Walking in faith

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Junior Claire Johnson bows her head in prayer, reflecting on the past year of FOF at Mercy. (Photo credit: Simone Rhodes)

Simone Rhodes, Senior Staff Reporter

The walk into Mercy every Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. comes with a sense of tranquility each week. There is no better time for Mercy’s Focus on Faith (FOF) club to meet. Every week, there seems to be a different group of people, some regulars and some new additions of teachers, staff, and students. Junior Claire Johnston joined FOF this year and has thrown herself wholeheartedly into it, loving every moment.

“[FOF is] a safe place for people to rant about their week and to gain insight on scripture,” said Johnston. “It lets you relate everything you do to God. The people are super chill, and it’s a judgement-free place. You get
insight on daily problems from teachers and friends.”

All are welcome at FOF. Whether one attends Mass on Sunday, is just beginning a faith journey, or has no previous history of faith, FOF is a place of love, respect, and acceptance. This atmosphere is contagious, and partly why Johnston has grown to love attending the weekly meetings.

“My family has never really been into faith,” said Johnston. “We went to church when I was younger, but I really didn’t get much from it. We stopped going when I got older and it was kind of sad. Then I found a church that I thoroughly enjoy going to. I feel like it is my second home and family. It is awesome to see the change in my parents too. At first it was a fight, but now they see how much church has changed my life for the better.”

Outside of going to church and FOF, Johnston also participates in the youth group at Plymouth High School. After being invited by some friends, she now goes weekly and participates in Bible studies and worship nights.

Something that deeply affected Johnston was attending Kairos as one of seven juniors in April.

“I loved getting to know the upperclassmen,” said Johnston. “I will say, we were all intimidated at first. But the seniors really did welcome us. It was awesome. I prayed and thought about it a lot – missing school was a concern – but I knew it was something I was suppose to do. When I got off the bus, a feeling of relief and calmness took place. I am so happy I went. I could not be more thankful to the leaders I had and the people I went with. I can’t wait for next year and being able to lead my class.”

Johnston, along with juniors Rochelle Chezick and Alissa Sweeney, will be leading FOF for the upcoming year. All of them are very excited for the challenge, and for the chance to spread God’s love.