Cathedral students, staff help others despite own tragedy
By Chris Maza Reminder Assistant Editor
SPRINGFIELD – For decades, Cathedral High School has been said to be a place where students are not only educated, but brought up to be responsible global citizens.
When tragedy struck at home,
the core values of Western Massachusetts’ preeminent Catholic high school’s mission statement of justice, peace, love and service shone through. Even as a whirlwind of
uncertainty surrounds the future of their school, staff and students of Cathedral hosted a tornado relief drive for the surrounding community at the St. Catherine of Siena parish center on June 14. “It’s a great reflection on the school and its students,” Elizabeth Hegarty, a math teacher at Cathedral, said. “They always want to give and lead by example by doing for others.”
The building on Surrey Road that has housed Cathedral since 1959 and St. Michael’s Academy since 2009 was severely damaged
by the tornado that ripped through one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. It has since been condemned and while the Diocese of Springfield has said it plans to reopen the school, questions still remain regarding where and when. However, putting their own hardships aside, student and staff volunteers collected items to be donated to tornado victims, including clothing, shoes, sleepwear, towels, blankets, toiletries, diapers, baby formula, glassware and dishware, and kitchen utensils. According to Hegarty, the first ideas for a collection of this kind emerged from the student body. “The students really wanted to do something to help those affected after the tornado hit, but they had no structure,” Hegarty explained. “That’s when the staff got involved. We contacted the Catholic Charities Agency to see what we could do and have organized this in cooperation with them.”
Nana Le, a freshman from
Springfield, said she felt the way the school was affected by the
tornado has made the student body especially sensitive to the needs of the surrounding community. “I think it had a really big
impact,” she said. “There was a one in a million chance that the tornado hit the school and I think that made some people think. There were also a lot of students who were affected.” Hegarty said that while she felt students would have come through in a similar fashion had the school been untouched, the fact the school was damaged added a greater sense of reality to the situation.
“I think it offered a lot of
students a first hand look at what can happen to people in a split second,” she said. While volunteers hoped that
their efforts would help and inspire others, some found that it was they, themselves who were inspired. Sister Louise Lataille, another math teacher at the school, recounted how two separate women whose houses were damaged by the tornado stopped and delivered goods because they realized that some were without
Volunteers from Cathedral High School and the Catholic Charities Agency collected items for tornado victims outside the St.
Catherine of Siena parish center on June 14. Reminder Publications photo by Chris Maza
homes at all. “That really amazed me. I’m
not sure what I’d be thinking if something like that happened to
my home, but it is heartening to see that even in desperate times people are thinking about each other,” she said.
City to have second property auction of year on June 21
SPRINGFIELD – The City of Springfield will, once again, team up with Daniel J. Flynn & Co., of Quincy, to host its second auction of 2011.
The portfolio for this auction,
which had initially been scheduled for June 21, includes 27 properties in tax-title possession and is now
scheduled for July 19. Registration begins at 5 p.m., and the auction will begin promptly at 6 p.m. The ballroom-style auction will be conducted at Springfield City Hall located at 36 Court St. The 27 city-owned property
portfolio consists of eleven residential homes, residential and
commercial lots and one commercial property. Open houses will be conducted on July 18, at the sites of the residential homes and the single commercial property. Times for entry are to be determined and will be published on the auctioneer’s Web site, at www.flynnauctions.com
A 5 percent buyer’s premium
covers the auction fee so the cost is added to each high bid, which represents the final sale price. Anyone interested is strongly encouraged to visit these properties at the open houses scheduled for July 18. Auction participation requires bidders to come prepared
with a certified or bank check, made out to themselves, in the amount of $5,000 per property. Interested parties should check Web site,
, or the Daniel J. Flynn & Co., Web site www.flynnauctions.com
for specific open house schedules.
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