Experiencing French culture


This year, the French Honor Society added a new trip, the French dinner cruise, a fundraiser for the club. Photo by Alley Neary

Taking the French experience at Mercy one-step further than regular French courses, many French students choose to participate in French Honor Society (FHS). Senior Abby Cataldi got involved her sophomore year. Her application included a cooking project in which she was required to research a French-speaking region, and then make a traditional dish from the area. Ever since then, she has been a member and says she loves all the opportunities the society offers.

“We go to French restaurants, host immersion day programs, and have multiple opportunities throughout the year to immerse ourselves in the culture,” said Cataldi. “All these opportunities help us to delve deeper into the French culture and language and aid us in getting a better understanding of French.”

Junior Charlotte Bridges also decided to join FHS her sophomore year because she said French has always been one of her favorite classes. She has been involved in many of the activities, including the restaurant trips and fundraisers.

“My favorite memory of FHS was our Mardi Gras restaurant trip last year,” said Bridges. “A lot of my friends went. We all sat together and convinced the waiter to bring us like 13 servings of bread.”

The restaurant trips that FHS offers give members of the society the chance to witness French culture and cuisine outside the classroom. The Mardi Gras trip was located at a French restaurant in Detroit that serves Cajun food. One more way the society has immersed French culture into their activities is through the newly added trip to My Little Pairs, a French bookstore and crêperie in downtown Northville.

“The owner was born and raised in Paris, and had a lot of interesting things to say about the history and culture of the city,” said Bridges.

This year, members also went on a French dinner cruise that raised money for FHS. After Carson’s, the store FSH used to sell coupons for, closed, a member’s dad offered the club the use of his boat and restaurant to create a new fundraiser, as well as a new unique opportunity.

However, FHS is also known throughout Mercy for their infamous annual bake sale. Each member brings in two dozen baked goods to be sold throughout Valentine’s Day week. The officers then organize what will be sold when. Cataldi says that funds from the bake sale contribute to covering costs such as the fee for busses to the restaurants.

“I think the reason that it’s so successful is that all of the goods have to be homemade, and a lot of the girls in FHS are really creative with the decorating and packaging so everything sells really well,” said Bridges.

The members and leaders of FHS are dedicated to furthering their French education through outside visits and incorporating the culture into their lives. Along with taking core French courses at Mercy, these girls are excited to experience French in a different way, and work hard to ensure all members will get the same experience.