students recently swapped their first period textbooks for an hour of service and prepared 100 lunches for the Bethlehem Haven women’s shelter in Pittsburgh.
The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders met in the cafeteria of the school in Wexford/Pine Township to assemble ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as pack fruit, chips, bottled water and candy treats into brown-bag lunches for their Catholic Schools Week service project.
The school PTG provided the sandwich ingredients and the students donated the rest. Parent volunteers not only supervised the sandwich assembly line but also delivered the brown-bag lunches to the shelter in time for lunch, in accordance with Bethlehem Haven guidelines.
Catholic Schools Week chair and chief sandwich supervisor Suzanne Maffei was inspired to create this student service project by her mother, Dolores Maffei, a long-time Bethlehem Haven volunteer.
The Maffeis are not the only St. Alphonsus family with ties to Bethlehem Haven.
has a longstanding relationship with Bethlehem Haven dating back to October 2001, when parishioner and school parent Barbara Griffith began a church ministry to the shelter by organizing a monthly meal for residents.
Her St. Alphonsus committee of about a dozen volunteers prepares an entire dinner, then delivers and serves it to Bethlehem Haven one Saturday every month.
Other ministry groups have also joined in to create cards and centerpieces to accompany the monthly meal donation.
Not to be outdone, the younger students at St. Alphonsus were also busy with their own Catholic Schools Week service project.
While the older students were elbow-deep in ham and turkey, the younger ones were busy creating “Valentines for Veterans” as an expression of their faith and good citizenship.
State Sen. Jane Orie sponsors this annual event by collecting handmade Valentines and other small assorted gifts that are then delivered to veterans at local veterans' hospitals on Valentine’s Day.
Catholic Schools Week began in 1974 as a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association, the world’s largest private professional educational association, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This year’s 39th anniversary theme—“Faith, Academics and Service”—focuses on three priorities that Catholic schools establish.
Children are taught faith—not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God. A high standard in academics helps each child reach his or her potential. Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught as an expression of faith and good citizenship.
Pine-Richland Patch encourages readers to submit information about happenings in the community. The information above was submitted by Jill Taylor of Spero Consulting on behalf of St. Alphonsus School. If you have news you'd like to share about your group or event, please email the information and photos to Editor Cindy Cusic Micco at firstname.lastname@example.org