remember hearing Mr. Alberts say it time and time again when he is speaking to us, and I feel that out of all of them I live by this one the most. Brother Rice has given me a great foundation and has taught me how to pursue excellence in all endeavors. Whether it is in the classroom, on the court, or out in the real world, I know that in order to achieve my goals I must work tirelessly and passionately at my craft or my dream in order for it to become a reality. I believe that the staff at Brother Rice has allowed me to pursue excellence in all endeavors by believing in me, motivating me, and pushing me to the best person I possibly can in all things I do.