By: Daria Tkaczyk

Lent, which began on March 3, is an important part of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School calendar. During the Lenten season, the students and staff of I.H.M.S. participated in a number of activities, including a Christian service project and two Lenten services in the gym.

This year's theme, called "Help Us Help the Children", was organized to provide hygiene kits for children in Ukraine. Everyone was asked to bring two items to school in order to create a hygiene kit of shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Parents wanting to contribute anything extra were able to add pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, markers, Ukrainian storybooks, or shoes for children and teens. The collection for these items took place from April 7-17, and the hygiene kits were sent to Ukraine the following week.

During the Lenten season, I.H.M.S. also held two services in the school gym. The first service, which took place on March 3, was a play produced by the grades 5 & 6 students. The play recreated the torment Jesus went through during the thirteen stations of the cross. As Gaby Szmyd told the story, the grade 5 and 6 students acted out the scenes. The second Lenten service, which took place on April 14, consisted of a video of the passions in Jesus's life. The grade 2 and 4 students talked about the true meaning of the passions and the thirteen stations of the cross. The service ended with a prayer.

In addition to the two Lenten services and the hygiene kit project, each grade also observed Lent in their own classroom. For example, the older grades (grades 4-8) participated in a tour of the shrine of Blessed Bishop Vasyl Velychkovsky. Obviously, Lent is more than an important part of our spiritual life - it's also an important part of our school life at I.H.M.S.!