The 30 Catholic schools of the Diocese are joining in the national observance of Catholic Schools Week January 28–February 3. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed,” focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education.
“Catholic Schools Week is always a great time for the faithful of the Diocese to reflect on the presence of our schools and the value of Catholic education,” said Patricia Vesely, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese. “The Catholic school experience has been foundational for so many people in our Diocese and we also take Catholic Schools Week as an opportunity to dialogue with families who are not as aware of Catholic school opportunities in the hopes that they consider it for their children.”
Schools throughout the Diocese have celebrated Catholic Schools Week through a variety of prayerful and spirited activities. The March issue of the BYTE will include coverage of some of those local activities.
Nearly 1.9 million students are currently educated in 6,429 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that prepares them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society. “Since their founding in our country, Catholic schools have provided a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in our schools. We have always sought to welcome families of all backgrounds while maintaining our principles and teaching in a spirit of charity,” said Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education.
The observance of CSW began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country will hold activities such as Masses, open houses, and pot luck gatherings to celebrate the communities they represent. The week also highlights the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety nine percent of students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college. This percentage has been consistent over the past 20 years.