All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth...to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others. Pope Francis
Dear Saint Raphael Parents and Friends:
My parents taught me to “care” long before service hours were a requirement. Volunteering was what you were supposed to do. We sometimes wondered why the other neighborhood kids didn’t have to deliver the neighborhood association flyers (which took almost two hours) or sweep the neighbor’s leaves. But we learned to “care.”
The sight of fall leaves brings back those memories and remind me that we need to teach our children to “care.” It is Respect Life Month and Pope Francis calls us to be Moved by Mercy. We have been teaching our children to care and the signs of mercy are visible at Saint Raphael School:
One student asked the teacher if he can help his classmate by tutoring him once a week after school.
I saw two kindergarteners walking to the office, one with her hand gently guiding the other forward to get a bandage for her scraped knee. Her look of concern was so sweetly genuine.
Another student began a collection for St. Vincent de Paul and went to each class asking for small donations that could be given for canned goods. $163 was raised.
An older student asked if he could help carry my pile of lab notebooks downstairs.
Small acts, done with kindness, become a way of respecting the lives of those around us. We have begun to teach our children to “care.” We must not think that we are done yet. There is so much need for mercy and caring in our world. We must empower our children with a deep sense of caring and compassion so that they will truly make a difference.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Saint Raphael Parish is sponsoring a Walk for the Poor this Saturday, October 22, beginning at 9:00 am in front of the church. Please bring a canned food item if you come. The walk is only one mile but it is a reminder that there are those in need in our own city. Please join us for this simple way to say that we “care.”
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is also sponsoring a parish Diaper Drive. The school has participated for the past few years. Mothers with small children are so appreciative of the diapers and have written letters of gratitude to the school. Please consider donating packages of diapers to help these mothers.
As a teenager, I remember saying to my mother, “There are so many people asking for help.” Her reply was, “It must be hard to admit that you have nothing, and to have to ask.”
May we teach our children to “care” as Jesus did by modeling gratitude for what we have and showing generosity towards others.
Lydia Collins, Principal