Archbishop Chaput Announces Historic Partnership Between Catholic Relief Services and Catholic High Schools in the Archdiocese

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES AND CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE
High Schools To Become CRS Global High Schools

Today, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. announced an historic partnership between Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian relief agency of the Catholic Church in the United States, and 18 Catholic High Schools within the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Archbishop was joined by his four auxiliary bishops, senior leadership from secondary schools in the Archdiocese, representatives from CRS as well as the principals and student council presidents representing the 18 Catholic High Schools within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that became CRS Global High Schools today.

CRS’ Global High School program strengthens Catholic identity in the schools through the encouragement of global citizenship and engaging the entire school community in the mission work of Catholic social teaching.

Archbishop Chaput said, “Today we are bearing witness to our young people embracing their duty to others through tangible acts of love. Our schools do much more than provide a quality education. They seek to foster the holistic formation of young men and women based on the values of the Gospel. They seek to create global citizens who imitate the love and compassion of Christ in all of their actions.

By the time the day has ended young people from not only our high schools, but also our elementary schools and schools of special education will have packaged approximately 50,000 meals to provide immediate hunger relief where it is needed most. That’s a big first step for this partnership with Catholic Relief Services and a clear statement that our schools are communities of faith, knowledge and service.”

This announcement takes place during the national observance of Catholic Schools Week, January 29, 2017-February 4, 2017 and the theme is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. 

The Catholic Schools Week daily theme today is “Celebrating Vocations.”  The backdrop for the event was Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. The seminary is one of nine in the country participating in CRS’ Seminary Outreach Program, which incorporates Catholic social teaching within the four pillars of Priestly Formation taught to our seminarians – Human, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral/Apostolic.   

Mr. Sean Callahan, President & CEO of Catholic Relief Services, said, “This commitment to educating students as global citizens who look at the world through the lens of Catholic social teaching, with compassion and understanding, is a gift to all of us.” Callahan went on to say, “18 High Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the single largest contributor of participating Catholic high schools for the CRS Global High School program.”

In conjunction with this announcement approximately 800 Catholic elementary, secondary and special education students, along with seminarians studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia participated in an event mirroring the Helping Hands Initiative that took place during the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015.

The CRS Helping Hands program serves individuals in the most vulnerable areas of the world by sending food for immediate hunger relief.  It also funds income-generating projects to prevent hunger in the long-term.  The goal for the day was to package 50,000 meals.  In addition to making and packing meals students were reminded of the day’s theme of vocations by listening to the personal vocation stories of College Division seminarians from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and two Junior Professed IHM Sisters who are teachers at Saint Agnes Catholic School, West Chester (Chester County).

The announcement was streamed live on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools website and the full video can be viewed here:

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Editor’s Note: For information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit http://www.aopcatholicschools.org/.  For information about Catholic Relief Services Global High School Program, please visit http://ghs.crs.org/.