By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
WILTON — Fifth- and sixth-grade youths from St. Mary Parish arrived at church a little early on Nov. 10 to decorate 180 doughnuts in patriotic colors. Some youths decorated the doughnuts with red, white and blue stripes with silver sprinkles. Others decorated and arranged doughnuts to resemble an American flag.
Before the youths began to decorate, “I gave them the ‘veteran’ talk,” said Jean Semsch, a religious education teacher at the parish. She told them veterans deserve respect “because they gave a lot for the freedoms you enjoy today.”
The doughnuts were one part of the parish’s Veterans Day celebrations. During Mass, Father David Steinle gave a homily about the sacrifices veterans and their families make. Father Steinle, the parish’s pastor, invited veterans to walk to the front of the sanctuary to be recognized. Youths handed out American flags to veterans and parishioners at the Mass. Organist Bev Reuter arranged an Armed Forces melody.
A reception followed, and the free-will donation collected will go toward the purchase of a new tree for the parish.
This is the second year the parish celebrated Veterans Day with Mass and a reception, Semsch said. Feedback from the veterans has been positive. “Some of the vets, especially Vietnam vets, were never acknowledged when they came back. I had vets come up to me and tell me it was such an honor to go up there” and be recognized during Mass.