Photo from samshouse.org
ST. ED'S HONORS MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. WITH PRAYER SERVICE AND AWARD WINNERS
Every year, the St. Edward Community gathers together for a prayer service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This service, held this week, allowed students, faculty and staff to reflect on Dr. King's servant leadership, courage and commitment to civil rights that helped change American history. "I believe that Dr. King's mission, like so many other women and men who have worked and are continuing to work for justice and peace and to amplify the voices of those on the margins in our society, is very much the same mission and vision that we seek to live out as a Holy Cross School," says VP of Mission Effectiveness Mr. Liam Haggerty '02. "The Holy Cross Constitutions call us to be a people who 'stand side by side with all people' and 'like them we hope for a world where justice and love prevail.' Dr. King is the epitome of a Christ-like servant leader, one who gave his life so that others might live in freedom. It is an honor to be able to celebrate his legacy." During the prayer service, students recounted pivotal moments in Dr. King's fight for civil rights and led time for self-reflection, asking how our St. Edward Community can live out Dr. King's dream, God's call for us and this year's St. Ed's theme, "Come Follow Me." "To me, Dr. King was an ambassador for social justice. He embodied change. His words and actions demonstrated what love should be. The opportunity to honor Dr. King as a school and community is an opportunity for us to show what progress looks like," says VP of Equity and Inclusion Mr. James Knight. "St. Ed's is more diverse than ever and is actively taking strides to live out the dream of Dr. King by being a place where all students, regardless of color, creed, or economics, can study together and work together to be a catalyst for social innovation."
At the prayer service, St. Ed's also announced this year's winners of the St. Edward High School Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, Mr. Chris Butler '88 and his wife Ms. Jennifer Rothchild. Chris and Jennifer have been granted this award for their work at Sam's House, an orphanage and children's home that they opened in Nepal. From 1999-2000, Chris and Jennifer lived in Nepal together while Jennifer was conducting research for her dissertation at American University. At that time, Nepal was in the middle of a decade-long civil war that left nearly 17,000 people dead. The war had left many children orphaned and in dire need of a home, and Chris and Jennifer desired to find a way to give back. They partnered with a long-time Nepali friend of theirs to create Sam's House, named after Jennifer's grandfather who was orphaned in New York City upon his arrival to the United States in the early 90's.
Initially, Sam's House opened its doors to 15 children and has grown to now house 47 children. The mission at Sam's House seeks to "embrace the future by providing a home, family, education and love to abandoned, at-risk and parentless children in Nepal." Sam's House believes that "love, security and education are essential rights and key components of any child's ability to thrive in and contribute to the world." "Faith, according to Dr. King, is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Being able to take that first step is an act of faith, but it's also an act of someone who has hope, a person with hope to bring," says President Jim Kubacki. That is why St. Ed's chose to honor Chris and Jennifer, who truly embody servant leadership, faith and courage like Dr. King, with this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. award.