SFDS Faculty Gives Back Through PB&J

 SFDS Faculty Gives Back Through PB&J

By Matthew Hayes

Last Thursday, January 25, the faculty of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy took a break from their busy week of managing students and grading assignments to get their hands dirty making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Five-hundred sandwiches to be exact!  Unfortunately for the students of St. Francis, these sandwiches were never served at lunch time the next day. Instead, at the end of the afternoon, Assistant Principal Maureen Hayes drove a truckload of sandwiches, wrapped in individual snack bags, each with a bottle of water and a granola bar, to the Community Help in Park Slope, or C.H.I.P.S, food pantry in Brooklyn.

Located on 4th Avenue and Sackett Street, C.H.I.P.S. is a full-service soup kitchen and food pantry, along with being a shelter for expectant single mothers, which has been serving the poor and hungry of Brooklyn for more than 50 years. The organization was born directly from the needs and desires of the surrounding community, as parishioners of St. Frances Xavier Church, inspired by Vatican II, banded together to put the principles of their Christian faith into practice. Each day, C.H.I.P.S distributes more than 400 meals, including both breakfast and lunch, to those in need, a staggering figure which has grown significantly amidst rising inflation, a tightening housing market, and a continuous influx of asylum seekers into the city. Since the onset of COVID-19 alone, C.H.I.P.S has doubled the number of meals provided, with the needs of the community only continuing to increase. Accomplishing such a daunting task day after day requires countless hours of dedicated volunteer work and donations, including from people outside of Park Slope such as our own schoolteachers in Rockaway. At this time of need, even simple things like peanut butter and jelly on white bread could go a long way towards making C.H.I.P.S’s work possible.

C.H.I.P.S.’s Catholic foundations made it a natural partner for the faculty of St. Francis in their faith-filled and mission-driven work outside of the classroom. This afternoon of sandwich making was not an isolated event, but part of a broader commitment on the part of St. Francis to provide a well-rounded education to its students, which reaches beyond mere academics to focus on forming justice-oriented students in and out of the school building. With every middle schooler required to perform community service hours each year, it is only natural for their teachers to lead by example through their own annual day of service.

For those interested in helping C.H.I.P.S. continue their essential work themselves, opportunities to donate and volunteer can be found on their website


Ash Wednesday Schedule

Ash Wednesday falls on Wednesday, February 14 this year. Yes, you read that right, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day share the same date in 2024. The following are the schedules for the distribution of ashes from the Catholic Churches located on the Rockaway peninsula:


Parish St. Mary Star of the Sea/ St. Gertrude’s:


St Mary

12:10 p.m. mass English

3:30 p.m. prayer service

6:30 p.m. prayer service English

7:30 p.m. mass Español

St. Gertrude

9:30 a.m. mass

6:00 p.m. prayer service


Parish St. Rose of Lima:


8:30 a.m. mass

12:00 noon prayer service

3:00 p.m. prayer service

5:00 p.m. Religious Ed mass

6:30 p.m. mass Español

8:00 p.m. mass po polsku


Parish St. Camillus/St. Virgilius:


St. Camillus

9:00 a.m. mass

3:30 p.m. service

5:00 p.m. service

St. Virgilius

12:00 noon service

7:00 p.m. service


Parish St. Francis de Sales:


9:00 a.m. mass

12:00 noon mass

4:00 p.m. service

7:00 p.m. mass


Parish Blessed Trinity:


St. Thomas More 

8:30 a.m. mass

7:00 p.m. mass

St. Edmund

3:30 p.m. service

St. Genevieve

9:15 a.m. mass

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