SBA Freshmen Spend Day of Service at Basilian Motherhouse
Each year on January 30, the students, faculty and staff of St. Basil Academy, Fox Chase Manor, observe the Feast of the Three Holy Heirarchs, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Nazianzus and St. John Chrysostom, as their Community Day. Usually celebrated as a time of fun and games, this year’s observation took on a different tone, i.e., a day of service.
Under the direction of the Academy’s unified community service organization “SBA Cares” moderated by Mrs. Theresa Hartey and Mrs. Emily Kleinle, students and faculty were divided into groups to carry out to others St. Basil the Great’s shining example of care for the poor and underprivileged.
Assigned to the Basilian Motherhouse was SBA’s Freshmen Class who, together with the Sisters residing there, engaged in a joint effort of completing fleece blankets to be distributed to warm the homeless. Accompanied by their moderators, Sister Rita Stremba, OSBM, Sister Germaine Senita, OSBM, and Sister Therese McFadden, SSJ, and encouraged by Motherhouse/Academy resident nurse, Mrs. Karen O’Brien, the Sisters, students and teachers not only enjoyed getting acquainted and socializing, but also completed eight projects to provide warmth to the city’s unsheltered needy.
“The experience we had with the Sisters was incredibly unique,” said Freshman Amanda O’Brien. “To be able to help others while providing company to the Sisters …was worthwhile and heartwarming. I think it put all of us in the spirit of giving and of helping others.”
Nina Violi felt that “as a student of St. Basil Academy, it was great that I could use my gifts and talents to create these beautiful blankets. It was also great to see the smiles on the Sisters’ faces while we were working. I am fortunate…to have blankets to sleep with every night, and I am happy the class and I gave the less fortunate the comfort of the blankets.”
“This amazing experience opened my eyes to how many things I take for granted,” said Olivia Piematteo. “It made me feel almost spoiled. How many people treasure something as little as a blanket, while I am in a warm cozy bed every night! The experience made me feel good inside and I hope we can do it again.”
The completed fleece blankets were delivered to Project Linus for distribution to the homeless.