Two Schools United by Love

St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School’s (SMMCS) and their sister school, the Peace Orphanage (Orfanatorio La Paz) are united by a special bond of caring and love. Through its efforts, SMMCS students are living out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, bringing joy to students in Mexico City, Mexico. The two have been sister schools since 2013.

Founded in 1921 by Benedictine nuns, the Peace Orphanage is a home for orphaned girls. The orphanage is also a school to the children that attend. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School and parish work together to help provide many necessary items for the children at the orphanage. At SMMCS, students pray every day for their sister school and always hope that the students and teachers there feel God’s presence in their lives. Even with the threat of the coronavirus in Mexico – the girls, boys, and religious are doing well.

On March 13, before spring break, St. Mary Magdalen students held a fundraiser for the orphanage. Many students wanted to participate to help their fellow students. More than two thirds of SMMCS student body participated. Earlier this year, fundraisers helped three of the girls get supplies needed for high school. The events also fund the purchase of school uniforms.

The relationship between the students and staff at these two schools goes back many years. Three years ago, St. Mary Magdalen School’s principal, Ms. Lorianne Rotz, and parish pastor, Father Charlie Mitchell, went to Mexico City. Father Mitchell baptized three girls and Ms. Rotz became the godmother to two of these girls. The school community delighted in the pictures of the girls and boys smiling and laughing. The moment students saw those smiles; they felt the school really had made a difference in the lives of others.

Last year the seventh and eighth-graders wrote stories in Spanish to share with the girls at the orphanage. The Spanish teacher hopes to send more stories and letters this year before the term ends. It is important to the school family to not only send money, but to send love, prayers, and best wishes.

By continuing to provide material assistance and daily prayers, the students at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School are living out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy that the church asks of all the faithful.

Written by Poppy, a seventh-grader at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, Altamonte Springs.
April 13, 2020