Saturday, March 29, 2008

Richmond Catholic schools prepare for Benedict

Catholic schools prepare students for pope's visit March 29, 2008:

Many educators at the 29 Catholic schools serving about 10,000 students in the Diocese of Richmond are connecting classroom discussion with the six-day papal trip scheduled for next month.

"Schools are allowed to prepare students for the visit in any way appropriate," said Annette Parsons, chief school administrator for the diocese.

Eighth-graders peppered religion teacher Jim Eliasek for 35 minutes with questions equally profound and humorous one recent morning at St. Benedict's Catholic School in the Fan District.

Why does the pope ride in a limo when he's taken a vow of poverty?

Can he wear jeans?

How will he be received by non-Catholics?


Next week, the students will illustrate the facts they have memorized and make collages, bulletin boards and banners. Every student also will sign a birthday card for Benedict, who turns 81 on April 16, the second day of his trip.

On April 15, Diocesan Bishop Emeritus Walter F. Sullivan will visit All Saints to "pray with us and tell us why the pope is coming to America," Cash said. "We hope to persuade him to take our birthday card" to the pope.