Living Our Mission: First Friday connects coursework, community service on campus

Living Our Mission: First Friday connects coursework, community service on campus

Each month, the Sacred Heart Greenwich Education to Mission Committee hosts a First Friday gathering. The practice of First Friday is rooted in a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and has been a practice in the Catholic Church since the 1800s. 

Kerry Bader, Upper School Community Service Coordinator, reflected on First Fridays saying, “As a school rooted in the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it was natural for our school to practice this devotion through the celebration of Mass. We supplement this liturgical celebration with a reflection or education component that is rooted in mission and the love of Sacred Heart.”

First Friday events are open to the entire community and, starting in December, will also be available via live stream.

“First Fridays are incredibly important to me,” trustee Christine DiCapua P’23 said. “Going to Mass, receiving the Eucharist, taking the time to listen to God’s voice in my life, and being in community with others--all of these things root me in my Catholic identity in ways that are both powerful and enduring.”

At the November First Friday, five members of the Class of 2022 led a discussion of the corporal work of mercy "to visit the imprisoned" after having studied the topic during their junior year Ethics class. Senior Charlotte shared that “[After being] introduced to the idea of "visiting the imprisoned" and trying to mend the issue of incarceration, my classmates and I acted on it and decided to take our step in fixing the issue. We were propelled by Goal III to spread awareness about incarceration and raise money for correctional facilities to provide better resources.” 

And senior Kayla added, “My Ethics class last year definitely made me more socially aware by relating Aquinas's virtues and the Corporal Works of Mercy to modern times...In such an intense, thought-provoking environment, we grow closer to each other as peers as we share our own personal stories and relate to each other regarding our topics, and the videos we watch and the discussions we have also impel us to take action against the injustices we see happening in front of our eyes.”  

After Mass and the discussion of the imprisoned nationally and locally, the Sacred Heart community gathered on Saturday, November 20th for the all-school Day of Service. This year’s event was a Baby Shower, collecting items for imprisoned mothers of children at the Bedford Women’s Correctional Facility. Nearly 100 community members took part to sort and wrap gifts. Bedford has the longest-running prison nursery nationwide. Opened in 1901, it has allowed hundreds of women who have started their sentences pregnant to bond with their babies while behind bars. 

We invite you to join us for the December First Friday, which will focus on hunger in Fairfield County, and feature conversation with Bill Cusano, Executive Director of Caritas, and members of the Class of 2022 who founded a Hunger Awareness Club on campus. The event will take place on Friday, December 3rd, starting at 9:30 am in the Sacred Heart Greenwich chapel.

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