Jesuit Father Len Altilia with students at Marshall McLuhan's Ash Wednesday school Mass. Behind them is the "Witness to Faith Cross." The cross was built by Neil McNeil High School students to tour Toronto Catholic schools during the school board's "Year of Witness." Photo by Michael Swan

Lent a time of action at Marshall McLuhan

By 
  • February 22, 2012

TORONTO - Students at Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School in Toronto began Lent with a purpose. The 1,000-plus students at the midtown school are raising money to combat child sexual slavery.

Jesuit Father Len Altilia told the students Lent should make us want to reach out to the helpless, particularly the women and children who suffer most from violence and sexual exploitation.

"It's not just an act of charity," said Altilia. "It is an act of faith and an act of justice."

Money the students raise over the 40 days of Lent will go to the Canadian organization OneChild, which rescues children and youth from sexual exploitation in Cambodia and raises awareness of the issue in Canada (www.onechild.ca).

Students at Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School. PHOTO BY MICHAEL SWAN

The Ash Wednesday school Masses were also an opportunity for students to encounter the "Witness to Faith Cross." The cross was built by Neil McNeil High School students to tour Toronto Catholic schools during the school board's "Year of Witness."

For Lent, students posted their Lenten promises to the cross on post-it notes. Promises ranged from "I promise to do better in school" to "I promise to be a better person" to "I will try to open my heart."

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