Heeding Christ’s mission to feed the hungry

On Feb. 6, before the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos squared-off in Super Bowl 50, students from Seton School in Manassas headed into Washington for "Super Bowl Lunches for the Homeless," a tradition of distributing food to the needy that began more than 20 years ago by Seton parent Mike Hadro.

According to senior Jessica Krynitsky, each lunch contained a sandwich, fruit and chips that was supplemented by large bags of other fruits and platters of pastries. Father Thomas P. Vander Woude, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville, blessed the lunches before students loaded them into vans to be driven into the city.

Groups of students set out with maps marked with places where homeless had congregated in previous years, but they frequently detoured in order to find new gathering spots.

"This was my first time going, and I was expecting to stop at a variety of places," said senior Maria Lebron. "But we ended up giving out lunches at one park then continuing on to the homeless shelter."

For many of the students, the best part of the day was talking with homeless people while giving out lunches. The Super Bowl was a big topic of conversation. Others talked about the recent Washington area snowstorm and how they had found shelter during the record snowfall.

Some students were impressed by the gratefulness of the poor. Many would say, "God bless you" when they were given food.

The event was different from other Seton activities, such as the Haiti Run and 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament to help the poor in Haiti, because the students were able to see the benefit of their actions immediately.

"It was an extremely humbling and saddening experience," said Lebron. "I feel as if I gained an appreciation for how incredibly blessed I am, but I also (have) a … realization of how little people have around here."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016