Living the Christian Spirit

March 30-April 5,06
Living the Christian Spirit
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Chuck Wainwright
Bishop Ludden Students Provide Lunches to Franciscan Northside Ministries

The project was more successful than she had imagined. Bishop Ludden sophomore Kristen Hojnowski had just finished directing the entire sophomore class at the school in a project to provide well over 860 sandwich lunches to Franciscan Northside Ministries on March 16. “I am so grateful for everyone’s help,” said Kristen. “I’m really happy that they stepped up to participate.”

The idea to help the ministries came to Kristen during her course of study while in her confirmation class last year at St. Ann’s Church in Syracuse. The class had taken a retreat with the Franciscan Northside Ministry in Syracuse. While there, Kristen noticed that the organization regularly provided thousands of sandwiches monthly to needy people in the area. “I thought it was an interesting idea,” she said. Kristen broached the plan of providing sandwiches to the ministry with religion teacher Sister Chris Pologa, CSJ. Sister Chris thought it was a very creative and innovative idea and agreed that it would be good to put it into place at the school.

Kristen then set about creating six committees in order to accomplish the task. The committees included fundraising, finance, shopping, baking, sandwich-making and delivery. Kristen organized the project by scheduling a fundraiser from Feb. 27 – March 13, a shopping trip to purchase supplies on March 14, baking cookies on March 15 and on March 16, preparing the sandwiches and delivering the lunches. “Sister Chris helped me a lot,” said Kristen. “She was always there to advise me. She also allowed us to make the sandwiches during her religious education class.”

Kristen said that when she participated in the project, she learned a lot about how to lead a large group. “Developing the different committees helped me with my leadership skills,” she said. As a means of raising funds, each student was asked to donate his or her loose change. The class who donated the most money won the prize of participating in “game day.” On that day, the winning class was allowed to participate in games that built up the students’ computer skills.

“The response was phenomenal,” said Sister Chris. “One student brought his piggy bank in to school and emptied it — it was very heavy. The students surpassed their goal of raising $400 — they raised $450.” Sister Chris accompanied eight students on the shopping trip to buy the needed supplies. She said it was quite an experience because the group bought 73 loaves of bread. Student Monica Fangio was one of the students on the shopping committee. She agreed that it was an unusual shopping trip. “We needed to use seven or eight shopping carts,” said Monica. “Participating in the project was an amazing experience. Helping other people can be so much fun and I’m glad we got to help so many. Now, I feel I’ll be participating in more projects where I can help people.” Close to 30 students, along with six parents and the school kitchen staff, produced the cookies that were included in the donated lunches.

The entire sophomore class participated in making the sandwiches. Six students, along with an equal number of parents delivered the lunches to Franciscan Northside Ministries on March 16. Sister Chris said that Sister Dolores Bush, OSF, who was part of the staff working at the facility, was thrilled with the donation of lunches.

Sister Chris feels that the project has been a wonderful experience for the students. “We tried to tie the three tiers of Lent [prayer, service and sacrifice] into the project,” explained Sister Chris. “This is our holy season. We can teach them about it, but we need to empower them to live it. I’m extremely proud of these young people. They have the Christian spirit.”

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