At Deadline… Catholic Schools Week at St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Macon


A day of service that put the philanthropy of students on full display; a visit by proud grandparents and special friends; a joyful ecumenical service, and a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Savannah were the highlights of national Catholic Schools Week events at St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Macon, Georgia. It is the parish school of St. Peter Claver Church, where the friar fraternity of William McIntyre, OFM, pastor, and Rodolfo Ramon Cabrera, OFM, and Steven Pavignano, OFM, both parochial vicars, provide pastoral and sacramental ministry.

The students, faculty and administration at St. Peter Claver used the opportunity of Catholic Schools Week 2023, which ran from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, to showcase their school and all that it has to offer spiritually, academically, and socially – and to encourage parents who might be considering a school for their children to tour St. Peter Claver.

Students celebrated the first day of Catholic Schools Week by demonstrating community outreach with several service projects – including PreK to 2nd grade students collecting broken crayons, sorting and peeling them, and donating them to the Crayon Initiative, which melts and recycles them into special occupational therapy-approved crayons for children in hospitals. Middle school students demonstrated their community outreach by collecting large boxes of breakfast cereal for Daybreak, a homeless daytime center in Macon.

On “Pastor’s Day,” students greeted pastors from area churches where they worship with their families – including William McIntyre, OFM, pastor of St. Peter Claver Church, and Steven Pavignano, OFM, parochial vicar.

With more than 40 churches and houses of worship represented by the student population, St. Peter Claver declared one of the days during Catholic Schools Week as “Pastor’s Day” – inviting the pastors from the various churches for a joyful ecumenical service and to acknowledge and celebrate the integral role that each of them plays in the spiritual life and growth of the children.

Bishop Stephen Douglas Parkes of the Diocese of Savannah chats with students of St. Peter Claver school after a special Mass he celebrated for students of four area Catholic schools during national Catholic Schools Week.

“Grandparents and Special Friends Day” drew more than 100 visitors to the school, but no one was sure who was prouder – the doting grandparents, or the students who excitedly showed them their classrooms! The following day, the St. Peter Claver student body, along with all of the Macon Deanery schools – including St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Mount de Sales Academy, and Sacred Heart Catholic School – attended a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Stephen Douglas Parkes of the Diocese of Savannah.

Lester Miller, the mayor of Macon, issued a special proclamation for Catholic Schools Week – with Henry Ficklin, Macon-Bibb County’s director of community affairs, presenting the proclamation to the bishop when he was in town for the Mass.

Since the week was one of reflection as well as celebration, the St. Peter Claver community – students and staff – took the opportunity to express their feelings about the school in writing by creating a “Book of Gratitude” that has been published and will be presented to the bishop later this week.

Catholic Schools Week concluded at St. Peter Claver with “Student and Teacher Appreciation Day” – which was marked by classroom parties and a teacher luncheon – and, of course, an early dismissal!