This weekend, thousands of Catholics across South Mississippi will commemorate Catholic Schools Week. To kick-off the celebration, one school in Harrison County is growing a "prayer tree."
About 250-students wrote their prayers on colorful, plastic wristbands.
"Dear Lord, please help all nations. Think about world peace," prayed sixth grader Megan Walters.
"Thank You that I am a healthy boy," wrote sixth grader Logan Bradley.
Then, they took turns tying their personal prayers to a strap that was dangling from an old oak tree. The large tree is located behind St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School off Espy Avenue. The idea behind the "Prayer Tree" came from art teacher Tara Meleones.
"I always do a special project for Catholic Schools Week that involves art and something visual," said Meleones. "It's a visual reminder that this is a prayerful school, a prayerful place, and prayerful kids, and kids' prayers are heard first I always think."
And those are comforting words for the students who came with heavy hearts. Sophia Motyka was thinking of someone who is battling cancer.
"I prayed for my friend, because she has to go through something like Chemo. It'll probably help me to know that she'll be safe," said Sophia.
Students will continue to hang their prayers on the tree all next week.
"It will help us express our feelings, let them out," said Logan.
"God can actually see what our prayer is. It's a very helpful way for us to pray during recess. We can just think about God and pray to him," said sixth grader Christina Parry.
Soon, this project will branch out and become a Prayer Garden. There are plans to add a mural and stepping stones. It will be a peaceful place where children and adults can come to reflect and give thanks.
All teachers and parents of the school were also invited to add to the Prayer Tree.
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