Stewardship is lived throughout St. Irenaeus Parish School from the youngest Transitional Kindergarten (TK) students to the 8th graders as they prepare to move on to high school. Living as Jesus taught and spreading His love to others is woven into the curriculum in fun and educational exercises. All grade levels participate in stewardship projects throughout the year, including donating coats and shoes to the poor, making blankets and care packages for local senior centers, participating in community concerts, and collecting, sorting, and distributing food to the H.O.P.E. ministry (Helping Other People Everyday), just to name a few.
Never too young to care for others, as part of their Lenten activities the TK students have been creating rosaries that they will donate to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) during Holy Week. Their theme this year is “With Tiny Hands and Big Hearts We Pray to God.” Through this activity they are learning that they can help other children and their families, and that prayer is a powerful tool in healing.
Students and their families collected plastic bottles in order to finance the supplies needed to make the rosaries, so their stewardship has been extra meaningful. As they care for God’s creation by picking up trash and recycling, they not only purchased their own supplies for CHOC, but were able to purchase supplies for rosaries that will be made and sent to a school in the Philippines.
The TK teachers integrate their math lessons into the rosary building process by having the students count out the beads and counting by 10s. The children practice their fine motor skills by stringing the colorful beads and knotting the string.
They continue to learn the prayers associated with the rosary and are bringing the practice of praying the rosary home to their families. A parent volunteer commented that they had forgotten the importance of praying the rosary and how comforting it can be during times of need.
The TK students have been working on the rosaries every Thursday during Lent. The completed rosaries will be blessed and delivered to the chaplain at CHOC’s Children’s Spiritual Care Department, where they will be given to families who are dealing with their own child’s illness. The TK students know that they are providing comfort to these families, and will continue to pray for all of the children during their daily prayer intentions.