Young teens understand Mercy! With prayer, monetary donations, sandwiches and service, the 8th grade class of Saint Nicholas School embarked on a journey they phrased “Dollars Open Doors” to feed the homeless at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph’s Loyola Hall in San Jose, a declared Door of Mercy in this Jubilee Year.
The class accepted donations from the student body in return for fun incentives and raffle tickets. Then on March 18, with a collection of $1,357, the 8th graders first attended Mass in thanksgiving for the monetary donation and the opportunity that was to come. Following Mass, the class assembled and packed over 300 sandwiches. The day continued at the Basilica where some students distribute the freshly made sandwiches at “The Window,” others rolled up their sleeves cooking veggie burgers while many more worked the assembly line of veggie burgers, potato salad, cheese, chips, fruit and water serving a free BBQ lunch to the homeless and hungry. Students discovered stories and compassion as they ate and visited with the poor of San Jose. 8th graders, such as Ryan Kawahara and Victor Critchfield, were especially moved by a veteran who spoke respectfully of our freedoms in the United States calling on students to be good citizens. The day ended with the class giving Sharon Miller, the director of Social Ministry, a check for $1,000. With any remaining money, the class expects to purchase basic needs such as toiletries for the homeless.
Seminarian Francis Kalaw, who joined the students says, “Today, our teens are growing up in a technological culture where there is hardly any interaction or encounter, much less to people who are less fortunate. The greatest thing for me is witnessing how our kids learn something new about themselves by moving out of their comfort zones and knowing how they are capable of doing great things. We have definitely planted seeds of compassion. My hope is to see that bud start to grow as they leave Saint Nicholas School.”