.- This afternoon Catholic School students met with the Pope to personally deliver pledges of more than 1.7 million hours of community service to honor the Pope’s 81st birthday. The students met with the Pope at the Vatican Embassy. The National Catholic Educational Association asked students from around the country to offer community services in celebration of Benedict’s visit and his birthday.
The three students joined Dr. Karen Ristau, the President of the National catholic Educational Association to present the spiritual gift to the Pope. The students are Kristina Wilson, an 11th grade student at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.; Stephanie Joy Heredia, an 8th grade student at Corpus Christi School, Falls Church, VA; and Jennifer Sharkey an 8th grade student at St. Jane DeChantal Catholic Elementary School in Bethesda, MD.
Service activities are an established tradition in Catholic education and an essential principle that is part of the Catholic Church’s social teachings. Students perform these works by donating their time at social service agencies, food banks, hospital and nursing homes. The tally for the Papal birthday is estimated to be 1.7 million hours of community service which will be fulfilled during the school year.