Breathing Life into the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

By Cadence Sweetmon, class of 2022

In a time when we have to physically distance, it is important to remember to come together as the human family. My classmates and I have embraced this idea and accepted the challenge to complete service projects relating to the fourteen Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy by the end of the first semester. There is no better time to kickstart a long term service goal then during Homecoming Week, especially when alumni, Dave VanKat and Fr. Mike Eckley, requested help for Catholic Charities. Gross Catholic’s House System came together to help Catholic Charities by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, and visiting the sick.

As a Captain for Middleton House, I helped organize my housemates in projects that allowed us to “visit” the sick by providing Catholic Charities with memory care items for local senior citizens. We collected items such as crossword puzzles, adult coloring books, colored pencils, and jigsaw puzzles. In addition, we sent cards to two nursing homes to let the residents know we are thinking and praying for them.

When my housemates and I reflected on this Corporal Work of Mercy, we realized how much we owe our senior citizens.  So many of us have special memories of times we spent with grandparents, aunts and uncles.  A special time I enjoy with my great-grandma is visiting her in her retirement village and playing cards with her. Due to the COVID pandemic, it is important to have many puzzles and games to reduce the number of items shared between families. Many nursing homes are also not allowing visitors. It is important to remind the residents they are not alone and there are people out there praying for them; I know my great-grandma would love to receive one of these letters, and I’m sure the residents we sent letters to feel the same way.

The experience of learning more about the Works of Mercy and seeing the acts in our local community has taught all of us at Gross Catholic the importance of the human family. My classmates in Barrett House “visited” the imprisoned by collecting food items for those feeling trapped by the COVID virus; those in McMenamy gave drink to the thirsty by collecting cases of water; students in Willett House “sheltered” the homeless by creating hygiene kits for distribution through Catholic Charities. Another advantage of kicking this off during Homecoming is that we also asked our alumni and parents to feed the hungry through a can drive.

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, my classmates and I hope to be the face of Christ to our community as we continue to serve through the Works of Mercy. After all, as Saint John Paul the Great told the youth, “Christ is calling you and the world awaits!  Remember the Kingdom of God needs your generous and complete dedication.”


About Gross Catholic

One of Nebraska’s premier private schools, Gross Catholic High School is a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through academic excellence in the Marianist tradition. Recognized locally for its outstanding education, welcoming atmosphere, competitive sports programs, engaging activities, robust faith, and boundless service work, Gross Catholic has energized the Omaha area for over 50 years. Gross Catholic recently received the KVSS Radio Superstar School Award and the Omaha World-Herald Omaha’s Choice award for private schools.

To discover the Gross Catholic difference, contact us at 402.734.2000 or visit our Admissions page.