Schools promote observance with service projects, donations and prayer

RecordLogo-FBy Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
October is Respect Life Month, a time of year when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops asks Catholics to give special attention to life issues. Students in the Archdiocese of Louisville have been paying attention and taking part in various activities to affirm life.

Below are some examples of their activities:

  • Ruthie Belza, a freshman at Mercy Academy, spoke earlier this month about ways to achieve peace in the community. Belza was selected as one of the speakers at the Interfaith Paths to Peace’s 20th anniversary gala event Oct. 6 at Second Presbyterian Church on Old Brownsboro Road.
    She told the audience of about 300, including Mayor Greg Fischer, that she believes every individual can contribute to a more peaceful society by doing small gestures. Belza said helping to fight hunger in the community through a contribution to Dare to Care, for example, is a small way to start building a more peaceful city.
    Interfaith Paths to Peace is a non-profit whose mission is to foster peace, increase interfaith understanding and interreligious cooperation through education, programs and events, according to the organization’s website.
    In addition to Belza’s speech, members of Mercy Academy’s “Project Life Club,” run by students to create awareness and promote respect for life, created treat bags that will be donated to kids at St. Joseph Children’s Home. Through the rest of this month students will lead morning prayer once a week where they will offer prayers, asking for people to respect the sanctity of life. Students will also create posters containing Bible verses about the sacredness of life. These will be hung around the school.
  • Students at St. Michael School collected $132 during a week-long “Dollars for Diapers” drive. The money will be used to purchase diapers for Jeffersontown Area Ministries.
    Students also brought in homemade cards containing messages about forgiveness, peace and God’s love to be sent to prison inmates.
    Through the remainder of the month, St. Michael students will collect children’s Bibles and Bible storybooks to donate to the Little Way Pregnancy Resource Center. Sixth- and eighth-grade students will also hear a presentation on the death penalty from Father Patrick Delahanty, who is chair of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
  • Members of Assumption High School’s student-run Respect Life Club shared a prayer with the rest of the student body each morning during the month. The prayers focused on life issues, including abortion, the death penalty and human trafficking.
    Members of the club took part in a field trip Oct. 10 with Ed Harpring, the prolife coordinator for the Archdiocese of Louisville. The field trip included a tour of the Little Way Pregnancy Resource Center, praying the rosary in front of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville and a visit to St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities’ residential maternity home in New Albany, Ind.

Additional photos of student service related to Respect Life Month can be seen throughout the Youth Focus section.

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