To observe Catholic Schools Week and acknowledge the importance of Catholic Social Teaching, two New Haven Area Catholic Schools collaborated in a project to feed the hungry. Nine young men from Notre Dame High School, West Haven, traveled to Saint Francis & Saint Rose of Lima School in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven on January 30 to make sandwiches for homeless people residing at a local shelter. The event was organized by Notre Dame Religious Studies teacher, Michael Abbott, St. Francis & St. Rose first grade teacher, Jessica Jennings, and sixth grade teacher, Jessie Simpson. Participating Notre Dame students were members of the Christian Students Mission Club. St. Francis & St. Rose students are members of the school’s recently-formed Social Justice Club. There are 15 third through eighth grade students in the Social Justice Club. A Cooperative Parish Sharing grant was received to create this new program at St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima School.
Michael Abbott commented: “Having grown up in Fair Haven, I appreciate the important contribution St. Francis and St. Rose of Lima Parishes and the school have made to the quality of life in their respective neighborhoods. I was delighted to hear that Saint Francis-Saint Rose of Lima School had established a Social Justice Club that will examine issues of concern in the community. Our collaborative effort was a unique learning experience for our Notre Dame students.”
Notre Dame High School provided what was needed to make the sandwiches. The program began with a prayer and reflection lead by the Notre Dame students. The sandwiches were delivered to Immanuel Baptist Shelter on Grand Avenue.
“Our students wanted to affect change in their community and decided on fighting hunger. This collaboration with Notre Dame High School highlights what is best about Catholic schools -- working together as disciples of Christ doing good in the world. Taking time out to help those in need is an important part of our Catholic mission. To partner with another school that shares our same values was inspiring for our students here at St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima and for the Notre Dame students. I look forward to creating more opportunities for our two schools to come together on future projects,” stated Taryn Duncan, Principal of St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima School.