Maternity BVM School honors police officers, firefighters

Maternity B.V.M. School in Bustleton held a prayer service Wednesday for members of the police and fire departments.

Pre-K students at Maternity B.V.M. School hand gift bags to police officers and firefighters following a prayer service Wednesday, Jan. 29. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Students at Maternity BVM School in Bustleton participated in a prayer service Wednesday for police officers and firefighters.

It’s something the school does every year in conjunction with Catholic Schools Week, which began Jan. 26. Michael McDonough, the school’s advancement director, said about a third of the students have a parent or family member in the police or fire department.

“It’s really important for us,” he told the Times.

Students from pre-K through eighth grade packed into the Parish Hall for the service. They made cards to give to the first responders, McDonough said.

The Rev. Paul Quinter speaks to Maternity B.V.M. students Wednesday, Jan. 29, during a prayer service for police officers and firefighters. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

More than 20 officers and firefighters were in attendance, and they were invited afterward for refreshments in the cafeteria.

“We’re saying thank you today to God for the men and women who protect you,” the Rev. Paul Quinter, BVM’s pastor, told the students. “Always say thank you.”

He also brought up basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. Quinter said Bryant followed Jesus and was a Catholic. It’s been reported he attended Mass in the hours before the accident.

“You never take anything for granted, not that we’re going to be scared or upset,” Quinter said.

After the service concluded, pre-K students sang God Bless America. ••

Maternity B.V.M. School’s pre-K class sings “God Bless America” following a prayer service for police officers and firefighters Wednesday, Jan. 29. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO
Students at Maternity B.V.M. School kick off a prayer service Wednesday, Jan. 29, for police officers and firefighters. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO