Fenwick Students of Italian Pray for Italy

COVID-19 global outreach project employs video app technology called Flipgrid.

Earlier this month, students in Level I Italian completed an Italy Outreach Project through the video app Flipgrid. “They recorded themselves praying for Italy in Italian and reading a letter they wrote to Italy in Italian,” explains Fenwick Italian Teacher and alumnus Mr. John Schoeph ’95. “Each student submitted a prayer and a letter as a video recording.”

Mr. Schoeph then compiled them into what Flipgrid calls a mixtape. “This mixtape plays them all as a video and also presents each video individually in a grid. Italy was struck so severely and early [by the Coronavirus pandemic] that it was important for our students to reach out,” he notes.


“In the meantime, one student drafted a letter in Italian ‘to Italy,’” Mr. Schoeph continues, “while every student was required to find the e-mail address of one high school and one church in their assigned town or city in Italy.” Freshmen Angelina Squeo ’23 (Elmwood Park, IL) and Cate Krema ’23 (Western Springs, IL) compiled the e-mail lists of churches and high schools that every student was required to look up and submit.

Mr. John Schoeph ’95

With the e-mail lists ready to go and the letter drafted, their teacher inserted the mixtape link and sent off the e-mails. “We wanted to let Italy know that a group of beginner Italian students is praying for them and sending them our best,” Mr. Schoeph concludes.

To Italy, with love

The letter was drafted in Italian by fellow freshman Angelina Woods ’23 (Elmwood Park, IL):

I nostri carissimi in Italia, 

Noi siamo una classe d’italiano al livello il più base a Fenwick High School. Fenwick è un liceo negli Stati Uniti. Le priorità di Fenwick sono le preghiere, la studia, il ministero/il volontariato, e la comunità. Mandiamo le nostre preghiere a voi virtualmente e spiritualmente. Anche, mandiamo qualche lettere che offrono la nostra speranza e positività. Se potete, per favore condividete queste lettere e preghiere con la facoltà e gli studenti del liceo o con i parrocchiani della chiesa. Da una piccola scuola di Chicago viene molto amore per Italia.

(La freccia blu e bianca della mano destra dello schermo mette in funzione il video.)

Da una piccola scuola di Chicago a un’altra in Italia. 



“Our very dear ones in Italy,

“We are a level I Italian class at Fenwick High School. Fenwick is a high school in the United States. The priorities of Fenwick are prayer, study, ministry, and community. We are sending our prayers to you virtually and spiritually. Also, we are sending some letters that offer our hope and our positivity. If you are able, please share these letters and prayers with the faculty and students of the high school, or with the parishioners of the church.

“From a small school in Chicago comes much love for Italy.”

Praise from across the globe

The Pontifical Basilica of San Nicholas (Bari, Italy).

The sincere effort is receiving positive responses thanking Fenwick for the prayers. Prior Giovanni Distante O.P. of the Pontifical Basilica of San Nicholas in Bari, Italy, posted a beautiful message to Fenwick on their Facebook page, along with the mixtape. “I believe they are in the diocese of Saint Thomas Aquinas!” says Schoeph.

The Basilica of Saint Anthony in Pàdova (Padua), Italy.

In addition, the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Pàdova (Padua) has invited the Fenwick Community to unite in prayer with them through their live streams.

Lastly (so far), the Papal Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi thanked Fenwick for our prayers and referred to our students as “bravissimi,” a highest honor. Well done, Friars!

The Papal Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.

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