Catholic Schools Week adopts new three-year theme embracing unity

January 22, 2024 at 12:14 p.m.

By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor

Embarking on a new three-year focus, the National Catholic Education Association’s Catholic Schools Week will bring together its supporters and beneficiaries Jan. 28 – Feb. 3 to recognize the irreplaceable contributions a Catholic education provides to the Church, the community and the country.

   

“Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community” is the CSW theme for 2024-2026, starting with its 50th annual national celebration this month. Schools and supporting parishes will mark the occasion with open houses, Masses and activities for students, faculty, families, parishioners and members of the wider community. 

“I think it’s trying to bring Catholic schools together around a central theme that we’ve always known to be true,” said Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools. “It poses a true choice for parents of school children; our schools are different. This theme draws a clear line as to who and what we are.”

“Catholic schools have an irreplaceable role in the Church’s evangelizing mission,” the NCEA states on its website. “Building on the central goal of Catholic schools to form saints, Catholic schools teach and embrace the whole person: body, mind and spirit. The fact that all members of a Catholic school community share the Christian vision of faith that Christ is the foundation of Catholic education is what unites the school as a faith-filled community.”

Dr. Schmidt pointed to some of the customary CSW activities as a way for community members to participate, particularly the celebration of Mass – some with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., presiding – and “all kinds of outreach to bring community members into schools to work with children. That way they can see what our schools are all about, and to recognize Catholic schools for the important role they play in our community.”

Catholic school families and students have a role to play in their very presence within their geographic area, he pointed out. “So many [teenage] students work and do service-learning programs that help the community,” Dr. Schmidt said. “I don’t think there’s a question as to the significance of a Catholic school in a borough or township – and Catholic Schools Week is an important reminder of that.”

As for younger students, “their presence at Sunday Mass, service-learning projects, sporting events and extracurriculars” are a credit to Catholic school education, “just being living representations of the Catholic faith, living a good, responsible life and being a good Catholic kid.”

The message sent by setting aside an entire week to celebrate Catholic schools, Dr. Schmidt hopes, is one that resonates with parents, including those who already have their students enrolled.

“I think a lot of people send their children out of habit,” he posited. “It’s a good opportunity to understand the ‘why,’ the significance of Catholic school in the lives of their children. They can learn intimately what their school offers to the community and their children; it refocuses the significance of Catholic schools in the Catholic family.

“We’re strong – stronger than ever,” Dr. Schmidt said of the Diocese’s schools. “We have not only been here more than 140 years, we hope to be here 140 more.”


Catholic schools week in February:

Schools in the Diocese will celebrate their Catholic identity with:

• School Masses               • Religion Bingo               • Pep rallies
• Open Houses                 • Community service

Stay in touch with TrentonMonitor.com to find out some of the exciting ways that our schools are celebrating Catholic Schools Week this year. And watch for our special Catholic Schools Week section in the February issue.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


Related Stories

Embarking on a new three-year focus, the National Catholic Education Association’s Catholic Schools Week will bring together its supporters and beneficiaries Jan. 28 – Feb. 3 to recognize the irreplaceable contributions a Catholic education provides to the Church, the community and the country.

   

“Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community” is the CSW theme for 2024-2026, starting with its 50th annual national celebration this month. Schools and supporting parishes will mark the occasion with open houses, Masses and activities for students, faculty, families, parishioners and members of the wider community. 

“I think it’s trying to bring Catholic schools together around a central theme that we’ve always known to be true,” said Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools. “It poses a true choice for parents of school children; our schools are different. This theme draws a clear line as to who and what we are.”

“Catholic schools have an irreplaceable role in the Church’s evangelizing mission,” the NCEA states on its website. “Building on the central goal of Catholic schools to form saints, Catholic schools teach and embrace the whole person: body, mind and spirit. The fact that all members of a Catholic school community share the Christian vision of faith that Christ is the foundation of Catholic education is what unites the school as a faith-filled community.”

Dr. Schmidt pointed to some of the customary CSW activities as a way for community members to participate, particularly the celebration of Mass – some with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., presiding – and “all kinds of outreach to bring community members into schools to work with children. That way they can see what our schools are all about, and to recognize Catholic schools for the important role they play in our community.”

Catholic school families and students have a role to play in their very presence within their geographic area, he pointed out. “So many [teenage] students work and do service-learning programs that help the community,” Dr. Schmidt said. “I don’t think there’s a question as to the significance of a Catholic school in a borough or township – and Catholic Schools Week is an important reminder of that.”

As for younger students, “their presence at Sunday Mass, service-learning projects, sporting events and extracurriculars” are a credit to Catholic school education, “just being living representations of the Catholic faith, living a good, responsible life and being a good Catholic kid.”

The message sent by setting aside an entire week to celebrate Catholic schools, Dr. Schmidt hopes, is one that resonates with parents, including those who already have their students enrolled.

“I think a lot of people send their children out of habit,” he posited. “It’s a good opportunity to understand the ‘why,’ the significance of Catholic school in the lives of their children. They can learn intimately what their school offers to the community and their children; it refocuses the significance of Catholic schools in the Catholic family.

“We’re strong – stronger than ever,” Dr. Schmidt said of the Diocese’s schools. “We have not only been here more than 140 years, we hope to be here 140 more.”


Catholic schools week in February:

Schools in the Diocese will celebrate their Catholic identity with:

• School Masses               • Religion Bingo               • Pep rallies
• Open Houses                 • Community service

Stay in touch with TrentonMonitor.com to find out some of the exciting ways that our schools are celebrating Catholic Schools Week this year. And watch for our special Catholic Schools Week section in the February issue.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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