Each year Saint Elizabeth Seton School welcomes Saint Patrick School students and staff to our Founders’ Festival celebration.
Our two school communities join together to remember and honor Saint Vincent de Paul who founded the Ladies of Charity, now 400 years ago, and in 1633 also founded the Daughters of Charity who generously sponsor both of our schools. We plan this day to live out our Vincentian mission of serving others.
Both schools gathered at Saint Albert the Great Church to recall the great works of our founders. We then grouped in grade level classrooms for a quick ice-breaker activity and set to work on pre-selected service projects. Our students and their families donated goods for the success of each project. Beautiful gift baskets and activity packages were made for children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the Ronald MacDonald House at Stanford. Tie-blankets constructed for the homeless; toiletries packaged for the farmers, cards made for the homebound and much more. It was delightful to see the enthusiasm in each classroom as both schools worked to complete their projects together in a relatively short period of time.
After a shared lunch, the afternoon was open for several fun activities amazingly well choreographed by Ms. Hunter and the seventh and eighth grade students. All students pre-selected two activities to participate in and colored wrist bands were assigned to reflect their choices. Lanyard making, Fruit Loop necklaces, Play-Doh and bubble stations, clean house and other ball games lent themselves well to an afternoon of welcoming our visitors.
With close to 530 students that was quite a feat to coordinate!
At the end of the day we all gathered in the church once again to share our service projects, explain who we were helping and how we saw Jesus in our service throughout the day. It was wonderful to hear students freely express their love for serving others.
As we recalled the great works of our founders, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Louise de Marillac and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, we were reminded of the values of faith, love, hope and charity that they lived and shared freely with others. Through their sacrifices and efforts our schools were founded, and we are inspired to continue their work through our own Vincentian spirit. It is important that we, through our example and daily experiences, show respect for others, to help those around us feel safe, and to create peace and harmony with our positive actions. Through our community service projects completed throughout the day we shared our Vincentian values as part of a living, caring community within our two schools.
By living these values within our schools and homes we will create greater harmony in our cities, our country, and our world. If these values truly live within us then each of us can truly make a difference – we are also grateful to the Daughters of Charity who instill these values in our communities today.