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CRS, Catholic high schools team up to help needy people around globe


  • Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services' CEO is seen in this undated photo. (CNS photo/Philip Laubner, CRS)
  • Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput concelebrates Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia in this 2015 file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Almost 14,000 Catholic high school students in the Philadelphia Archdiocese will gain a new appreciation of their connection to needy people around the world thanks to a partnership with Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency.

Under the arrangement announced in early February at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, lesson plans and hands-on activities dealing with issues of global poverty will be integrated into the curriculum for all grade levels at the 17 archdiocesan high schools plus the private Merion Mercy Academy.

Sean Callahan, the agency's CEO, said the participation by Philadelphia in the CRS Global High School partnership is the largest of its kind in the United States.

To announce it and to show the scale of aid to people overseas that the partnership represents, some 800 students came from the high schools, special education schools and several Catholic grade schools to the seminary to prepare 50,000 dried-goods meals for people served by CRS in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, his four auxiliary bishops, officials in Catholic education and CRS, plus the principals and student council representatives of the 18 high schools, joined the rest of the students in one morning session of the daylong Helping Hands project Feb. 2.

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