Archbishop Chaput Kicked-Off Catholic Schools Week With Day-Long Community Service Event Featuring Over 800 Catholic School Students (Includes Link to Archived Video)

Thursday, February 22nd

Students from elementary schools, high schools, and schools of special education packaged over

17,000 relief bags to benefit Nutritional Development Services’ Community Food Program

Today, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. officially kicked-off Catholic Schools Week (CSW) in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with a day-long community service event Nourishing our Neighbors—Catholic School Students as Servant Leaders. 

The keystone CSW event brought over 800 students representing parish-based elementary schools as well as Archdiocesan high schools and schools of special education to Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to package over 17,000 relief bags benefiting Nutritional Development Services’ (NDS) Community Food Program.  The assembled relief bags contained non-perishable items including food, socks, washcloths, toothbrushes, and note cards to benefit children and families struggling with hunger and homelessness.

Mrs. Lizanne Hagedorn, Executive Director of NDS, said, “What you do today will make a difference in the life of that child, of that homeless man or woman and of that elderly couple in ways we may never know.” She continued, “To be working with you today, as a community of Christians, imitating the example of Christ, with the purpose of providing nourishment is both powerful and humbling. Like the first disciples we are called today and every day to serve our neighbors.

After you leave here today, please take some time to reflect on this accomplishment and its impact. Don’t underestimate what you can do, individually or as a group, or what change you can affect in the lives of others.

And never forget what the disciples surely learned by the miracle of the loaves and fishes. With God, all things are possible.”

NDS’ Community Food Program is a modern day equivalent to the miracle of the loaves and fishes as schools, parishes, and individuals give what they can to make a difference. As a result, both the giver and receiver are nourished.

NDS, the beneficiary of this service program, is an agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia within the Secretariat for Catholic Human Services.  Its goal is to provide meals, food assistance, and additional support to organizations serving children and the poor as an extension of the mission of the Church.

The national observance of Catholic Schools Week is January 28-February 3, 2018 and the theme is Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead Succeed. Each day has a unique theme.  The theme for Monday, January 29th is Celebrating Your Community.

The event was streamed via Facebook live in Archbishop Chaput’s official Facebook page. Archived video is available at

Additional Background Regarding Today’s Announcement

The bags packed today benefit Nutritional Development Services’ (NDS) in three distinct areas Kid Snack Bags, Outreach Bags, and Emergency Food Cupboard Bags.

  • Kid Snack Bags are distributed to local food centers and hospitals which serve vulnerable children throughout the five-county region. These beneficiaries provide children and families with emergency assistance. They also strive to strengthen families and support optimal healthy growth and development in children.
    • Saint Vincent DePaul Cupboard
    • Saint Agnes Day Room
    • Northeast Family Service Center
    • Saint Christopher’s Hospital
    • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    • Catholic Community Services – Catholic Social Services’ Community Umbrella Agency
  • Outreach Bags are distributed to community-based organizations that provide crucial and life-sustaining services to the needy and homeless. Many of these beneficiaries provide outreach services to men and women suffering from chronic mental illness, addiction, life-threatening diseases, and more.
    • Mother of Mercy House
    • Saint John’s Hospice
    • Women of Hope-Lombard
    • Saint Vincent’s De Paul Food Cupboard
    • Community Center at Visitation
    • Saint Thomas Aquinas-Refugees
    • Our Lady of Hope-Refugees
    • Siloam Wellness
    • Providence House
    • Sisters of Saint Joseph Outreach Center
    • Broad Street Ministries
    • Saint Francis Inn
  • Emergency Food Cupboard Bags are distributed to 40 food cupboards at parishes, community-based centers, Catholic Social Services’ Family Centers, and more. These cupboards provide emergency food assistance to individuals and families.


Editor’s Note: For information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit For more information about Nutritional Development Services, please visit