May 28, 2014

St. Mary School celebrates a year of prayer partnership



Story and photos by Peggy Weber

LEE – Hundreds gathered at St. Mary School, here, on May 23 to celebrate a year-long prayer partnership program.

“This is a wonderful program. At the beginning of the year we ask parishioners, family members and alumni if they would like to be prayer partners with one of our students. The list is then organized and students learn who their prayer partners are,” said Jane Furey (at right, in above photo), principal of St. Mary School.

“Prayer partners get to know the name of the student and grade level. During the course of the year they are praying for each other in special intentions in their classroom and at home, and they are talking about it at home, as well,” Furey said.

“For the school, it is a wonderful connection between the parish community and the students. Several of our recent graduates are returning today because the program meant so much to them as students and they want to continue now and be on the other side of it,” she said.

Furey added that the confirmation students in the parish also take on prayer partners and they are connected with the second-graders who are making their first holy Communion. “So we have a nice sacramental connection,” she said.

The prayer partnership program is so popular that many of the students have more than one partner.

On an overcast morning, the students and partners gathered for an end-of-the-year breakfast in the school gym. Sharon DeLorme, a longtime member of St. Mary Parish, attended the event. She said she has participated in it for three years.

“I like it because it makes you feel connected to another child that isn’t your grandchild,” she said. “And I just said to Emily (her prayer partner) that the last minute, before you close your eyes at night, you say, ‘Oh, Emily.’ And you say that prayer for her and you feel you are doing something good for these children.”

Emily Hunter, grade seven, is DeLorme’s prayer partner.

“I think it’s just great to be able to spread our faith throughout – not just our school – but also in our parish and throughout the community,” she said. She, like many of the prayer partners, made a card or gave a gift.

One woman gave a little boy a guardian angel pin that she had kept with her all year while she was praying for him. Others made handmade cards and gave each other religious items.

Emily wrote a note to DeLorme that read: “I hope you are having a wonderful year. I’m so honored to be your prayer partner. It has been a pleasure praying for you. You will always be in my intentions. Have a great day.”

For more information about St. Mary School in Lee go to:

A video version of this story will air on an upcoming edition of “Real to Reel,” which airs Saturday evenings at 7 on WWLP-22NEWS.