Gracie Lulay of the Daughters of Mary at Regis St. Mary’s Catholic School in Stayton holds a sign directing customers to a bake sale to benefit the church. (Courtesy Kim Pomme’)
Gracie Lulay of the Daughters of Mary at Regis St. Mary’s Catholic School in Stayton holds a sign directing customers to a bake sale to benefit the church. (Courtesy Kim Pomme’)
Catholics of Stayton and Sublimity, towns close together east of Salem, came together during Holy Week. They showed love and gratitude to God for the gift of the church, the heart of their community.

As Lent drew to a close, the faithful supported what was no average bake sale. All the initiative and hard work came from 11 third grade girls from Regis St. Mary’s Catholic School. Each girl wanted to contribute to the Catholic Church. With the help of their families they baked prodigiously, producing cookies, brownies, whoopie pies, cinnamon rolls and much more.

The girls are the Daughters of Mary, a club in which members support each other in love for God and in trying to be the light of God to others.

The club’s patron saint is Joan of Arc. The girls have a cheer, St. Joan’s last words when she gave her life for Christ: "Jesus, Mary!"

The Daughters of Mary pledge to pray three Hail Marys every day, to be kind and to forgive each other, and to pray a prayer they wrote themselves:

All sisters will be safe and loving. We will love each other and stand up for each other to be with God.

Dear God, help us to be kind like you, to love others and to forgive them. Help us to stay holy every day and to never give up. Please help us have the armor of Christ like St. Joan of Arc.

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us. Help us to be strong like you and to show our love to God and you.

The girls baked solely to raise money for the church. Students, families, parish staff and priests lined the front of the school to buy a baked good or give a donation, uniting themselves with the girls’ desire to be generous to God, who has given everything, including his son. Asking only 25 cents per treat, the Daughters of Mary raised $823.

Each girl radiated joy throughout the service project, proclaiming the mystery that the greatest joy comes from giving. Their financial gift will provide candles bearing Christ’s light for the church’s altar for every Mass.

The Daughters of Mary wrote a message to everyone in their Catholic community: “We love our Catholic Church and we love our priests! Thank you for being the light of the Lord to all of us.”