LIFE Team celebrates 50 years of living in faith


Andrew Trapsi ’15

Members of the 2019-2020 LIFE Team represent Campus Ministry at a retreat in Occidental in June of 2019.

Jordan Noeuku ’21, Staff Reporter

Student bonding and leadership training in the Marianist life have taken on another level with the gathering of various LIFE Teams this summer, July 10-19, in San Antonio, Texas to commemorate 50 years of LIFE Team leadership. The program exists in various institutions all over the world, giving students an opportunity to expand their knowledge and share their faith with other people around the world.

Leo Magnaye ’05, Campus Ministry leader, said, “I was a LIFE Team member as a student and it was the strongest I’ve ever felt in faith and bonding with my friends. I still keep in touch with several of my LIFE friends from other schools. In fact, I even went to a LIFE friend’s wedding. I started working at Riordan and wanted to reconnect with the Marianists and be hands-on with the student impact at Riordan.”

In addition, “The event this summer will be new and exciting since we never have one national retreat! We usually have three locations and each location holds the retreat and trains certain groups specifically. This summer we have students from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and everywhere in between PLUS students from Ireland! I’m excited for the opportunity to share our faith, the uniqueness of our cultures and styles, and to bond with people from so many different places.”

Magnaye explained what the team does every year, saying, “We do: MLCs, yearly prayer services, Christmas on Campus (a special program for a local kindergarten school), present Riordan’s student life and faith to special guests and committees that come to observe our school, lead the school in daily prayer, and prayer during special events.”

He added, “We are called upon to represent Riordan at special Masses and memorials and Archdiocesan events. We support all Campus Ministry teams, participate as Crusader Mentors, and lead retreats for sophomores, juniors, and those who already went on KAIROS, and can go as a peer leader.”

Alex Datoc ’87 said, “I am excited for the celebration this summer. I look forward to seeing over 250 students get together and be excited for their Catholic- Mariansit faith, especially our Riordan students. I also look forward to seeing many Marianist friends from all over the United States.”

Datoc added, “The most important activity carried out by the LIFE Team is to create small Christian communities on campus through the MLCs. These retreat-like meetings/activities take a lot of planning and offer ways for students to strengthen their faith in fun and creative ways. In addition, the LIFE Team often represents our school at outside events like Archdiocesan Masses, special prayer services, and alumni events.”

Antonio Maffei ’20 said “It’s an amazing experience unlike any other on campus. To be able to plan MLCs and lead the school in its faith experience is something truly incredible!”

“My experience was amazing! Through the LIFE Team, I was able to meet new life long friends that I will never forget. My favorite moment of the LIFE Team was definitely the summer retreat. Through that summer retreat, I met my amazing girlfriend, some new friend which I know will for sure attend my wedding, and be there for me through life!” He added, “It’s tough not being able to fully finish our mission. I know my brothers and sisters from Hawaii, LA, and St. Louis are very bummed about it as well because I’ve been keeping my LIFE family together! But we will persevere through the flames that the virus has thrown at us and make the best of what has been given to us because that’s what we do!”

He added, “I would give this piece of advice to the next LIFE team! Go into it with an open mind, You never know what you’ll get out of it! Create fun and interactive activities for our school community and get them tuned with their faith. Know that the former LIFE Team is with you through all this and your moderators, Mr. Magnaye and Mr. Datoc are there for you always and for anything! I send all my love and blessings to next year’s team!”