By Bernadette Bridle
In the words of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, “Never see a need without doing something about it.”
This is exactly what family educators and their communities across the Sydney Archdiocese strive to achieve and bring to life through their blessing and angel meals.
These meals are made by various members of the school community to support those in their community, who may be going through some difficult times.
It may be due to a short or long term illness, loss of a loved one, birth of a new baby, loss of work and income.
Whatever the circumstance, these meals are designed to lighten the load and support the family at a specific time of need in their household.
Photos: Bernadette Bridle
Many families often want to help others but never know where to start. The blessing and angel meals project is an all year round service that families can contribute to.
They may choose to be a regular meal donor, preparing a meal once a month or once per term, or an occasional meal donor.
The meals are all homemade, freshly cooked meals, like casseroles, curries, lasagna, pasta, pies, stroganoff, just to mention a few.
The meals are then delivered to school and dropped off, in confidence, to the families in need.
Included with the meal is a prayer card, plus words of encouragement and support to let families know that their community is praying for them.
Knowing the service is available has led to families and staff members privately informing the family educator of a family who is need.
This has been a wonderful way to encourage others to look out for one another, to put their faith in action, to build and strengthen the school community and spirit.
Preparing these meals is often a family activity, with parents teaching their children about the importance of caring for one another.
It is a very powerful message for children to learn to do something for others anonymously, and not look for recognition or praise.
The blessing and angel meals is just another way that family educators and their community, work together to be witnesses to Christ and to live out the new commandment given to us, “To love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34.
Bernadette Bridle is the Education Officer: Church Engagement, Mission & Identity Directorate, Sydney Catholic Schools.