School challenges students, families to raise funds for Ukraine

Apr 20, 2022
Prayers for Ukraine line the halls of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School in Altamonte Springs. (COURTESY)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS | Father Charles Mitchell issued an ambitious challenge to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School students and their families—to raise $40,000 in 40 Days of prayer for Ukraine.

The pastor explained that on Ash Wednesday, Bishop John Noonan asked all Catholics in the Diocese of Orlando to pray and support the Catholic Church relief effort in the region affected by the war. To his surprise and joy, two of the school’s fourth graders and one sixth grader connected the 40 days of Lent to the idea.

In an earnest plea, Father Mitchell announced the challenge saying, “While our collective hearts have been in anguish for the people of Ukraine…the men, women and children who have had their lives taken or have had to leave all they know and cherish, including family members in search of safety for their families – I am also caught up in the sheer bravery, acts of selflessness and love that these our brothers and sisters have exhibited again and again.”

He asked parishioners, students, families, and teachers to join in those acts of selflessness. Their response was overwhelming. “The spirit of love for Ukraine caught on, and donations poured in each weekend of Lent from our Saint Mary Magdalen family,” he said. “At the school, teachers held a Ukraine awareness day and students wore the blue and gold colors of that country. “

The effort drew great rewards. To date they have raised more than $55,000. “All this, at the invitation and inspiration of three of our youngsters and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine,” the pastor said in gratitude. “May God bring healing and peace to our world.”

Staff report, April 20, 2022