Fanning out throughout the city, St. Mary High School students spent Wednesday afternoon volunteering at various organizations.
‚ÄúIt helps people who can‚Äôt do things on their own,‚ÄĚ Grade 10 student Jordan Kirtzinger said while helping clean the basement in St. Mark Parish.
Wednesday‚Äôs effort was part of the Catholic school‚Äôs recognition of the Lenten Season, science teacher Ray Cederwall explained.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs being part of a community -- that‚Äôs important, right?‚ÄĚ he asked, to agreement from a handful of nearby students.
‚ÄúMake yourself a better person -- that‚Äôs what we ultimately want to do; be more Christ-like.‚ÄĚ
Aiding in students‚Äô refocusing of priorities, teachers encouraged them to follow through on the Lenten season tradition of ‚Äúgiving something up.‚ÄĚ
For Kirtzinger, it was looking at his phone less, which means greater attention to his family.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs funny -- we‚Äôre losing that human contact,‚ÄĚ Cederwall noted.
For Austin Ermine it‚Äôs to stop neglecting school work -- something Cederwall commended him for following through on, with all of his assignments arriving on time.
‚ÄúWhen we talk about religious education, it‚Äôs one thing to talk about Jesus‚Äôs works, and it‚Äôs another to actually go and walk the talk,‚ÄĚ faith development teacher Kayleigh Skomorowksi said prior to the entire school heading out into the community on Wednesday.
‚ÄúWe 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.‚ÄĚ
The goal is for students to carry on the lessons they learned beyond Wednesday, she said.
‚ÄúThey realize it‚Äôs a great experience working with other people and putting other people‚Äôs needs ahead of themselves, so they realize it‚Äôs actually a good feeling and a good thing to do.‚ÄĚ
Make yourself a better person -- that‚Äôs 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‚Äôs cat rooms, student Jordan Feher said that if not for volunteers many of the important organizations in the city would cease to function.
‚ÄúI think that it‚Äôs very important to help out,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it should just be during the Lenten season.‚ÄĚ
To see student and teacher coverage of Wednesday‚Äôs afternoon of volunteerism, search #StMaryHelps online at www.twitter.com.