Erie Catholic schools are focusing our Catholic Schools Week celebrations around three key outcomes of Catholic education: strong moral character, skills for academic success, and a zeal for service to others. Students are engaged in activities around these themes – and are making an impact beyond their schools through service projects. Here are some highlights of the service work happening this week:
Blessed Sacrament students collected items for Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary, a local cat rescue shelter that operates solely on donations. Students spent their time and, in many cases, their own money purchasing needed supplies for the shelter, including cat food, cleaning supplies, food and water bowls, toys, treats and litter. Students throughout the entire school contributed, from Pre3 to Grade 8.
Our Lady of Peace chose to support Emmaus Soup Kitchen, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. Located in Downtown Erie, the soup kitchen serves approximately 250 meals each day to all who come. OLP students collected and delivered various food items, drink mixes, cleaning supplies and personal care items to support the soup kitchen’s work.
Saint George hosted a guest speaker who informed students about the many ways in which the Erie City Mission serves more than 145,000 men, women and children in Erie annually. Students then coordinated a Winter Weather Wear Drive collecting socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. They also assembled care packages of homemade baked goods, fresh sandwiches, cheese and peanut butter, each sent with a colorful handmade card.
Saint James School took the time-honored tradition of a CSW Pajama Day to a new level, not only encouraging teachers and students to wear their pj’s to school, but also encouraging them to donate a pair to a child in need. School families also gave money to help purchase sleepwear. More than 70 pairs of pj’s and $500 are now on their way to help children in the Erie community.
Saint Jude sixth- through eighth-graders brought in personal care items and prepared “Blessing Bags” of diapers, wipes and other items for families at the St. Benedict Child Development Center. Preschool through Grade 5 students also collected items and assembled “Jared Boxes” for children who are hospitalized.
Saint Luke’s school community took on the challenge of preparing the evening meal for Emmaus Soup Kitchen – enough minestrone soup, sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad and chocolate chip cookies to feed 250 people. School families donated all of the ingredients, right down to the spices, and each grade level was responsible for preparing part of the menu. Students also decorated placemats and made snack-size bags of candy and cookies. And teachers put their own touch on the effort, getting together to make more than 10 huge pans of lasagna for Emmaus to serve their guests.