The generosity of the faithful, whether they are part of a Diocese of Venice Catholic School or Parish, knows no limits.
With many people struggling because of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Thanksgiving for some seemed as if it could be without the basic needs of food on the table.
Food and fundraising drives at Diocesan Catholic Schools and Parishes, as well as through a variety of other organizations, stepped up to answer the call for help with a late season surge of food and monetary donations.
Students from St. John Neumann Catholic School in Naples held their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for Catholic Charities and collected 4,837 cans. The students and faculty then delivered the items on Nov. 20, 2020 to the Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center.
St. Columbkille Parish members of the Knights of Columbus delivered donated turkeys to St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Moore Haven and then to St. Margaret Parish in Clewiston.
The St. Joseph Food Pantry in Bradenton was also the beneficiary of the Knight of Columbus. The Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish Council donated money from the annual Msgr. Moretti Memorial Golf Tournament, which was used to purchase 100 frozen turkeys. Kindergarteners at St. Martha Catholic School also collected more than 200 pounds of food for the food pantry.
On Nov. 23, and 24, the St. Joseph Food Pantry loaded 1,500 frozen turkeys for families in need in lieu of the normal bag of food. The demand for food at the pantry has risen dramatically since the start of the Pandemic and thanks to donations like those from the Knights and Diocesan Catholic schools, there was enough to provide turkeys this year, ensuring everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, St. William Parish in Naples is reaching out to those who are alone this Thanksgiving by calling parishioners during Thanksgiving week. These calls, to those added to a list of those who are alone, are to offer prayers and conversation; a human touch for those who remain necessarily isolated out of caution and concerns due to the Pandemic.
These are just a few of the examples of what took place in the Diocese of Venice leading up to Thanksgiving, showing that the faithful are filled with holiday spirit while also caring for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Schools celebrate Thanksgiving
While some Catholic Schools focused on collecting food for others, students also learned about and did a variety of activities in celebration of the holiday before the break.
For example, at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice the pre-kindergarten-4 class learned about friendship, built a teepee, made Native American clothing and turned corn into popcorn. Fifth-grade students at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Fort Myers, had a Thanksgiving Day Balloon Parade! After reading “Balloons Over Broadway,” by Melissa Sweet, students were challenged to make their own balloon to fly in a class parade. Kindergarten students at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape Coral celebrated Thanksgiving a little early on Nov. 17 with a classroom feast with all the trimmings.
Again, these are just a sampling of the many activities which took place at Diocesan Catholic School leading up to Thanksgiving.