Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

By our love.

Every teacher knows that December is crazy.  There is just no way around it.  There are extra assemblies, concerts, programs, and at a Catholic school, lots of prayer services.  Sometimes it can be hard to focus on what is really important in the holiday season:love.  It’s what Christmas is really all about- God loving us, and us loving God and others.

So every Advent season for the last several years, my principal has coordinated with the office of Catholic Family and Child Services in our town to have each class sponsor a family in need at Christmas time.  This year each class sponsored a family and the staff did as well, for a total of 11 families.  Throughout Advent we collected gifts and food and necessities and wrapped them all to be delivered to families in time for Christmas.

On the last day of school before the break, which was a snow day this year, teachers and staff loaded up trucks and cars to deliver all the presents.  It took 3 trucks and my subaru to deliver all the gifts to CFCS.

But here’s the part you can’t show in pictures or in numbers.  Every day during Advent, without my prompting, our Christmas family was loved and prayed for.  During morning prayer, one of my students would remind us of the names of the 3 children in the family we sponsored so that we could pray for them to stay healthy and safe.  Each parent dropping off gifts would comment on the courage and love of the grandmother who had relocated to raise 3 small children.  When we were reflecting in prayer journals, one student suggested that we add our family to the list of reflection topics.

That’s what service does.  It makes us a part of the bigger community and forces us to think beyond ourselves.  It teaches us to love.  I am so grateful to work in an environment and for a principal that understands how important this is.

If you are interested in pursuing a project like this with your class, comment below and I can add some of the logistics.

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