At their core, Catholic schools are called to serve the poor and vulnerable. Saint Lucy School students and faculty worked to honor this during Catholic Schools Week 2017. They set aside their textbooks, and focused an entire school day on peace.
Students began the day in their classrooms discussing the meaning of peace and how they see it around our home, our school and in our communities. They created symbols of peace by making paper doves to hang around Saint Lucy School and Saint Lucy Parish Church.
Next, the Pre-K through eighth grade classrooms all took part in creating handprints as part of the global outreach campaign that asks people from all around the world to help send a message of peace to the Syrian refugees. This campaign, namely
www.reachouttosyria.com wants to show the people of Syria that people around the world are aware of their plight and we do care.
The campaign asks people from all around the world to send their hand prints to this organization. The plan is to get enough hands printed that, if they could be laid side by side, they would create a human chain of hands that would reach from the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to Aleppo in Syria. They estimate that it would take 10 million pairs of hands to create this chain.
In preparation for this project, some of the grades were given background information about the refugees in Syria. Students in grades 5-8 participated in a simulation where they walked the walk of refugees. They had to pack a suitcase with six items and begin their journey much like the refugees do everyday. Through this experience, the students imagined the hard decisions these people have to endure. Students also listened to their Spanish teacher Caroline William’s personal story of being a refugee from Nicaragua. The power of this experience brought to life the amazing struggle that refugees face daily.
Later in the day, the school came together in a prayer service for peace led by our pastor, Father Mark Arnzen, who shared “When it is hard for us to find peace in our hearts, peace with our neighbour or peace in the world, we turn to Jesus, Prince of Peace to show us the way.” The students sang beautiful peace songs accompanied by their music teacher, Mrs. Fernandez.
After the prayer service, our eighth graders led their Family Groups of students from all grades to create a peace message video. Eighth grade leaders uniquely designed and edited a short film which showed what peace meant to each child in their group. These films will be played throughout the classrooms each day to remind us all how to live in peace.
We are happy to share this peace message with you. We also asked our grandparents and grandfriends who visited campus for the annual Saint Lucy School Grandparents Day to create a handprint.