Sacred Heart Model School and Nativity Academy students celebrated the first day of National Catholic Sisters Week and International Women’s Day by gathering to bless Paula’s Pantry, named in honor of Sister Paula Kleine-Kracht, who founded Nativity Academy at St. Boniface. Student leaders from SHMS and Nativity gathered to bless the completed pantry with school leaders, Sister Paula and Fr. Jeff Shooner, Pastor of St. Boniface.
Sacred Heart Model School and Nativity Academy were awarded a grant from National Catholic Sisters Week fund to construct a "Little Free Pantry" (LFP). Nine SHMS Student Advisory Board members and eight Student House Leaders from Nativity gathered to construct the pantry in January in Nativity’s fully-equipped maker space. Typically, in high poverty areas, an LFP is most often for those who are not easily able to meet everyday food and personal needs.
In speaking of the students’ decision to build the pantry and name it after her, Sister Paula stated, “the very reason we wanted to start Nativity and why SHMS exists was to show our concern for others, to bring our gifts to help people and to help them help themselves. This is the biggest honor I have ever had.” Before Father Jeff blessed the pantry, he reminded the students that their efforts to “feed the hungry are a reflection of God’s presence in this world.”
The $1000 grant funded the construction of the pantry, including all the materials. Now that construction is complete, the group will secure a destination and finalize planning for its opening and continued use. The Pantry will eventually be placed outside near St. Boniface where any who need assistance will receive it, and all who can donate to the cause are able.
The National Catholic Sisters Week is an annual celebration created to honor women religious, and is a series of events that instruct, enlighten and bring greater focus to the lives of these women.