Corporal and spiritual works with NCCS and St. Columban’s

Fifth grade students are pictured with their clothespin crosses.

SILVER CREEK — The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are actions that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. A long-standing tradition at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School has been to visit residents at the former St. Vincent’s Nursing Home and St. Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home. For 30 years students, faculty, and parent volunteers have shared their time and talents with those who are infirmed.

Recently, students from Miss Candice Sullivan’s Fourth Grade class and Miss Mourer’s Fifth Grade spent the morning making several different style Crosses with residents. St. Columban’s Activity Director Sue McAvoy created four craft sessions, and students and residents worked together to make crosses made from coins, miniature and large clothes pins, and origami paper butterfly creations.

Before students shared a midday meal with their friends, they interviewed the seasoned citizens they had spent the morning with and asked them questions about their lives, careers, faith, and families. A friendly and lively game of Bunco reinforced basic math facts and gave the students and residents a chance to compete in a Christ-centered and family environment.

Volunteers for the day from NCCS included Katie DiPalma, Tamara Benjamin, Robert Strang with daughter Scarlet, Megan Congdon, and Janet Keefe. The parents and grandparents assisted with transportation, group projects, and were an added benefit to St. Columban’s long-time volunteers, including Harry Szewczyk, Peggy Meadows, and Sue Young.

St. Columban’s offers hundreds of service projects each year where community members, schools, and organizations can take part. Cookies for Habitat for Humanity, corn bags for Hospice, toiletry bags for Willow Mission, and fleece blankets for St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center are some of the activities offered by St. Columban’s. Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County, Silver Creek High School Senior Class, NCCS and college students from JCC and SUNY Fredonia often participate.

A resident and NCCS student works on a Penny Cross Project.

The NCCS and St. Columban’s day of living Christ’s Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy concluded with a lunch enjoyed by residents, parents, grandparents, volunteers and students.

Faculty, volunteer parents, and students of NCCS with residents of St. Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home.


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