While there are countless gestures of helping those less fortunate at the holidays, the young women who attend Lauralton Hall in Milford are dedicated to service throughout the year.
For over 100 years, the mission of the all-girls college-prep school is not only to prepare students for academic success, but to be bearers of mercy to those in need. “Although our curriculum is always focused on scholastic achievement, our Catholic school’s foundation is the teachings of the Sisters of Mercy,” explained Dr. Toni Iadarola, President and Head of School, Lauralton Hall. “Service to others is the driving force behind all of our activities.”
Lauralton Hall was founded in 1905 under the direction of Mother Mary Augustine Claven. As a nun in the Order of the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Claven took the charge to start a gender revolution in female education that began with Mother Catherine McAuley in Ireland. Mother McAuley dedicated her life to improving the lives of the poor, especially women and children, and fought for women to achieve their God-given potential through education. Today, Lauralton Hall students are finding new ways to make a difference, particularly at holiday time. As part of their Stocking Stuffer Drive, the school’s National Honor Society chapter assembled more than 40 gift bags filled with personal care items and Stop & Shop gift cards and delivered them on December 15th to the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport. The students also donated five large boxes filled with replacement items that they had collected during the drive, which totaled more than 500 items.
Another Lauralton group, the Campus Ministry, decorated and donated a tree to the Milford Hospital Festival of Trees with the theme of “The Spirit of Lauralton Hall.” Throughout the year, Lauralton supports the efforts of the Mercy Learning Center to provide basic literacy and life skills training to low-income women using a holistic approach within a compassionate, supportive environment. Following a highly successful Thanksgiving food drive in November, two students worked with the director of the center to provide women with food from the pantry.
Also in November, Lauralton Hall joined forces with Fairfield Prep to pack food for Thanksgiving as part of a community service day with Father Skip Karcinski, Pastor at Blessed Sacrament in Bridgeport. Dr. Iadarola points out that since community service is integrated into students’ lives at Lauralton Hall, their good works continue long past the holidays. The McCauley Club, for instance, a long-standing service program at Lauralton, packs bagged lunches and delivers them to the Beth-El Center for the homeless in Milford every other week.
Dr. Iadarola shared the Core Values of a Mercy Education:
- Compassion and Service
- Educational Excellence
- Concern for Women and Women’s Issues
- Global Vision and Responsibility
- Spiritual Growth and Development
Founded in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy, Lauralton Hall is the first independent Catholic college-prep school for young women in Connecticut. More than 470 students from over 40 Connecticut towns attend. Inspired by the Mercy Tradition, their mission is to empower young women to pursue their highest potential through lifelong learning, compassionate service, and responsible leadership in a global society.
For more information, visit www.lauraltonhall.org. Lauralton Hall is located at 200 High Street, Milford.