Love Thy Neighbor: Spotlight on St. Cecilia

February 14, 2019

In-service days are never just another day off for school staff.

And that was especially true for St. Cecilia Cathedral School staff on the recent in-service day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When our office heard what the staff accomplished, we wanted all parents and parishioners to hear the message and to realize the importance of the Catholic school ministry.  Our schools are places we are proud of – and you can be, too.

On January 21, St. Cecilia Cathedral Grade School staff participated in a morning of service, all centered around a new school theme this year of #loveyourneighbor.

Before school started back in August, teachers put a list together of different theme possibilities and voted on the favorite.  The #loveyourneighbor theme is now weaved into any and all service projects and many other student activities.

Around that same time, Principal Julia Pick and her colleagues began planning for the January in-service day to provide service that focused on the Corporal Works of Mercy.  The staff signed up for one of the three service options:  Making tie blankets for the residents of Via Christie, a nearby assisted living and memory care facility; write thoughtful cards to the widows/widowers of St. Cecilia Parish; or make visits to the homebound parishioners of St. Cecilia.

The afternoon was then spent with team building at a local art shop.  Teachers and staff got to spend time together just relaxing, creating and enjoying each other’s company.

(Note: once the weather cooperates better, kindergarten – 2nd graders will get the chance to deliver these blankets, along with Valentine cards, to the residents of Via Christie).

Below are some pictures from the day.

Additional service projects the school has worked on this year include:

  • Campus Clean Up Day: a morning was spent having both school and parish cleaning up the Cathedral campus, followed by a lunch from the Knights
  • Refugee Family Sponsorship: Several families displaced from the Yale Park apartments were parishioners of St. Cecilia and the school hosted a supply drive and spent a weekend delivering items to affected families.
  • Kindergarten Pumpkin Painting: Students painted small pumpkins with the #loveyourneighbor theme and delivered them around the neighborhood to spread goodwill.
  • School Song: A song that focuses on the theme was developed with the lyrics, “This is my commandment that you love one another, that your joy may be full….” and is sung as the closing song for Friday Masses.
  • Student Council Diaper Drive: More than 15,000 diapers were collected for the Lydia House in November and December.
  • New Quarterly “Sister Cecilia Award”: A Sister Cecilia doll, who looks like one of the founding Dominican sisters, travels around to homerooms who are living out the mission of #loveyourneighbor.  She also goes on a lot of adventures and even does field tips and some overnights with students!

St. Cecilia, we appreciate your community establishing and embracing what it means to indeed love thy neighbor.