Christmas For Others Mass 2023

December 21st, 2023 | News

The Padua Franciscan community celebrated our annual Christmas For Others Liturgy on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. Fr. Johnpaul Cafiero, OFM presided and Dcn. Matt Harley and Dcn. Tom Litwinowicz assisted.

During his homily, Friar JP asked everyone – What if? What if peace could overcome violence? What if tolerance could overcome bigotry? What if we can love one another? What if we can overcome? How would the world be different?

Throughout the month of December, Padua collected a record-breaking $41,041 in cash, in addition to collecting thousands of donations (clothing, food, books and toys) for non-profits and families in need. We distributed the money and goods at the end of CFO Mass. Two dozen non-profits, local food pantries, animal shelters and many others received these donations.

Our students raised funds in a number of ways. The most exciting was our Coin Wars competition. In 20 minutes, we collected $9,585 cash for local charities and families in need. Our Italian Club hosted a Spaghetti Dinner. Spanish Club sold nachos. Art Club sold handmade jewelry. We had a student vs. faculty volleyball game, where $1 admission went to this good cause. We also had a blood drive, where students’ donations helped save 93 lives. Our main lobby was full of large bins to collect: toys, books, coats, mittens, hats, scarves, socks, blankets and food.

For 52 years, the Padua community has come together in the Franciscan spirit of giving. Since its inception in 1971, CFO has raised over $500,000 for charity. CFO is the largest student-run outreach program in Northeast Ohio. It is sponsored, organized and operated by the students, under the direction of Padua’s Key (Kiwanis) Club.