March 28, 2014

‘I am so grateful to God’: Christ the King students raise $13,000 for Missionary Childhood Association

Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy Sister Loretto Emenogu receives a hug from Christ the King School fifth-grader Madelyn Reinhardt on March 20. Madelyn and the students of the Indianapolis school helped raise $13,000 for the Missionary Childhood Association, which Sister Loretto promotes. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy Sister Loretto Emenogu receives a hug from Christ the King School fifth-grader Madelyn Reinhardt on March 20. Madelyn and the students of the Indianapolis school helped raise $13,000 for the Missionary Childhood Association, which Sister Loretto promotes. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Nataie Hoefer

The students of Christ the King School in Indianapolis made Sister Loretto Emenogu cry—tears of joy, that is—at the $13,000 the children helped raise for the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA).

“Is this for real?” said Sister Loretto, looking at the check with wide, teary eyes.

She raised her eyes to the children assembled on the gym floor, held up the check and said, “This is the first time I have ever received a check this big!”

Sister Loretto, archdiocesan mission educator and member of the Nigeria-based Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy, promotes the MCA, an initiative of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Through a fundraiser organized by Christ the King physical education teacher Matt Scott, the students sought donations from friends and family to sponsor them as they jumped rope and shot hoops to raise money for the MCA, formerly known in the U.S. and still known in other countries as the Holy Childhood Association.

“They raised money for three weeks,” said Scott.

“For grades K-5, the culmination of the fundraiser was a day filled with jump rope games and activities. For grades 6-8, we did a charity basketball game,” he explained.

Students also had a jar in each class to gather loose change.

“We raised almost $1,000 that way, maybe more,” Scott said.

In years past, money raised by the fundraiser went to the American Heart Association. When asked why the receiving organization was changed to the MCA, Christ the King principal Scott Stewart simply said, “Sister Loretto.

“She’s such a sweet person and she does such good work,” he explained. “She’s been coming here about four or five years in a row [to talk about her work with the MCA]. Her presence here, her kindness, the love she has for the children here and in third world countries really impressed me.

“The most we ever raised before [for the American Heart Association] was $10,000,” said Stewart. “I think our community, our families, liked the fact that we’re giving to a Catholic cause.”

Before the award ceremony on March 20 in Christ the King School’s gym, Sister Loretto talked with the children about the children who will be helped by the money they raised.

“How many of you had breakfast this morning?” Sister Loretto asked. “How many of you have clean drinking water? How many of you have a home? How many of you have warm clothes?

“You have helped children all around the world who do not have these things.

“Remember, Jesus did not come as an adult. He came as a little child because he loves you all so much. He was born in a stable with nothing, no food, no water, poor.

“Look at this child,” Sister Loretto said, pointing to a skeletal youth on a poster. “This child has no food. You can count his ribs. This is the way these children look because of having no food, no clean water.

“[You helped] Jesus help these poor children. Once you are baptized, you become a missionary. That’s why we are called the Missionary Childhood Association.”

In an interview with The Criterion, Sister Loretto explained that the MCA is a pontifical mission started in 1843 by [Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson of France], “who saw that history repeats itself, the way children suffer in the world.”

His vision was to have children help other children in missionary countries around the world, which included the U.S. at the time the organization was founded.

Fifth-grader Elise Eckstein understood the concept of helping children in need.

“We’re so lucky to have food, shelter and clean water, and others really need [those things too]. It’s nice to help them,” she said.

Her classmate Zach Fillenwarth was impressed by Sister Loretto’s talk.

“It was inspiring how much she loved God,” he said.

While the goal of the fundraiser was serious business, the children had fun in the process.

“We did Simon Says with the jump rope,” said kindergartner Noah Beasley.

Fifth-grader Carrie Schrack said her class did “a group thing. We had to see who could find the most creative routine while jump-roping.”

Of the Christ the King students, Sister Loretto said, “The child Jesus went into these children and helped them help children all over the world. I am so grateful to God. I give glory to God who used them and me to do this.”
 

(To donate to the Missionary Childhood Association, send a check made out to “MCA” or “HCA” to Sister Loretto Emenogu at the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center, 1400 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.)

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