By Arlene Edmonds

Special to The CS&T

PHILADELPHIA – The Fifth Annual Olympic Day may have been rained out this spring, but there’s still plenty going on at Our Lady of Confidence Day School.

First, the school held a fashion show fundraiser showcasing 15 of their mentally challenged students strutting across the stage of a Northeast Philadelphia restaurant. The event was attended by 544 – making it a complete success, according to Sister Judith Moeller, I.H.M., the school’s principal.

“This is our major fundraising event that we hold annually,” said Sister Judith of the April 29 event. “We had a modeling group and DJ from Journey Productions there. They also modeled, and our 15 students modeled one at a time. We had beautiful gift baskets, bingo, a silent auction and crafts made by our students. Our coordinator is still waiting for some receipts, but we believe that it went really well.”

This is not the only fundraising event that the school has this year. Today, there will be a golf outing sponsored by one of the school’s parents who works at the Abington Rehabilitation Center. He does this yearly and attracts his co-workers and other colleagues to the event. Since he generates such a large crowd there is no need to tap the Our Lady of Confidence parents or other patrons.

This is always music to Sister Judith’s ears. She said that the school is then free to direct attention to its other roster of scheduled activities while one parent generates additional resources. “We are just so appreciative when parents are able to do something like this on their own,” Sister Judith said.

Next week the school will be hosting about a dozen students and their religion teacher from Lansdale Catholic High School. They will be volunteering to work with their counterparts at Our Lady of Confidence.

In addition, the school will hold its annual May procession next Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Then they will be joining forces with their school campus partner, Cardinal Dougherty High School, for a joint graduation ceremony on Monday, June 1. This will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul at 7 p.m.

Dougherty, along with St. Albert the Great School in Huntingdon Valley, paired up with Our Lady of Confidence for the last four years for the Olympic Day events. These have been days of blue ribbons and athletic competitions, including track and field events, held on Dougherty’s campus.

Though Olympic Day was rained out this year, the students will still get to have a day of revelry thanks to the Knights of Columbus. On Monday, June 8, they have been invited to attend the organization’s lodge for a special luncheon. “It will be singing, eating and just a fun day,” Sister Judith said.

Our Lady of Confidence Day School was founded in 1954 and currently has two locations: one at St. David Parish, 314 Easton Road, Willow Grove, and one at Cardinal Dougherty High School, 6301 North 2nd St., Philadelphia. Its mission is to cater to the complete development of mentally challenged students. This is done by way of a holistic curriculum that addresses the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of the whole child. For more information about next year’s annual Olympics Day, call 215-657-9311 or visit

Arlene Edmonds is a freelance writer and St. Raymond of Penafort parishioner. She may be reached at