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Sharing nature and faith


A community ‘share garden’ at St Anthony’s School, Edwardstown, is proving fertile ground for not only budding gardeners but philanthropists as well.

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Young Harry Kirby decided that sharing cuttings and produce with local parishioners was a great way to raise money for those less fortunate than him and his classmates.

He propagates plants and sells them to parishioners attending weekday Mass at the adjacent St Anthony of Padua Church, then takes the money to the parish Vinnies group.

Parishioner Reynaldo Dante Juanta with Nathanael Walles, Evie Hoggins, Brianna McInerheney and Patrick Dale.

The location of the garden and plant stall along the gate that separates the school and church makes it easy for parishioners to see what the children are doing and encourages them to buy plants and produce such as fresh lemons and veggies.

“The fence creates opportunities to chat to parishioners and build relationships with our children,” said APRIM Monica Doherty.

“We are so grateful to our parishioners for stopping by, donating, sharing and warmly connecting with the students.”

Harry said he loved spending time in the community garden and meeting people.

Alfred Moczlo, who travels from Aberfoyle Park to attend Mass at St Anthony of Padua Church, is a generous contributor to the garden. He said gardening was his “hobby” and he was happy to help out the students.

Another way the school and parish are strengthening their ties is through class groups attending weekday Mass. The students also study the feast day for that week and design a personalised prayer card to distribute to parishioners.

Children also participate in the Rosary each morning.

“Up to 25 children wait at the school gate each morning wanting to go to Church to pray the rosary,” Ms Doherty said.

“They lead this, teach each other and pray as a group. We often connect with parishioners there.

“Our Church and school are one, we cannot separate the two.

“By authentically living out the Gospel teachings, our connection has flourished.”

Ms Doherty said the school was grateful for the way the parish and Fr Philip Alstin help “nurture and build on our teachings as Catholic educators”.

“It has been wonderful to watch this unfold and we welcome the blessings that we all receive,” she said.


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