Celebrate Catholic Schools Week January 27 to February 2
The Diocese of Pittsburgh will celebrate Catholic Schools Week from January 27—February 2 with many activities highlighting the theme, “Catholic Schools Light the Way.”
Bishop David A. Zubik, in his message for Catholic Schools, says, “A history of 180 years of Catholic education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh supports the appropriateness of that theme as we celebrate the wonderful gift of Catholic education. The first reading for the opening Sunday of Catholic Schools Week is from the prophet Isaiah (8:23-9:3): ‘the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.' Our students are invited each day to open their hearts to the light of Christ and to embrace His way of life. We challenge each student to embrace the light of faith and to pass it on, to set the world afire with the love of Christ.”
Catholic schools locally and nationally will celebrate by hosting school, parish and community events. National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools is set for Wednesday, Jan. 30.
On National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools on Jan. 30, delegations of students, faculty and parents will visit Washington, D.C., and many state capitals to promote awareness among government leaders of the contributions of Catholic education.
Catholic Schools Week is a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association, the world's largest private, professional education association, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the national public policy organization of U.S. bishops.
In its promotion of Catholic Schools Week, the National Catholic Educational Association includes 10 activities that parents can do that week, such as writing appreciation notes to children's teachers, parish priests and to religious, or to a person's own former teacher. Other suggestions include volunteering during school events, donating materials to a school library, and inviting friends and family members to the events.
At the state level, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania usually commemorates Catholic Schools Week with a resolution from the General Assembly.
During the week, schools will celebrate with special Masses, community service projects, academic and artistic showcases, and athletic and family events. Many schools will hold open houses and registration so that community members can learn more about the value of Catholic education.
Many of the schools hold “dress up” or “dress down” days, in various forms. These frequently require a fee that is used to benefit the school or donated toward one of the many charitable organizations in the diocese, such as the Chimbote Mission in Peru, Catholic Charities, food banks and others.
Catholic schools in the South Pittsburgh neighborhoods have planned the following activities:
Bishop Leonard-Saint Mary of the Mount Academy, Mt. Washington, will participate in a Sunday, Jan. 27 Mass, host a parents and a special persons on Monday and Wednesday, holds a carnival on Thursday, and teacher appreciation day on Friday.
Brookline Regional School, Brookline, will deliver thank you messages to parishioners on Sunday, Jan. 27; and will hold a faculty/staff/volunteer appreciation breakfast on Monday. On Tuesday, the school focuses on the nation and will go “DEEP” (Drop Everything Everyone Pray) six times during the day. Students will be the focus on Wednesday and the faith community on Thursday, with a benefactor's liturgy at 1 p.m. at Saint Pius X church. On Friday, a junior achievement day is planned with lessons led by trained JA volunteers all day.
Seton LaSalle Catholic High School plans special learning activities in each class one day per week, with a weeklong focus on fitness and nutrition, as they “light the way for healthy habits for a lifetime. An on-going partnership with the University of Pittsburgh is providing students with educational and support materials to enhance health and physical education classes, and a walking trail provides opportunities for exercise as well as for prayer and reflection.
Bishop McDowell Regional School, Baldwin, has a range of events scheduled, including eighth grade students speaking at all Masses, an open house and a brunch on Sunday, Jan. 27, Michael the Circus artist on Tuesday, Civic Light Opera assembly program on Thursday, a five-day book fair (M-F), a “Reading Night” on Thursday with guest Dave Crawley from KDKA TV, spirit day and ice cream social on Friday, and a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, February 2 from 4-7 p.m. .
St. Sylvester, Brentwood, will have students' participation at all Masses on the weekend, and the PTG family project will be on display in the church. Monday will include retreat, a pep rally and spelling bee, which continues on Tuesday. A “coins for a cause' collection to raise money for a “Mini-Wish for Emily” will go on all week. A special display will be on view all week long in the primary hall.