St. Mary students fan out to help the city

Tyler Clarke
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Fanning out throughout the city, St. Mary High School students spent Wednesday afternoon volunteering at various organizations.


“It helps people who can’t do things on their own,” Grade 10 student Jordan Kirtzinger said while helping clean the basement in St. Mark Parish.

Wednesday’s effort was part of the Catholic school’s recognition of the Lenten Season, science teacher Ray Cederwall explained.

“It’s being part of a community -- that’s important, right?” he asked, to agreement from a handful of nearby students.

“Make yourself a better person -- that’s what we ultimately want to do; be more Christ-like.”

Aiding in students’ refocusing of priorities, teachers encouraged them to follow through on the Lenten season tradition of “giving something up.”

For Kirtzinger, it was looking at his phone less, which means greater attention to his family.

“It’s funny -- we’re losing that human contact,” Cederwall noted.

For Austin Ermine it’s to stop neglecting school work -- something Cederwall commended him for following through on, with all of his assignments arriving on time.

“When we talk about religious education, it’s one thing to talk about Jesus’s works, and it’s another to actually go and walk the talk,” faith development teacher Kayleigh Skomorowksi said prior to the entire school heading out into the community on Wednesday.

“We just kind of come up with different ways to have students connect to what that means as a practicing Catholic, and for us at the school a big part is giving back to the community.”

The goal is for students to carry on the lessons they learned beyond Wednesday, she said.

“They realize it’s a great experience working with other people and putting other people’s needs ahead of themselves, so they realize it’s actually a good feeling and a good thing to do.”

Make yourself a better person -- that’s what we ultimately want to do; be more Christ-like Ray Cederwall

At various non-profit organizations on Wednesday, students the Daily Herald spoke with appeared to have learned this lesson.

In one of the Prince Albert SPCA’s cat rooms, student Jordan Feher said that if not for volunteers many of the important organizations in the city would cease to function.

“I think that it’s very important to help out,” she said. “I don’t think it should just be during the Lenten season.”

To see student and teacher coverage of Wednesday’s afternoon of volunteerism, search #StMaryHelps online at 

Organizations: Catholic school, Daily Herald

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