Dear St. Hilary Parishioners and School Families,
As a new school year begins, we at St. Hilary are beginning the 6oth Anniversary of St. Hilary School! As we strive to form our young people in mind, heart, and soul, we are endeavoring to connect our parish and school community to a community far from us in a spirit of “solidarity”, which is one of our accreditation goals! To that end we have partnered with Educate the Congo, a Foundation started by Gaspard Nzita, to build the St. Hilary School of the Congo in Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gaspard Nzita, now a resident of Green, Ohio is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and with the financial help of Father Joseph Kraker, fulfilled last year a promise to his mother to build a hospital in their village. Once the hospital, St. Joseph Community Hospital, was a success, the idea of building a school began to blossom.
The hope is to connect the children of both St. Hilary Schools as future friends and virtual classmates and to give our students a feeling of accomplishment in bringing about a safe place for other children to learn – just like them. The children of Boma presently have to walk miles through the jungle just to get to a school, so most of them don’t go. A new school in their village will be a game changer!
The idea of the fundraiser began with a small group of parishioners who met with Father Steve Brunovsky and St. Hilary School Principal Mrs. Woodman. Father Steve, who knows Gaspard from the hospital project, suggested a correlation with our school’s 60th anniversary and participation of the parish especially in light of our school theme this year “Answer God’s Call…Change the World” and our patron saint this year, St. Katherine Drexel, who formed her own religious order specifically to provide a Catholic education to poor children of African American and Native American descent.
The building of the school is being done entirely by volunteers of the village without any wages. No machinery was used to clear the land or dig the foundations for the new school…it was all done by hand! Stones for the foundation were transported by truck and broken up by hand to fit the trenches. The bricks are all made by hand on site and dried in the sun. Wood forms are used to create the bricks which make up the window areas. Wood will be used for the rafters which will support corrugated metal roofing.
The plan is to build 10 classrooms and a large assembly room. The estimated cost for material per classroom is $2,000, and $8,000 for the assembly room, for a total cost or $30,000. Can you imagine building a whole school for $30,000?! We have already secured leadership donations of $12,000 and still need $18,000 to complete the building project. In addition, pigs are being purchased as a way for the teachers to earn money through breeding new pigs and selling them! We are asking our fellow parishioners to help achieve this goal along with the school children – and help both the children of St. Hilary, Fairlawn, Ohio and the children of Boma, Republic of the Congo, to realize their dream of “Answering God’s Call – And Changing the World!”
Thank you so much!!!
Fr. Steve Brunovsky, Pastor
Mrs. Jennifer Woodman, Principal