Yesterday I happily stumbled on two news stories that warmed my heart and reminded me why I enjoy working with young people, whose hearts - contrary to what is often bandied about in the media - are often very generous.
First, there is this story from my beloved hometown of the members of the St. Joseph of Arimathea Club at Quincy Notre Dame High School:
Quincy Notre Dame High School junior Harry Zhang refers to Scripture to help explain his motivation for serving others in a time of loss.
"In Bibles they said feed the hungry, clothe the naked, bury the dead," Zhang said. "We do what we can do."
When a family working with Duker and Haugh Funeral Home doesn't have people able to serve as pallbearers, students involved in QND's St. Joseph of Arimathea Society step into the role.
"This is just a way to show our support and love and prayers to the family that is going through a hard time and show that they're not alone in this," QND senior Jenna Zanger said. "I just thought it was a great opportunity to share my faith with them."
Sunday morning, Cecilia Annable climbed into the choir loft of St. Anne Catholic Church and settled behind the organ.
Cecilia, 14, has been playing organ for services at the church since she was eleven. She began playing the instrument with encouragement from her grandmother.
“She got me taking lessons from a friend, and she taught me a lot of chords and how to play a melody with chords,” Cecilia said.
Advocates for sacred music have warned that some congregations struggle to find organists.
“It’s a sacred instrument, made for sacred music to praise a sacred God,” Cecilia said. “I took over (playing at St. Anne) when I was eleven, so I didn’t realize how much it meant, but I can’t really envision the place without me and my sister.”