Let Justice and Mercy Start With Me
We continue to receive stories from families, donors, and students who are sharing their first-hand experiences of how they are overcoming the global pandemic in creative ways. Even amidst the current movement for racial equality, the students of St. Athanasius School in Long Beach are incredible examples of what it looks like to take action and stand up for what is right and just!
St. Athanasius School in Long Beach is combining community connectedness with creativity through virtual assemblies, prayer services, and competitions. In May, students and their families competed for first place in our “Living Masterpiece” contest by recreating world famous works of art using only themselves and materials they had at home.
The winners of the St. Athanasius first-ever Living Masterpieces Contest were brothers Samuel (6th grade) and Robert (kindergarten), recreating Carlo Crivelli’s Saints Peter and Paul.
This week our community “attended” via live-stream a presentation of the AquaSmart Water Safety Program in preparation for the warm summer months coming up. As distance learning continues, we are excited to be moving toward more student led and directed meetings and activities. Our student council, SALT (St. Athanasius Leadership Team) has stepped up to host our weekly assemblies via Google Meet, and have just challenged students to prepare “Quaran-tivities” in the form of posters, slides, or videos for next week’s assembly to showcase what they and their families have been doing, discovering, and generally experiencing during the “Safer at Home” order, as well as highlighting their favorite distance learning moments and achievements.
Also, each week, a class presents a prayer service they have planned and practiced in which we are all able to participate. Our prayer services focus on themes from both the liturgical and secular calendar, so most recently we have celebrated Our Lady of Fatima, The Feast of the Ascension, Pentecost and Memorial Day.
As the whole world has once again been so vividly reminded of the racial inequality that exists among us, staff and students are preparing a prayer service at which we will join our voices together to ask our Lord to guide us, enlighten us, and strengthen us as we each promise to personally and actively stand up for what is right and just for all. Our students traditionally plan and implement projects and programs to raise awareness of social injustice and to contribute to the well-being of others through various initiatives. Some of these moments have shown our students raising over $900 in coins to help patients being treated for leukemia; providing over 1,000 pair of socks to homeless people; and collecting and arranging delivery of food, clothing, blankets and money to the people in Mexico impacted by the severe earthquakes. We are extremely excited about this prayer service which will be focusing especially on the injustices most recently brought to the forefront of our minds and hearts this past week. Our hope is for the prayer to serve as the initial step in undertaking an intensive, action-oriented racial equality and social reform educational program.
Please enjoy the following photos of the entries who participated in the final showdown of the aforementioned Living Masterpiece contest held at St. Athanasius School in Long Beach.
If you are moved and inspired by our Catholic school students, please consider joining us in supporting the countless families and students attending our Catholic schools by visiting www.cefdn.org/donate-now