Holy Childhood campaign underway

By Anne Marie Amacher
Students from St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt hosted a penny challenge during Catholic Schools Week for the Holy Childhood Assocation. The students raised $1,462.09. The eighth graders won the class challenge and are pictured. A baggie sale while playing bingo raised an additional $248.85.

For years the Diocese of Davenport has ranked high nationally in the Holy Childhood Association collection based on donations per pupil. This year, Lee Morrison, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, assumes leadership of the collection and hopes to continue the success that his predecessor, Msgr. W. Robert Schmidt, inspired.
Morrison took over as director of the Holy Childhood Association July 1. Msgr. Schmidt, a retired priest of the diocese, served as the Holy Childhood director for nearly 30 years and will continue as honorary chair and also serves as a member of the Holy Childhood board. Msgr. Schmidt also served as the vice president of the national board for several years.

The Holy Childhood Association was founded in 1843 by French Bishop Charles de Fourbin-Janson, who was deeply affected by the distress of children abandoned in the streets, according to The Pontifical Mission Societies brochure. The bishop founded a society similar to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, but tailored for children. “He was convinced that children rich in faith and love are capable of playing their own part in the Church’s mission and even of stirring adults to show the same giving spirit,” Morrison said.

The Holy Childhood Association titled its campaign “Children Helping Children.” The program encourages students to learn about the great needs of the world’s poor, for young people to pray and offer financial help for students in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.

Students in diocesan Catholic schools and religious education programs donate to the collection beginning in Lent and through the Easter season, said Morrison.


Schools and religious education programs have collected money through fundraisers or in a Holy Childhood Association box.

“There have been bake sales and challenges between classes over the years,” Msgr. Schmidt said. Adults have helped raise money as well. In 2006, an estate left a large amount of money specifically for Holy Childhood. “We have always done a remarkable job raising money,” Msgr. Schmidt added.

Funds collected by the students “make a big impact on the lives of the poorest of the world’s children,” Morrison said. “I hope the spirit of giving that was seen under Msgr. Schmidt continues,” Morrison added.

The Holy Childhood Association collection began Ash Wednesday.  Pope Benedict has challenged younger Catholics to deepen their missionary call. Morrison urges diocesan youths to answer this challenge by giving generously and for  adults throughout the diocese to donate to the campaign.

For more information or to make a contribution, contact your parish or call Morrison at (563) 324-1911.

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on