Christmas Basket tradition continues at Pacelli

Published 6:10 am Saturday, December 21, 2019

By Laura Sheedy

Math Teacher/Activities Coordinator

Advent is a time of reflection and of waiting in the Catholic faith. During this time, we encourage our students to think of others with our Christmas Basket Project.

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Since 1978, during the month of December, students in grades 7-12 at Pacelli Catholic School bring in their spare change or other donations towards this project. All money raised is used to purchase Christmas gifts for families, identified by the Catholic churches of Austin, who might need a little help in providing something extra to make Christmas a merry day. Each year the students exceed our expectations with their generosity and thoughtfulness.

All money was spent by the students when they went shopping on Wednesday, Dec. 18. This is a learning experience of its own. Students are put into groups of four or five and then assigned a child to shop for, with an amount of money that can be spent for each child. They must work together to decide what to purchase, as well as keeping track of amount spent on each item and figuring it out as a team.

Pacelli students Mach Diang and Abbey Neve look at shoes while shopping as part of the Christmas Basket Program.

Their ideas of what to purchase for the child that they are shopping for are thoughtful, clever and both practical and fun. Thank you to the new Marshalls store for helping make this a success again this year. Marshalls staff’s patience and understanding of our goal of helping make a Merry Christmas for others is greatly appreciated.

After the gifts are purchased, students return to school to wrap the presents. This alone is something that some students think about beforehand. I have seen a sled wrapped in the most creative way possible that could only have been thought out before it was even purchased.  Other items, such as quilts of various sizes made by members of the Queens Quilting Groups, and hats knitted by Belita Schindler will also be given to families.

All gifts were blessed at our Mass on Friday, Dec. 20, before they were delivered by Pacelli alumni to the families. With each passing year of the Christmas Basket Project, we remember all that we are given and what we are thankful for.

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools visit our website at, email or call 507-437-3278.

Herald file photo

Christmas Tree Pick-up

Pacelli students will once again be picking up Christmas trees on Jan. 11. Please have your tree to your boulevard by 8 a.m. with all ornaments, lights, and tinsel removed. Students will come by during the day to pick up your tree. Call 507-437-3278 or email to arrange for pick up.  A free will donation is appreciated!