School Community Answers St. Angela's Call to Serve

School Community Answers St. Angela's Call to Serve

Ursuline students were hard at work in the early hours of Saturday, January 28, 2023. At a time when typical high school students like to sleep in, The Ursuline School was abuzz. It was International Serviam Day, a day when Ursuline community members around the world come together to serve their local communities. This year, Ursuline answered the call with an unprecedented turnout for the annual event.

Countless students, faculty, staff, parents, Ursuline sisters, and retired faculty joined together with representatives from our sister school, The Academy of Mount St. Ursula, to answer St. Angela Merici’s call to serve others. St. Angela, in her first counsel, humbly asks, “Regard yourselves as ministers and servants reflecting that you have more need to serve them than they have to be served by you." 

Roughly 100 participants assembled in the cafeteria to organize, prepare, and bag more than 500 lunches for hungry neighbors throughout New Rochelle, Yonkers, and the Bronx. Ursuline’s principal Theresa Napoli was hard at work alongside her counterpart Geraldine Lavery, the principal at Mount St. Ursula, and Ursuline president Dr. Colleen Melnyk.

“What went on here today is a true testament to the Ursuline mission of Serviam,” Ms. Napoli said with a smile. “We are so blessed to have our sister school Mount St Ursula join us in sharing a day full of joy, service, and sisterhood.” 

Ursuline girls were busy counting food items, sorting snacks, making sandwiches, and lovingly decorating crisp lunch bags with cheerful sentiments, blessings, and inspirational notes. Then they carefully filled each bag with fresh sandwiches, fruit, chips, cookies, and a water bottle.

Carefully prepared bagged lunches fill table on International Serviam Day.

Looking over the crowded tabletop of finished products, one student sighed, “You just never know what something like this can mean to the person who receives it.” 

The students worked together to meticulously place bags inside boxes, careful not to crush the precious contents. After preparing each delivery box, students carried the boxes outside in the bright sunshine and waited patiently, taking turns packing carloads and busloads of goodwill.

Catie and her mom organize bagged lunch donations.

Father Donald Kaufman LC, pastor of St. Peter-St. Denis Church, a grateful recipient, was on hand to assist with the distribution. In the end, the items were shared with HOPE Community Service, Serviam Gardens, St. Peter-St. Denis Church, and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal for distribution. 

Ursuline students pose with Fr. Donald after organizing food donations.

In addition, a group of teachers and students participated in Meals on Wheels while another group gave tours of the school’s beautiful new facilities, as well as the performing arts spaces, library, chapel, and broadcast studio.

In reflecting on the day’s events, Ursuline’s Serviam and Social Action Coordinator Ms. Patrice McDermott summed it up best. “Serviam is love in action. It was a great day!”

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