Pope Francis has described Catholic schools as tools of evangelization, dialogue and hope that may be used to build a more humane world.

Future generations who are “educated in a Christian way for dialogue will come out of the classroom motivated to build bridges and, therefore, to find new answers to the many challenges of our times,” the Pope said to members of the Congregation for Catholic Education during a 2017 meeting.

Embracing this vision and to celebrate Catholic education in the United States, Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Trenton will join with others nationally to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, with Masses, open houses, exhibits and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

The theme for this year’s CSW observance is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” The official CSW logo, which brings the theme to life, is an open book made up of multi-colored pages that symbolize how all areas of Catholic schools blend together with faith – symbolized by the cross – at the forefront.

The new theme, explains the National Catholic Education Association, which sponsors CSW, “encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country. Not only are we teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities, we, as educators, are growing with them. In Catholic schools, we are all learners, servants and leaders. These shared qualities are what make Catholic schools work. They are what make Catholic schools succeed.”

In addition to the overarching theme for the week, schools are encouraged to embrace daily themes, each one celebrating a different focus of Catholic education, beginning Jan. 28 with Celebrating Your Parish, followed by Community, Students, the Nation, Vocations, Faculty, Staff and Volunteers, and Families.