BIDDEFORD — When St. James School announced it would proceed with the annual Trot

Sr. Rachel Pinsonnault, P.M., was among several Good Shepherd Sisters and other community members who took part in the Virtual 5K Trot for Catholic Education, which supports St. James School in Biddeford, in early November. The event drew many participants and raised more than $18,000 for the school. Courtesy Photo/Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

for Catholic Education 5K — virtually this time — it seems everyone wanted to take part.

Everyone, including the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, who live at St. Joseph Convent.

“I was inspired to ask our sisters, ages 78 to 103, to walk the hallways and, for those who could, walk outside to see how much we could raise for the school,” said Sister Annette Nadeau, coordinator at the convent.

The order has been active in educating area children since the late 19th century, said diocesan spokesman Dave Guthro, and so the Good Shepherd Sisters were happy to help do what they could to ensure the school would remain strong and growing.

“Most of the sisters were former teachers. It was a real effort to walk as many of them have walkers or are in wheelchairs. Some of the other sisters and staff pushed the sisters around to make sure they could participate,” said Sister Annette. “This was such a worthy project.”

Contributions from the sisters ranged from $1 to $3, depending on the length of each walk.

Even the youngsters took part in the Virtual 5K Trot for Catholic Education, hosted to support St. James School in Biddeford, in early November. Courtesy Photo/Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

“Once that was added up and combined with donations from sisters who can’t walk, we raised $450 for St. James,” said Sister Annette.

With pandemic restrictions in place, the administration at St. James School wasn’t sure what to expect from the annual 5K event, but it proved to be immensely popular.

“Participants could walk or run 3.1 miles anywhere they chose from Nov. 7 to 14,” said school Principal Nancy Naimey. “We believed that was the safest way to get our community moving in support of St. James School.”

The participation by the sisters was a welcome part of the event, which in all, raised a record $18,804 during the week the virtual walk was conducted, and inspired additional giving later, Guthro said.

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