Service, spirituality mark Lent for young Catholics

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz visited Holy Trinity School on March 2 and spoke to second-graders, above, about the Eucharist. He told students he would pray for them as they prepare for their first Eucharist on April 17. Presentation Academy Junior Abby Shipley, below, received ashes from Father Christopher Rhodes during an Ash Wednesday service at the school. (Photo Special to The Record)

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz visited Holy Trinity School on March 2 and spoke to second-graders, above, about the Eucharist. He told students he would pray for them as they prepare for their first Eucharist on April 17. Presentation Academy Junior Abby Shipley, below, received ashes from Father Christopher Rhodes during an Ash Wednesday service at the school. (Photo Special to The Record)

Young people around the Archdiocese of Louisville are participating in a variety of spiritual activities and service projects during the Lenten season.

For starters, elementary and high schools in the archdiocese are taking part in Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Rice Bowl program.

The CRS Rice Bowl is a Lenten program for school and parish communities which focuses on praying, fasting and almsgiving. Seventh-graders at St. Nicholas Academy have already raised $1,207 for the Rice Bowl program.

A number of other elementary  and secondary schools participated in activities or hosted service projects during Lent. A listing of submitted items follows:

  • Several schools, including Holy Cross High School and St. Leonard and Holy Trinity schools,  held Lenten reconciliation services.
  • Holy Angels Academy second-, third- and fourth-graders made rosaries that will be sent to the “imprisoned in a foreign country where there is the most need for them,” a news release from the school said. The effort is being coordinated by Our Lady’s Rosary Makers, whose international headquarters is in Louisville.
    In addition, Holy Angels  students donated free-will offerings to the Missionaries of Charity who serve the poor in Eastern Kentucky. All students also are praying the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent.
  • St. Leonard School students are participating in a special Lenten prayer service each day during the school’s morning assembly.
  • First-grade students at Holy Trinity School filled Easter baskets with donated items and treats for the clients of the Schuhmann Social Service  Center at St. Martin of Tours Church.
    Holy Trinity fourth-graders collected money to purchase baby care items and supplies for young mothers. Fifth-graders will visit the Masonic Home to visit with residents and present them with Easter crafts and gifts.
  • Eighth-graders at St. Nicholas Academy led the Way of the Cross for Young Christians at St. Michael Cemetery March 11.
  • St. Mary Academy and St. Bernadette Church collected funds to support teachers and students of St. Louis de Gonzague Church and St. Veronique School, the parish’s sister parish and school in Haiti. St. Mary students also collected more than 60 boxes full of composition notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, coloring book and backpacks for students in the sister school.
  • St. Bernard School sixth-graders made rosaries for the school’s annual Father’s Mass, which will be held on March 18 in honor of St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19. The rosaries will be blessed by Father Robert L. Stuempel, pastor of St. Bernard, and given to the fathers of middle school students at the Mass.
  • St. Joseph School in Bardstown, Ky., hosted Project HOPE (Helping Our People Eat), the school’s annual Lenten tradition. Students collect canned goods which are donated to the local St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.
  • Students at Sacred Heart Academy were given a piece of cloth on Ash Wednesday and instructed to write down “something in their lives that was inhibiting them from a relationship with Christ,” a news release from the school said. The girls “offered up” their cloth when it was time to receive ashes.
    The pieces of cloth have since been tied together to create a rope and laid at the foot of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the school’s foyer. The cloth rope will be use during the school’s Holy Thursday prayer service next week.
  • Eighth-grade students at St. James School in Elizabethtown, Ky., presented a Passion Play March 15 at the parish. The hour-long performance included the Lenten hymns “Were You There?” and “Lord, Let Me Walk,” accompanied by a dance performed by students.
  • Sophomores at St. Xavier High School participated in a Lenten retreat hosted by CrossRoads Ministry. During the retreat, students ate lunch and spent time with guests at the Arthur S. Kling Center.
  • Religious education students from Dixie Catholic Faith Formation (DiCaFF) participated in the Stations of the Cross March 9 at Incarnation Church. DiCaFF is comprised of 130 students from Incarnation, Mary Queen of Peace, St. Lawrence and St. Paul parishes.
  • Presentation Academy students participated in weekly Lenten activities. Each day of the week focused on a specific “fast.” Meditation Mondays — fast from fast-paced lives and become more centered. Table Tuesday — fast from gossip and judgment of others. Welcoming Wednesday — fast from regular lunch table cliques and sit with someone new. Thanksgiving Thursday — fast from self-centeredness and be mindful of others. And Flip Phone Friday — fast from social media and be present to others.
  • Second-graders at John Paul II Academy worked with the Knights of Columbus to collect food for Dare to Care. John Paul II sixth-graders made origami hearts divided in puzzle pieces for the number of school days in Lent. On the back of the hearts, they have written Lenten promises about ways to be better classmates. On Good Friday, the students will write reflections about how they will continue to keep their promises.
  • Eighth-graders, under the direction of Father William P. Burks, pastor of St. John Paul II Church, will present the “Passion of Our Lord” to the school and parish communities on Good Friday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the parish’s Goldsmith Lane campus. All are welcome to attend.

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