Since its inception in the 1800s St. Patrick Cathedral School has been a gem in the Norwich community, consistently graduating classes fully prepared to become moral, conscientious members of society. Students moved onto higher education, and now continue to return registering children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. St. Patrick School continues today to provide a superior education and serve the community to which it belongs.
This year, the student council organized a coat drive to huge success. The students buttoned/zipped and folded every coat while sorting all other items. They collected 651 coats, 53 pairs of boots, 129 hats, 103 mittens/gloves, 56 scarves, 24 hat/mitten sets, 13 snowpants, and 7 miscellaneous items. Many of the hats and mittens were handmade by parishioners who are among some of the project’s greatest supporters, organizers said. These items filled four truckloads with 1,063 items.
During Catholic Schools Week, the students came up with ideas that truly demonstrated their faith and service to the community. They conducted a “Souper Bowl” day, collecting over 200 pounds of canned soup. A “Giving Day” was planned in which the students made sandwiches for St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen, assembled packages for children in the hospital, and stocked boxes with supplies for deployed soldiers. Madonna Place in Norwich, a family support agency, also received baby items, sleepers, blankets, toddler clothes, baby bottles and diapers.
Students don’t plan on stopping there. An American Red Cross blood drive is in the works, and each month the students observe a dress-down day, bringing in a dollar for the privilege; the recipient of those donations this year is the Center for Hospice Care. Each year, the school raises approximately $2,000 for charity.
Students also held a toiletry drive for St. Vincent de Paul Place community meal site and food pantry, in which they collected 2,610 items. At the conclusion of each year, the student body collects coins for one week to help missions in Haiti. Their goal is usually $2,000, which goes toward home construction in the struggling country.
A strong community is built on concern for others, looking into the mirror, realizing there are people who need help and mercy, and taking action. St. Patrick’s school cultivates an atmosphere in which younger generations become attuned to the welfare of the greater good. Daily reflection in classrooms focuses on those with needs, many whom the students will never meet. Learning about
Martin Luther King, Jr., the students come to realize that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
With these teachings, strengthened by the Gospel, students continue to seek out ways to help those around them, showing compassion and humility. The art of giving, faith, service and community is alive and well at St. Patrick School. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you.” Words to live by and witness in action at St. Patrick School.
St. Patrick Cathedral School is located at 211 Broadway, Norwich. For more information, visit st-patrickschoolnorwich.org/ or call 860-889-4174.