Pope Francis students honor veterans with service and prayer
November 11, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – Students from Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield honored veterans with service projects and prayer on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. While most schools have the day off, Pope Francis was in session with veteran appreciation weaved into the curriculum. Leading up to Veterans Day, students, faculty and staff fanned out across St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield, Friday, Nov. 5 placing flags at veteran grave sites.
“This is the third year we have done our all-school service project,” said Paul Harrington, head of school at Pope Francis. The all-school service project also included yard clean-ups at the homes of veterans and seniors in the East Forest neighborhood and a patriotic art project.
“The heart of our mission is to grow students in their faith and to become leaders who embody justice, peace, service, and mercy in our community. There is no better way to articulate our mission than to put these words into action,” Harrington said.
“The flagging of veteran grave sites at St. Michael’s Cemetery is one special way for our school to honor those who have served our country while also helping the cemetery staff and loved ones of the deceased prepare for Veteran’s Day,” he said.
The all-school service project was followed up with more events today, Nov. 11. Students wrote notes to veterans which will be shared with residents of the Soldiers’ Home and other veteran organizations. Some students were joined by relatives for an appreciation lunch and a slideshow highlighting their service. The day ended with a prayer service on the Gunnery Sergeant Alumni Plaza.
“As a descendant of a Korean War Veteran, it is so meaningful to me that my school community not only provides me with the opportunity to honor the brave men and women who selflessly served, but prioritizes it,” said senior Malcolm Mahoney.
“I am grateful to be a student at a school that honors and respects our veterans just as much as I do.”