St. John Primary / St. Theresa Middle School is part of a partnership of Catholic schools made up of nine parishes. The partnership began in 2003 with the St. John Primary / St. Theresa Middle to serve each other through Catholic values, striving for spiritual growth and academic excellence, according to a press release.
In 2013, the partnership with the school church lent itself to encouraging students to help the community by having a parish adopted by grades two to eight.
Throughout the school year, parish priests from different parishes visit schools to celebrate class masses with the students and their parents. Visiting pastors come to the school and also organize school-level reconciliation services for students during the school year.
“We have twinned classes with parishes to further encourage our students to serve in the church,” said Kim Lacinak, religious education coordinator. “Parishes / parishioners have always supported our schools and we wanted to give back.”
The school year is busy with students giving back to the community. Grade 2 classes at St. John’s Elementary School created birthday bags for the St. John the Evangelist Food Bank. They give cake mixes, frosting, disposable baking tins, candles, birthday plates, birthday napkins, utensils and sprinkles. On their retirement day, the students gathered the donations to create everything needed to celebrate an anniversary.
“Birthdays are very important to second graders, and they are always very excited to throw a birthday party for someone in need who may not be able to buy a cake,” he said. said Nicole Bernard, second year teacher. Students also make birthday cards to put in the birthday bag.
On the day of the retreat, they deliver the birthday bags to the food bank and have the opportunity to ask questions and see how the food bank is helping others.
The third-grade class from St. John’s Elementary School took a field trip to St. Mark’s Catholic Church to plant flowers in the meditation garden and make rosaries for the homebound children at St. Mark.
Fourth grade classes made frames so that children making their first Eucharist at the Holy Rosary would have a memory of their special day.
The fifth year helped St. Anne’s Church prepare the Easter egg hunt for its parishioners as well as make Christmas decorations and cards to put with St. Anne’s food drive bags.
St. Gabriel’s Church asked the grade six class to take field trips to Carville to celebrate Mass with Reverend Charles Landry in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Students travel to the National Hansen’s Disease Museum and learn about the medical history of the Carville Leper Hospital and learn about the faithful service that the St. Gabriel Church community has rendered to those who lived there.
Since 2014, seventh grade students have been bused to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in French Settlement for a day of spiritual growth and service. Father Jason Palermo spends the morning giving the students an interesting presentation on the history of the church and the city. The pupils take part in the mass then the work begins. Students dug trenches, cleaned the interior of the church, pressure cleaned buildings, pruned trees and weeded flower beds.
When asked what she thought of her recent service project experience at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Grade 7 student Cécile Braud said, “It was a lot of hard work, but it was hard work. was fun because my friends were there. I was proud to know that there would be a church wedding this weekend and the bride would be happy to see the flower beds cleaned up.
The eighth grade class assigned to Saint Teresa of Avila helped pick up and distribute provisions for the pantry, clean up the cemetery, and Reverend Eric Gyan polish the tabernacle, candlesticks and benches inside from the church. Father Gyan works alongside the students, asking them about their families and interests.
The school gives back to children and young adults in parishes in the area by organizing an annual night of praise and worship. The evening begins with a free pizza dinner, continues with an energetic experience combining music and prayer, and ends with a rite of Eucharistic adoration. This year it will be 6 to 8 p.m. on November 11 at St. Theresa Middle Gymnasium. All students in grades six and up are invited to the night of song, praise, worship and entertainment. Sign up for Praise and Worship by visiting www.sjp-sta.org under News and announcements.