Students pray for Ukraine

WelCom May 2022 Napier’s Sacred Heart College students gathered in the school’s Mission Centre, as part of Pope Francis’ universal day of prayer for peace for Ukraine, on Friday, 25…

Students pray for Ukraine Archdiocese of Wellington
Sacred Heart College’s Catholic Character Leader Neila Story (l) gives fellow Yr 13 student Sophie Bisset a heart during a prayer service for Ukraine. Photo: Supplied

WelCom May 2022

Napier’s Sacred Heart College students gathered in the school’s Mission Centre, as part of Pope Francis’ universal day of prayer for peace for Ukraine, on Friday, 25 March.

Pope Francis consecrated Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a service he presided over in St Peter’s Basilica. New Zealand’s Catholic bishops asked Catholics here to offer special prayers by going to their local parish church. 

Catholic Character Leader Neila Story, Year 13, led the prayer service with other student leaders. Neila said it is important for the college as a special character school to pray for everyone affected by the war and ‘to ask the Holy Spirit to bring peace over Ukraine and Russia’. 

‘I hope people see the value in connecting with the wider Catholic Church and that no matter what your language, culture or nationality, we need to come together as one under the body of Christ in moments like these.’ 

Year 11 students, learning how the Gospel of Matthew calls people to thirst for justice, wrote prayers for part of the service. Hearts in Ukraine’s colours of yellow and blue, inscribed with the words ‘peace’ and ‘love’, were given each every student. 

Director of Religious Studies Tom Silverwood said the service showed the girls they can get involved despite being on the other side of the world. ‘One of our themes this year is Community in Mission, so we are trying to get students to think outside of themselves and support others where they can.’ 

The previous week, a ‘free-dress day’ held on St Patrick’s Day, March 17, raised $317.70 for Caritas.

Principal Maria Neville-Foster said, ‘our Catholic Social Teachings remind us to stand in solidarity with those who are vulnerable around us. We pray in solidarity for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. It is our duty and responsibility to pray for peace in the world.’