After receiving word of the devastation in Haiti in early 2010, our students, faculty and staff took action and dedicated our Lenten Outreach to our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Donations collected over the Lenten Season were sent to Allison DePasquale ‘05 who is currently teaching at the University of Fondwa.
We wrapped our Annual Thanksgiving Outreach just before the holiday. Thanks to the generosity of the entire Mater Dei family, we were able to distribute 150 boxes of food to the parishes in Santa Ana and SPIN (Serving People in Need).
During the Christmas Season, the light and goodness of the Mater Dei community shined brightly through campus and community outreach projects, reconciliation and penance services, and our beautiful class and all-school liturgies in honor of the Advent Season, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Our students enjoyed beautiful class Masses at the beginning of the Advent season. On December 8, we celebrated a bilingual all-school Mass in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Bishop Cirillo Flores. Recognizing the incredible efforts of our Rachel’s Challenge Club and ASB Commission, each class lit candles in remembrance of the tenets of kindness, compassions and courage. Our students wrote and led prayers at all four liturgies. Bishop Flores shared that his experience with the Advent Masses “were life-giving for me to be with high school students.”
The week before Christmas was extremely busy for our Campus Ministry team. We delivered nearly $3,700 in gift cards and 75 cases of toys to the following organizations: African Child Foundation, Catholic Charities, Go Nigeria, KidWorks, Military Children’s Charity, Monarchs 4 Marines, Nancy Downey-Hurtado Miracle Toy Giveaway, SPIN, Thomas House Shelter and Urban Compass. All of this outreach was made possible because of the efforts of the Campus Ministry Team and our chapter of the National Honor Society.
In the last days of school before Christmas break, our students participated in group penance services in our school chapel with their religion classes. The penance services were written by our student-led Campus Ministry Liturgical Leadership Team. We also have had over 500 students participate in our individual reconciliation services made possible by the time of 24 priests who have been at Mater Dei with our students this week. Catholic students received the sacrament of reconciliation and our non-Catholic students had the opportunity to talk with a priest about anything on their mind or in their heart.
2010 was certainly a year full of blessings for the Mater Dei family. We look forward to answering the call to service that 2011 will certainly bring.
In Mater Dei,
Director of Campus Ministry