The Gift of Music

By Robin Mull
The Catholic Accent

Students from St. Sebastian Regional Catholic School in Belle Vernon shared their Christmas spirit with those who live at Country Care Manor in Fayette City. The students, as part of their outreach program, lifted their voices and opened their hearts to bring the joy of Christmas by singing carols and sharing the gift of caring and compassion with the residents.

As the students gathered, the sound of Christmas carols and bells jingled through the halls, warm cozy blankets covered the laps of residents, and everyone in the room wore heartwarming smiles.

Upper grade religion teacher Maureen Ruschak, who organized the outreach event, said along with the singing, students brought gifts and a special craft-making activity.

“The students had fun planning the crafts and activities for the residents,” Ruschak said. “Living out the Gospel message of Jesus to love our neighbors becomes a reality when the kids sit and visit with the lovely people we meet at Country Care.”

Fifth-grader Evan Wolfgang was excited to spend quality time with the residents.

“They are going to be joyous, because some of them don’t get visitors,” he said.

Under the direction of music teacher Lance Russell, the students sang familiar Christmas carols with residents. Russell reminds his students daily that “God’s just not in the song – he’s everywhere.”

Fifth-grader Emilia Fouch enjoys singing and believes it brings her closer to God.

“If I’m having a rough day, I can sing, and the stress just kind of goes away,” she said.

The outreach ministry provided by students in grades 3-7 continues throughout the school year.

At Christmas, they also visit with residents of Center on the Hill in Belle Vernon.


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