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Catholic Schools Week an Annual Celebration of Educational Community

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By    |   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 07:57 PM

National Catholic Schools Week, celebrated every year in January, honors the education provided by Catholic schools with Masses, open houses, and numerous activities.

In 2014, the 40th annual National Catholic Schools Week was celebrated nationwide. In 2015, the week is Jan. 25 through Jan. 31.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

The week is sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In 2014, the theme was “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” and that theme was expected to continue for at least three years because it “resonates with the New Evangelization and will provide schools the opportunity to create long-term Catholic identity projects in their communities,” an NCEA release said.

“The theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of a Catholic education. First, schools are communities — small families in their own right, but also members of the larger community of home, church, city, and nation,” the news release said. “Faith, knowledge and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged.”

The Chicago Sun Times reported that the organization used its 40th anniversary to promote 40 hours of volunteer or service work in Catholic schools nationwide.

“Catholic schools have a rich history of teaching students the value of service, and we’ve taken the opportunity of this 40th anniversary of NCSW to encourage our students to mark the week with 40 hours of service in their communities,” Robert Bimonte, president of the NCEA, told the Times. “Or schools may opt to combine 20 hours of service with 20 hours of prayer.”

VOTE NOW: Do You Support Prayer in Public Schools?

The prominence of prayer, as mentioned by Bimonte, is expected in Catholic schools, and highlights the difference between a secular and non-secular educational system. In public schools, prayer in schools is one of the most controversial issues, but in Catholic schools, it is an integral part of every student’s day.

The National Catholic Education Week highlights opportunities for prayer, Masses, and other events important in Catholicism.

Sr. Joan Fitzgerald, BVM, principal of Xavier College Preparatory, shared with The Catholic Sun her memories of the first National Catholic Schools Week 40 years ago.

“I remember a sense of togetherness and the excitement, but mixed with that a sense of wonder and awe — the sense of unity that we’re all one,” she said.

“Catholic Schools Week is a time for our families and educators to celebrate the integration of our faith with our high academic standards,” MaryBeth Mueller, superintendent of schools for the Phoenix Diocese, told the Sun. “Our schools and students are committed to service, and make a significant contribution to Arizona and America.”

URGENT: Should Students Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Vote Here Now!

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National Catholic Schools Week, celebrated every year in January, honors the education provided by Catholic schools with Masses, open houses, and numerous activities.
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2014-57-28
Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 07:57 PM
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