Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
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St. Thomas More students take pilgrimage walk through downtown to Catholic Charities’ new homeless housing
the Inland Register
(From the June 16, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)
On Thursday, May 26, some 250 students – the entire K-8th grade student body of St. Thomas More School, Spokane – took part in “Art from the Heart” pilgrimage to Buder Haven, Spokane’s latest permanent supportive housing project.
The students made the pilgrimage to present their artwork, which will be hung on the walls before this summer’s grand opening.
The day began with an assembly at the school. The students then took busses to downtown Spokane, with students and staff in grades K-3 going straight to Catholic Charities Family Services Center at 12 E. 5th, and grades 4-8 heading to the Gonzaga University campus.
From GU the older students journeyed on foot to the corner of 2nd and Division, where they met with the younger students to complete the trip to Buder Haven.
After the art presentation and blessing, all returned to Gonzaga University for lunch.
Catholic Charities offered a presentation regarding homelessness, what building projects such as Buder Haven mean for the greater community, and how young people can continue to help in the future.
The event is a symbolic part of St. Thomas More Schools’s celebration of The Holy Year of Mercy Jubilee.
Pope Francis speaks often of pilgrimages and how they help spread the faith. According to Vatican Radio, “The pope has told Jubilee participants that making pilgrimages to shrines is one of the most eloquent expressions of the faith of God’s people, and is a form of evangelization which needs to be increasingly promoted and valued.”
“We are grateful that the students at St. Thomas More have created artwork to help beautify the walls at Buder Haven,” said Rob McCann, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Spokane. He called the event “an incredible opportunity for our young people to answer the call of Pope Francis, experience pilgrimage, and truly live as people for others.”
Catholic Charities plans to open as many as five new housing properties for low-income or chronically homeless seniors, families, veterans, and farmworkers across Eastern Washington in the next three years.
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