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St. John's student learn about community service through raking

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Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

By the end of the day Thursday, the students at St.John the Baptist Catholic Church in Vermillion had filled 119 bags with leaves.

That's a lot of leaves. But there is more to the story.

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The leaf-raking on Oct. 11, was the first of the projects that will be tied in with The Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. The year began Oct. 11 and will conclude Nov. 24, 2013.

The start of the year coincides with the anniversaries of significant events in the Catholic Church -- the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

All students of the school were involved in the project, explained school principal Sister Tresa Margaret. Other projects and programs and learning opportunities will be part of the focus throughout the year.

One of the components of The Year of Faith is reaching out.

"It is about community service," said Sister Tresa Margret.

That was what was occurring last Thursday. Students, teachers and adult volunteers, armed with rakes and trash bags, headed out to nearby neighbors to clear their yards. Those without rakes used their arms and hands to pile leaves into bags. The students also raked the yards at the rectory and convent. Several neighbors offered treats for the workers.

But it was more about renewing faith and reaching out to others, said Sister Tresa Margret.

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