Enhancing Education




St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School in Delano has successfully connected school fundraising and faith through its annual marathon, Ride for a Reason.

Since 2007, the event has raised money for the preschool through sixth-grade school and encouraged students to pray for specific intentions by riding their bicycles in honor of people who need their prayers.

Fourth grader Rose Vlaminck explained, “We ask family, friends and neighbors if they would like St. Maximilian Kolbe School to pray for a person, place or thing.  Then we pray for those intentions.”

In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, many Catholic schools host marathons to raise essential funds and build community.

In early October, St. Maximilian Kolbe students traveled a designated 6-mile path while praying for people’s requests.

“We pray for people because they need our prayers, ” said sixth-grader Frankie Nau.

Father Nathan LaLiberte, pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, said Ride for a Reason is a blessing for the school.

“Every year, we speak to our kids about the importance of praying for people in our community,” he said. “It is a powerful lesson to realize that when one says, ‘I will pray for you,’ that the person is actually entrusting themselves into your care.”

Principal Mary Ziebell agreed. “It is so wonderful to see the students reaching out in prayer for others. Instead of just asking someone to sponsor them in the marathon [with a donation], they are offering to sponsor people in prayer.”

To remind students of their prayer commitments throughout the school year, a volunteer creates a mural in the school’s entryway with the intentions.

“We are teaching our students to stop, think beyond their own needs, reflect upon others and pray for their well-being,” added Liz Otto, a parent volunteer.

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