Last spring the Catholic Historical Research Center (CHRC) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia welcomed seventh and eighth students from archdiocesan schools for an interactive learning experience at the CHRC.
Funded entirely by the Archdiocesan Educational Fund, the grant allowed students, staff and chaperones to learn about the local church through a two-hour program at the CHRC facility located in Northeast Philadelphia at the former Our Lady of Ransom School.
Thanks to the grant the CHRC in April and May welcomed 572 seventh- and eighth-grade students, not including teachers, principals or priests that accompanied them.
During their visits they enjoyed an interactive and hands-on learning experience, toured the facility, met the archivists, viewed current exhibits and saw archival collections. Students also learned about their own Catholic history and parish through a learning session in a newly equipped classroom.
Following the tour and classroom session, the students identified and handled artifacts from the archives such as a chaplain’s kit from World War I, 19th century religious candy molds and more.
It is rare that an archive or historical center would allow patrons physically to touch and handle items from the collections, and the students thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity.
Additionally while at the CHRC, the students completed a scavenger hunt with the chance to win a prize. The scavenger hunt was comprised of 14 questions/items and included items like finding the oldest object on display, identifying what an archivist is, or naming an example of a primary source they saw.
The students also learned how to use the Find My Past research tool, and each visit was tailored to the school and parish, with historical photos, related facts, and trivia. All the visitors received a brochure that detailed how to use the archives and were invited to contact the staff for research help and to return to the CHRC.
The Catholic Historical Research Center was created in 1989 to collect, preserve and make available to the public the historical sources illuminating the growth of Catholicism in the United States.
The Archdiocesan Educational Fund awarded the CHRC with a $31,196 grant for the 2018/2019 academic year. The grant, “To Touch a Saint: Creating a Place for Middle School Students,” funded a Catholic archival learning program for seventh- and eighth-grade students. The fund supports Catholic education and Catholic ministry throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Leslie O’Neill is director of the Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103