“How do people know we love them? When we love, we act: we comfort, we help, we show we care….We redouble our efforts during Lent, in a very focused way, in order to develop our spiritual stamina for living our faith well throughout the year. This is how we show both Jesus and our neighbor we love them.” — Archbishop Cordileone
New this year: The St. Anthony of Padua Service Project
This Lent students and teachers will team up after school to put our faith into action and turn plastic bags into sleeping mats to comfort people experiencing homelessness. We will take donated bags, turn them into “plarn” and turn that material into a sleeping surface that is lightweight, insulating and easy to clean.
If you would like to join us in our Lenten service project, please fill out and return the permission form. We will be meeting after school in the library on Mondays during Lent to assemble the mats.
How can else can you help?
Hundreds of plastic bags are needed for each mat. We’re asking families (preK – 8) to send in all those plastic grocery and merchandise bags that can’t be added to home recycle bins. We will recycle them into a soft, sturdy and weather-proof mats. As Benedict XVI reminded us in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole…”
Why St. Anthony of Padua?
St. Anthony is well known as the patron of lost items but the Franciscan friar and Doctor of the Church was also a brilliant preacher and was devoted to serving the poor and hungry. The tradition of St. Anthony’s Bread began in 1890 when a French woman promised she would give bread to the poor in St. Anthony’s name if he helped her find the missing keys to her store. When they were found, she was good to her promise and fed the poor little loaves of bread from her shop front.
“The poor man loses his strength in times of hunger, cold and need,” St. Anthony preached. “His body stiffens, his face pales. But when the warmth of kindness comes, and the help of alms, he regains his strength and gives thanks to God and the giver for the benefit he has received. And so the …avarice is destroyed. The bestowal of alms is the destruction of avarice.”
Remember almsgiving is love in action. Thank you for helping us to help the poor.