Operation Starfish is the Lenten almsgiving choice for pre-schoolers at St. Patrick Catholic School in Ionia, Michigan. Principal Randy L. Hodge says “Preschool students will be talking about and reading age appropriate books about Lent and Easter. They will collect coins throughout the Lenten season and the money will be donated to Food for the Poor.”
Nativity has followed a tradition of placing a large basket in the vestibule of the church during Lent for, as Fr. Martin said, “our spare change”. Nativity will once again do this and any coins or currency placed in the basket will be shared with Operation Starfish and Catholic Relief Services. Both of these organizations work closely together on many projects.
As a new tradition, the major Operation Starfish collection will take place this year on the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 3, 2015. There will be a second collection on that Sunday at all the masses. May 3 marks the first anniversary of Fr. Martin’s return to God. The parish leadership and the coordinators of Operation Starfish agreed that there is no better way to honor and celebrate Fr. Martin’s priesthood and ministry among us than to support Operation Starfish which was so dear to his heart. This annual Starfish collection to build homes in Haiti with Food For the Poor will now take place in the Easter season on the Sunday closest to Fr. Martin’s anniversary of his death. It will become a new parish tradition in Fr. Martin’s honor.