By Paul McMullen
Mercy High School is among the institutions in the Archdiocese of Baltimore making the “Feet for Francis” shoe drive part of its outreach during Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.
The all-girls school on Northern Parkway isn’t just participating in the outreach that complements the Pilgrimage of Love and Mercy, which will send Father John J. “Jack” Lombardi and 18 other pilgrims from Baltimore to Philadelphia Sept. 20-27, it will help fuel those walkers on their 108-mile journey.
Father Jack, myself and other pilgrims set out from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. We’ll slalom our way of the city before heading up Loch Raven Boulevard the afternoon of Sept.20.
When we get to the campus of St. Matthew Parish and Cardinal Shehan School, a contingent of Mercy High students intend to be there, providing cheer, snacks and drink we’ll be able to consume there or pack for our eight-day journey.
“We’re asking students to purchase granola bars, Gatorade, whatever you like,” said Rebecca Hogg, ’89, director of campus ministries.
It is the first of several related events Mercy High has scheduled during the papal visit, which coincides with Mercy Day, Sept. 24, marking the day in 1827 when Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, and her colleagues opened a school and residence for the poor and homeless in Ireland.
From 8:20 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Sept. 24, approximately 350 Mercy High students will bring signs to the southeast corner of their campus, at Loch Raven Boulevard and Northern Parkway, for a brief vigil, a “Silent Witness for Peace and Mercy in Our City and Our World.”
The school, meanwhile, has registered as a location for the “Feet for Francis” shoe drive, which is being coordinated by Florida-based Funds2Orgs. A complete list of all participating locations follows.
Archdiocese of Baltimore, Catholic Center, 320 Cathedral St., Baltimore
Archbishop Curley High School, 3701 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore
St. Augustine School, 5990 Old Washington Road, Elkridge
Bishop Walsh School, 700 Bishop Walsh Road, Cumberland
Catholic Review Media, 880 Park Avenue, Baltimore
St. Dominic Parish, 5302 Harford Road, Baltimore
St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 3615 Harford Road, Baltimore
School of the Incarnation, 2601 Symphony Lane, Gambrills
The John Carroll School, 703 E. Churchville Road, Bel Air
St. John the Evangelist School, 669 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park
St. John Regional Catholic School, 8414 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick
St. Margaret Parish, 141 Hickory Avenue, Bel Air
St. Margaret School, 205 Hickory Avenue, Bel Air
St. Mark School, 26 Melvin Ave., Catonsville
Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway, Baltimore
St. Michael the Archangel School, 10 Willow Ave., Baltimore
Our Lady of Grace Parish, 18310 Middletown Road, Parkton
Our Lady of Hope-St. Luke School, 8003 N. Boundary Road, Dundalk
St. Peter Parish, 16 E High St., Hancock
St. Thomas More Academy, 103 Prospect St., Middletown
Sacred Heart School, 63 Sacred Heart Lane, Glyndon
Seton Keough High School, 1201 Caton Avenue, Baltimore
(This list was updated Sept. 18 to include additional participants.)