Stewardship theme marks Bishop Rhoades’
visit to Queen of Peace School
By Karen Clifford
MISHAWAKA — The feast of St. André Bessette took on added joy for the students and parents of Queen of Peace School as Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades joined them for an all school Mass and school visit on Jan. 6. And it was fitting that St. André’s dedication to the poor and the sick coincided with the school’s emphasis on stewardship through service, outreach and the care of earth resources.
During Bishop Rhoades’ homily at the Mass, he spoke of how Brother André’s position as his congregation’s doorkeeper and devotion to Christ drew people to seek his advice. “A lot of people who came to see him were sick and poor and they asked for his prayers and many of them were healed,” Bishop Rhoades remarked.
Bishop Rhoades tied the feast of St. André Bessette with the Mass reading from the first Letter of John where loving God and the love for one another are inseparable. “If you really love God, you are going to love God’s sons and daughters.”
When he asked first graders at the Mass how people can show their love for God, answers included saying prayers, extending someone a hug and giving someone chocolates. Laughter from the congregation and Bishop Rhoades ensued, and afterwards he explained to the students that he used to live near Hershey, Pa., where many chocolates are made.
The school’s emphasis of stewardship was evident as Bishop Rhoades toured the school. Tina Dover, principal of Queen of Peace School, noted that service projects are carried out by individual classes, student council Spirit Days and students involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society (affectionately referred to as Minnie Vinnies).
In the past few months the Center for the Homeless received gently used toys from grades 1-5, and new mittens, hats, gloves and scarves from middle school students at Queen of Peace. Preschoolers offered their support through a blanket drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Student Council sponsors a school Spirit Day at least once a month where students pay $1 to wear jeans and a Queen of Peace Puma shirt to school with the proceeds going to the Center for the Homeless.
Laurie Haverty, adult leader of the school’s Minnie Vinnie program, stated that the group distributed 35 holiday food baskets to those in need in the local community, and a food drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which netted 2,600 food items. In October, the group sent packages to seminary students at Mount St. Mary’s which included candy, homemade saint cards and tree of life leaves.
“The ‘leaves’ that we sent were leaf cutouts and we asked the seminarians to place a name of someone who has passed away on the leaves and return them to Queen of Peace. Each year, the school has a large ‘Tree of Life’ painted on the glass by the school. The students place their own leaves (and this year those of the seminarians as well) on the tree and we pray for these people all throughout November,” Haverty explained.
Stewardship is also seen through the school’s emphasis on the sustainability of the environment. Second-grade teacher Gabriella Layman introduced her class to the meaning of the word “sustainability.”
“I explained that we are using less of something to get something more, whether that applies to using less water, turning off the faucet while they are brushing their teeth and turning off lights. We just did our New Year wishes and half of the things that they said were using ‘sustainability’ to save our earth,” said Layman.
A savings of $500 on one month’s school electrical bill was achieved by turning off one of the two light switches in class each day, she added.
Father Daniel Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Parish, emphasized that keeping the Catholic identity of the school is a crucial part of the school’s mission. “Under the special patronage of Our Lady, Queen of Peace School exists to be like Mary and Joseph’s home at Nazareth, a place where children can come to know and love Jesus Christ and the truth of the world He came to save.”
As a part of keeping with the Catholic identity, an Epiphany concert featuring all of the school’s students was held on the evening of Jan. 6 to celebrate the solemnity on its actual date.
Music teacher Lynn Lambert summed up the excitement of the students for Bishop Rhoades’ visit and Epiphany concert. “Joy to the world, for He has come. The angels are rejoicing, we are rejoicing, and we want to give God the glory for this. It’s the end of the Christmas season, and Jesus is the best gift of all.”
Queen of Peace School
4508 Vistula Rd.| Mishawaka, IN 46544
Pastor: Father Daniel Scheidt
Principal: Tina Dover
Staff of 18 with 3 aides
Preschool Enrollment for 2010-2011 — 46
Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Enrollment for 2010 -2011 — 165
Telephone: (574) 255-0392
Web Address – www.queenofpeace.cc
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