Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. In Catholic elementary and high school, we decorated our classrooms, prepared for our Christmas pageant, and made Christmas cards for veterans and our elderly community. There was an air of love and joy among the students and teachers, which we still see today in the Catholic elementary schools within the Diocese.
Despite the pandemic, we take comfort in trusting God. Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. Let us continue to have trust, optimism and gratitude as “One Faith, One Family.”
I am sure many of our students will be excited to share their letters to Santa with their friends, sing Christmas carols, and decorate their homes and classrooms, but more importantly organize and participate in charitable events and food drives. The need for food and essentials has significantly increased this year for many people in the diocese due to the pandemic.
Saint Joseph School, Baltic will be holding a food drive for Haiti, collecting non-perishable food items. Saint Patrick Cathedral School in Norwich organizes a food drive for St. Vincent de Paul Place as well as a hats and mittens collection for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Saint James School, Danielson held a sock collection for the St. Francis of Assisi Food Pantry. In addition, each classroom brought in canned goods for the annual Thanksgiving food drive, which assisted the food pantry in providing 400 boxes of food for families in town.
Sacred Heart School, Groton coordinated a Box of Joy program. This program was sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach, and previously reached 75,797 children in seven countries including Guatemala and Haiti. The students bring in items for children ages 2-14. They have both a material and spiritual impact on children in developing countries, as these Boxes of Joy are often their very first Christmas present.
Saint Joseph School, New London continued its annual food drive for the Gemma Moran Food Pantry at Thanksgiving. The school held a toy drive for foster children coordinating with the Department of Children and Families, in addition to a sock collection for St. Vincent de Paul in Norwich.
Our Catholic elementary school students recognize that giving is so important, especially because the need for support has dramatically increased. It is imperative now more than ever to do what we all can to help people in our community and around the world.
Your generous donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal allow our diocese to help those in need by supporting our many ministries which provide physical, spiritual, emotional and financial help to those dealing with daily challenges and the added burdens imposed by the pandemic.
Let us follow the example of our students and give what we can to the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal, “One Faith, One Family.” To make a contribution to the ACA, please go online to www.norwichdiocesedevelopment.org or contact Heather Harris, Campaign Manager, at 860-886-1928 ext. 111. Thank you so much for your generosity. Merry Christmas and God bless you.
By Gina Foster