Courtesy St. Clare SchoolThe class of 2017 from St. Clare School graduates June 8.
Courtesy St. Clare School
The class of 2017 from St. Clare School graduates June 8.
St. Clare School in Southwest Portland sends out 22 eighth-grade graduates after a ceremony set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, in St. Clare Church.

The class learned about world poverty in a concrete way. Cathy Kollars, eighth-grade teacher, used the principles of Catholic social teaching to inspire students to participate in a 24-hour fast, part of a religious curriculum unit designed by Catholic Relief Services.

“I learned how those in Third World countries have so much less and that I am very lucky,” says Ronnie Murphy. “The food fast changed my attitude because I want to help others more now.”

The fast was the culmination of a four-week series of lessons focused on Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.” Students examined the principles of Catholic social teaching, participated in activities relating to Scripture and explored church documents on world hunger.  

The project also considered the impact of climate change. Ali Dreves explains that “people in developing countries are affected in more catastrophic ways because of what we do daily with cars, factories and phones.”

Students sought both prayer and financial sponsors for their project.  The eighth-graders raised $1,089 for Catholic Relief Services and created a stronger awareness of the challenges of people who are poor and hungry.  

Here are the graduates: Maddie Boehringer, Aviann Castro, Paloma Clanton, Timothy Crimmins, Alison Dreves, Dominic Duda, Lucia Flores, Ellen Haney, Natalie Hermann, Dino Leback, Ella Leback, Brody Marconi, Joshua Murche, Ronnie Murphy, Sean Murphy, Audrey Parker, Lucia Quinn, Andres Raphael, Liam Ruttledge, Robi Sabido, Dylan Schmidt and Mia Sedory