Mother of Sorrows students graduate, send technology message to parents |

Mother of Sorrows students graduate, send technology message to parents

Patrick Varine
Eighth graders await their diplomas during Mother of Sorrows’ graduation on May 21, 2019.
Monsigner James Gaston shares a homily with students during Mother of Sorrows’ eighth-grade graduation on May 21, 2019.
Clare Falce and Grace Smith sing the responsorial hymn during Mother of Sorrows’ eighth-grade graduation on May 21, 2019.
Dominic Servello receives his diploma from Monsignor Gaston, Maria Bartifay and Theresa Szmed during Mother of Sorrows’ eighth-grade graduation on May 21, 2019.
Father Eric Dinga and principal Theresa Szmed pose with students in front of the eighth grade art project.

Eighth graders at Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville are on to high school following the May 21 commencement ceremony, held at Mother of Sorrows Church.

Prior to graduation, however, members of the eighth-grade class also penned a letter to Mother of Sorrows parents, which was included in the school’s May newsletter. The letter stresses the negative effects that excessive screen time with devices like smartphones and tablets can have on young people.

Here is the full letter:

Dear MOSS Parents:

As we prepare to graduate, we 8th graders would like share what is in our hearts regarding a worrisome trend. We have noticed how misuse of technology and social media negatively affects us as teenagers, and even more disturbing, how many younger children are becoming attached to screens too early.

Excessive use of technology has a price tag. We had a long discussion about how it causes loneliness, depression, isolation, diminished self-esteem and distraction from what really matters: each other!

We admit that we’ve used technology until we have a headache, it makes us moody and we become unable to stop. It’s designed that way, to crush your will to do anything else. It prevents us from having meaningful conversations, from spending undistracted time together, from getting outdoors and from exercising. We need sunlight! And we’re pretty sure all the screen time is hurting our eyes.

Bullies love the internet because they can do their damage from a distance and never be confronted.

We’ve seen how smart phones have hurt and changed us and our friends, turning us into introverts and preventing us from finding our talents. We forget to live in the moment, and instead, focus on capturing that great selfie.

Our one and only life on earth is a gift from God. Why would we squander it on a distraction that’s

passive? Living isn’t something you can do in front of a screen.

We are so passionate about this that we planned a special mini-retreat with our 3rd-grade prayer partners.

Our goal was to show them what they’re missing outside by teaching them a variety of games and

creating a “nature” craft. We performed skits, shared our testimonials and prayed together.

Parents, we implore you to help your kids by limiting their use of technology if it’s not educational. We love

all the positive things that can be done with appropriately used technology, but we see too much of the


Please spend time with them outdoors. Please monitor what they are looking at. You can’t “unsee” terrible things. Please remind them that God has big plans for them — they need to search for their purpose. Thank you for listening to our hearts.


The MOSS 8th Grade

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day in front of some form of screen, for entertainment purposes. Four-and-a-half of those hours are spent watching television.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that children get at least one hour of physical activity each day.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Murrysville
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