Parish-school partnership is sweet


This Saturday, students at Holy Spirit High School will volunteer at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish’s annual cookie walk, another step in a nascent partnership between the two Absecon communities.

Starting from 9 a.m. until the treats run out, visitors in the parish hall can choose from the chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter and various other cookies homemade and displayed. Along the way, Holy Spirit students will assist those with sweet tooths.

The collaboration between the school and the parish, with this and other initiatives, is an opportunity to “celebrate Holy Spirit’s Catholic identity, and strengthen the relationship with us and the parish and the surrounding community, through sharing school news with the community at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, having students talk to parishioners and volunteer at the church, and showing the real value of Catholic education,” said Sue Werner, advancement director at Holy Spirit High School.

Fifteen percent of the student body are parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, she added, but support is not only coming from parishioners and alumni, she said, but from the local community.

Recently, the school and parish were joint sponsors of last weekend’s Celtic Twilight Christmas. Also, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners provide tuition assistance to Holy Spirit students through the Support A Student program.

Helping the partnership is the priest with ties to both communities, Father Perry Cherubini, pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and president of Holy Spirit.

Their work together is “sustaining the mission of Catholic education,” he said, adding that an anonymous donor has agreed to match the funds raised at the cookie walk to donate to the school.

With the recent closure of four (soon-to-be-five) Atlantic City casinos in the past year, Father Cherubini has seen the struggles parents have faced to provide a quality Catholic education for their children. Support A Student is “beneficial to the families and the school,” he said.

Doors open for the Cookie Walk at 9 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, and the event ends when all cookies are sold.