While Catholic schools honor Catholic education every day, there is one week in particular during which we come together nationally to celebrate our educational traditions. That week is National Catholic Schools Week, and it will be coming around again January 31 through February 6, 2016. Here, in the Archdiocese of Hartford, we extend the celebration throughout the entire month of January, providing our administrators with more opportunities for special scheduling during the New England winter weather.
This year the theme will be “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) explains, “Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.”
Each day of Catholic School Week has a special theme and celebration. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store:
Sunday: Celebrating Your Parish
To kick off the festivities, many parishes devote a Mass to Catholic school education. Also, schools send invitations to parishioners and community members to parish-centered events and school open houses to show off all the great things they do.
Monday: Celebrating Your Community
On this day, students focus on how serving your community demonstrates the core values and Gospel truths that are such a huge part of their educational experience.
Tuesday: Celebrating Your Students
Tuesday is for the students. Schools plan enjoyable and meaningful activities for their young learners to recognize their accomplishments. They also encourage students to reflect on the benefits Catholic school education has on them now and in the future.
Wednesday: Celebrating the Nation
On National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools, students, families, educators and other Catholic school supporters let governmental leaders know just how great are the contributions that Catholic schools make to the nation — including their role in preparing students to be good citizens. It is also a day of prayer for the nation and all those who serve it.
Thursday: Celebrating Vocations
Thursday is career day! It is a day when students can learn about career paths that their Catholic school education will prepare them for — including everything from priest to software designer to doctor.
Friday: Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers
This day is all about honoring the teachers! And of course, thanking all of the administrators and staff who support them, along with the parents, grandparents, alumni, parishioners and school board members who provide volunteer service.
Saturday: Celebrating Families
And finally, this is a day of recognition for everything you, the families, do to work with us in guiding our students toward academic and personal success.
National Catholic Schools Week is really a great way of bringing everyone together to celebrate and honor the values and truths that make up the foundation of a Catholic school education. Please join us at one of the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford for the festivities starting January 31. For more information, stay tuned to the NCEA and Office of Catholic Schools websites, as well as those of the individual schools. Also visit the NCEA and Office of the Catholic Schools Facebook and Twitter pages (NCEA, OCS) for daily updates.
Last but not least, remember to join the rest of the nation celebrating on social media with the hashtag #CSW16.