Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 19, 2003
Children's hearts open to the poor
Youngsters donate more than $16,000 at Holy Childhood Mission Day Mass
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Catholic children are a generous and caring lot. And it shows. On May 7, children from almost two dozen elementary and junior high schools in the Edmonton Archdiocese presented Archbishop Thomas Collins with more than $16,000 for needy children in the Third World.
The presentation was part of the fifth annual Holy Childhood Mission Day Mass at St. Thomas More Church.
The Holy Childhood Association (HCA) is an international Catholic organization for elementary children and junior high youth in parishes and schools. Its motto is Children Helping Children and its purpose, among other things, is to foster prayer and solidarity with poor children around the world.
Some 1,000 children and their teachers attended the association's Mass. During the offertory procession, students representing 22 schools and several parishes presented the archbishop with money their schools raised during Lent.
In his homily, Collins praised the students for responding to the needs of children in other parts of the world, which, he said, is what the Lord Jesus wants them to do.
Last year at St. Albert's Holy Family Church, some 800 students from 13 schools presented the archbishop with $16,000 for poor children in the developing world.
Schools hold many different activities to raise funds, including bake sales or lunches. Some simply pass around the Holy Childhood Mite Boxes to collect donations. St. Angela School raised $1,800 through a combination of activities.
All money raised by the HCA is used to provide food, medicine, clean water, shelter and education to less fortunate children in the Third World, said Marian Cordwell, secretary of the Archdiocesan Mission Council and coordinator of the HCA annual Mass.
In the past, the HCA has provided funds for handicapped children, street children, nutrition programs, children with AIDS and to build orphanages and schools.
Jordan Sobey, a Grade 7 student at St. Mark's School in Edmonton, donated part of his lunch money and bought several tickets to have lunch with an Edmonton Oilers star to raise funds for needy Third World children.
"I think we have to help those less fortunate than us," he said. "I'm sure whatever money we give will make a difference."
Bishop Charles de Forbin Janson, who encouraged children to say a prayer each day and to give a penny a month for suffering children, started the HCA in 1843 in France. The organization came to Canada in 1933 and began in Edmonton in 1938.