Stewardship . . . not just a word at St. Malachy’s

GENESEO — “Stewardship” isn’t just a word on a spelling test or a vocabulary quiz for the students of St. Malachy’s School. During the past year it became a part of the curriculum when the students were asked to help a well-loved St. Malachy’s parishioner facing a terminal disease.

In July last year, Mr. Brad Schoon, an earth science teacher at Geneseo High School, was diagnosed with a nerve disorder known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The Parents Club had been thinking of projects to help students understand the concept of stewardship of God’s blessings and gifts. Mrs. Wassell and her fellow club member, Mrs. Jane Verplaetse, agreed that the Schoon family’s medical crisis was a perfect opportunity.

“We asked the kids to do odd jobs to earn money that they could then donate to our Stewardship Project,” said Mrs. Wassell.

Mrs. Wassell and Mrs. Verplaetse put large milk jugs in each classroom and challenged the students to see who could fill them with the most money to help with Mr. Schoon’s medical expenses. The money was counted each month and the results were tabulated on a large chart.

Some of the students also visited Mr. Schoon at his home last fall.

Sadly, the disease soon claimed Mr. Schoon’s life. “He passed away on Dec. 16. It wasn’t even six months since he was diagnosed with ALS,” said Mrs. Wassell. “But we continued the project as a way to teach the students about caring for others and to help Brad’s family.”

By the end of 2007, the students in Mrs. Kelly Svitak’s first grade class had collected the most money and earned a pizza party, while the other classes were rewarded with ice cream for their efforts.

The money raised by St. Malachy’s was given to the Brad Schoon Memorial Scholarship, which Mr. and Mrs. Schoon established as he was dying to help deserving seniors of Geneseo High School.

For Mrs. Wassell, the Stewardship Project helped bring to life the lyrics of “Light Your World” by Christian band Newsong: “It only takes a little time to show someone how much you care. It only takes a little time to answer someone’s biggest prayer.”

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
© Copyright 2024 - The Catholic Post || All Rights Reserved || Design by