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Purcell Marian discusses, prays for Haiti

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES DEANERY — After listening to a presentation on the challenges facing Haiti — made all the more difficult by the recent earthquake — Purcell Marian High School junior Taylor Treadway balanced gratitude and empathy.

“What they had, it’s just all gone and it makes you think about what you have,” Treadway said. “I want to help do something.”

She hopes to create a fundraising event to benefit Haiti.

Sophomore Griff Bludworth, left, and junior Becca Christ participate in the service while Father William Cross looks on. (CT/David Eck)

Students at the Cincinnati school spent their religion classes Jan. 21 listening to a discussion of Haiti and its struggles. The presentation covered such things as the country’s history, economy, civil unrest and the natural disasters that have plagued the nation.

Marianist aspirant Brandon Paluch, assistant campus minister at the school, shared firsthand experiences of a past trip to the country. The students also watched a video clip of news reports of the earthquake.

“It woke everyone up. I should not take things for granted,” said junior Jade Gillon. “I want to get so much more involved now.”

The goal of the 50-minute presentation was to engage the students in relief efforts while giving them some knowledge of the country.

“Kids seemed to be really touched by the stories and by the staggering statistics. I heard people talking about it afterward,” Paluch said. “There’s a response of people wanting to help.”

Students are selling red and blue ribbons — colors of the Haitian flag — to help raise money, and proceeds from two weekly pizza sales will be earmarked for relief. Students are also collecting canned goods, clothing, toiletries and water to be sent to Haiti.

After school, about 30 students, faculty and staff attended a brief service in the school’s chapel to pray for Haiti. The service included prayers, music and a reading. Father William Cross, school chaplain and a Purcell Marian religion teacher, urged the students to pray for the Haitians but to also see the good coming out of the world’s response to the disaster.

“May God move us to extreme compassion [in a way] that fosters hope and peace,” he said.

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