mwzj · 2020-12-31

Fast teaches students about living in poverty

Every night, millions of people around the world go to bed hungry.

Local Catholic school students got a taste of what that is like and did their part to solve the problem through an event called THINKfast.

The idea for the event comes from Development and Peace, the international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada.

Grade 8 students from Marie of the Incarnation, Mother Theresa, St. Charles and St. Jean de Brébeuf schools took part to complement their Confirmation. They began the fast last Thursday at 11 a.m. and ended it with a feast at the Holy Martyrs of Japan parish hall at about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

“It’s to teach them they do have a voice; they do make a difference,” organizer Debbie Walsh said.

The students raised pledges for Development and Peace as part of the fast.

This was the third THINKfast in Bradford West Gwillimbury in the last four years. In previous years, the event has raised between $1,200 and $4,000 each year. The amount raised this year was unavailable at press time.

As part of the event, students and their families gathered at their schools last Thursday evening. Some of the schools served a broth with bread to help the students through the fast, Ms Walsh said.

Another objective of the event was to bring families, schools and the parish together, she said.

The students took part in a mass Friday morning at Holy Martyrs, then listened to two guest presenters.

One of the presenters, Noeleen Crawford, spoke to the students about how they are capable of great things.

“If you believe in everything, you believe in nothing,” she said. “You’ve got to believe in something.”

Luis Orbegoso, a musician from Toronto, then performed on the cajón, a Peruvian percussion instrument.

He explained the cajón’s origins as a slave instrument and got the students to sing along with a song about freedom written by freed slaves.

After the presentations, the students partook in the feast, which was prepared by members of the Holy Martyrs parish.

Students at Holy Trinity High School held their own THINKfast last month.