Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lent: Prayer, Alms and Kindness

In the center of our classroom stands a special table. It is our prayer table. As the liturgical year changes, the table changes. 

This was our prayer table last week:

This is our prayer table now:

Why the change? Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is a time when we look at ourselves and try and see what we want to change. We take more time to pray, to ask forgiveness of our sins, and to share with others. For forty days we prepare for the new life of Easter. 

Our Lenten wreath is brown and bare, symbolizing the desert where Jesus prayed for 40 days and also the crown of thorns. Can your child explain the symbols pictured on our wreath (purple ribbon, burlap cloth with a cross)? Today we added pennies and a cross with a heart. Can your child share what these mean?

Each student is making their own paper Lenten wreath.
As we add a symbol to our class wreath,
the students add to their personal wreaths.

Throughout Lent, we try harder to be more like Jesus. We have a vase filled with random acts of kindness. Each morning we pull a good deed and we challenge ourselves not only to carry it out, but to do so quietly, without seeking recognition. 

Today we led a school-wide Lenten assembly. Here we introduced our Lenten initiative. Did you read this important purple note detailing our initiative? Holy Redeemer has chosen to support the Holy Childhood Association (HCA). 

With the Holy Childhood Association, 100% of all donations go to children in the developing world. Every. Last. Penny. Our money will fund projects such as literacy, health care, nutrition, schooling, meal programs, libraries, care for children with AIDS, and orphan care. 

One of the countries supported through the Holy Childhood Association is Zambia. Today we watched a clip showing how the HCA is making a difference in Zambia:

Here are some powerful and very devastating facts we learned about Zambia:

  • life expectancy is 38 years (4th lowest rate in the world)
  • 14.5% of the Zambian population is living with HIV/AIDS
  • 1.1 million children are orphans

So how will we help the HCA support countries such as Zambia? 
At today's assembly, students enjoyed this short video (featuring Mrs. Haston, Mrs. Lemire and Mrs. Beliveau!) outlining our Lenten initiative!

Please be generous with your donations. Please talk with your child about perhaps reaching into his or her piggy bank for that toonie. Throughout Lent, let's work together to teach our children to be generous and share what God has blessed us with. 

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