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For nine years, Sacred Heart University has been raising money to purchase Thanksgiving turkeys for the needy. This year, with the help of motivated students and community members and generous donors, the University exceeded its fundraising goal and purchased 1,300 turkeys, a record-breaking amount. In the weeks leading up to the annual distribution event at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bridgeport, volunteer programs & service learning (VPSL) and campus ministry held a food drive and student government conducted a turkey drive. At the end of the food drive, more than 1,000 items were collected and, in part, because of a generous partnership with Harry Garafalo ’80 and the ShopRite of Milford, student government surpassed its target of 700 turkeys by 600. The ShopRite of Milford became SHU’s official turkey drive supplier, providing turkeys to the students below cost in order to have a greater impact this Thanksgiving.
The Sacred Heart community gathered in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on November 13 to commemorate the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass.” Holocaust survivor Claire Boren shared with faculty, staff, students and guests her personal experiences during the Haulocost. Boren painted a story of her 18 months in hiding with her mother by her side during the Nazi invasion of Poland. She came to the United States at age 11 and badly wanted to blend in and be an American, she said. Boren emphasized the importance of remembering and not pretending the horrific massacre of more than 6 million Jews didn’t occur. She left the crowd with a powerful statement about her life after the holocaust: “My whole time in hiding was one-and-a-half years, but the security of having my mother with me is what got me through. Even though I experienced the worst, I experienced the good in people. I did not chose to be in the Holocaust, but I can choose how I live the experience.”
An 80-year-old nun stood at the altar of Sacred Heart University’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit and told her captivated audience about her life since “sneaky Jesus” guided her to correspond with a prison inmate. It’s been quite a life. Sister Helen Prejean is more than a nun; she is a spiritual adviser to death-row inmates and an activist with a drive to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. And she’s an author. Her newest book is “River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey,” but you might know her better by her first book, “Dead Man Walking.” It became a major, Oscar-nominated movie in 1995 starring Susan Sarandon as a nun counseling Sean Penn’s character, a death-row inmate.