The 11 elementary schools of Holy Name Province were among those across the United States that commemorated the annual Catholic Schools Week. Some of the ways that the schools recognized the Jan. 28 – Feb. 1 national event are described below. Photo at right shows the school ring ceremony for the eighth grade students at Holy Cross School in the Bronx.
At The Franciscan School in Raleigh, N.C., students participated in a Living Rosary through which they served as the beads, according to Debbi Braga, the school’s director of mission.
Bishop Michael Burbridge of Raleigh visited the school for the event. Pastor Mark Reamer, OFM, began the service by describing the origin of the Franciscan Crown, which dates to 1422. Details of the event, along with a photograph, appear on the Web site of the Diocese of Raleigh.
At St. Francis of Assisi School in Triangle, Va., Catholic Schools Week began Jan. 26 with the PTO Potluck/Skate Night , coordinated as part of the school’s physical education skating program. Middle school grades teamed with younger classes to provide support as they learn to skate. It was an evening of fun and fellowship, according to principal Tricia Barber.
On Jan. 27, the fifth grade class presented a portion of the 9:30 a.m. homily that focused on the theme “only through darkness, suffering and death do you come to life,” said Barber. This was organized by Clare Herce, a Catholic educator for more than 25 years, who based her material on Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulis.
During the week, parents were invited to classroom activities and displays. The commemoraton concluded wtih an ice-cream sundae social sponsored by the PTO. “As always, our friars attended many of the CSW events,” Barber said.
After kicking off the week with a “pajama day,” students at St. Joseph School in East Rutherford, N.J., celebrated culture and diversity with an international day. They also experienced the opposite side of education when eighth graders become teachers for a day.
“Many students came away from the experience feeling teaching might be the right profession for them,” said school principal Frances Alberta. Pastor of the affiliated St. Joseph Church is Joseph Hertel, OFM
Holy Cross School in the Bronx kicked off the week with presentations by faculty about Catholic education at the Jan. 27 weekend Masses. This was followed by “buddy day,” on Jan. 28, during which each upper grade student was paired with a lower grade student. “Teacher “switch day” on Jan. 29 involved teachers teaching a different grade for the day giving students an opportunity to know a teacher they would not normally have, according to pastor Todd Carpenter, OFM.
Parents and children watched a student-faculty basketball game on Jan. 30. A ring ceremony on Jan. 31 involved eighth grade students receiving school rings blessed by Todd. The week also included a luncheon for faculty on Teacher Appreciation Day and Twin Day during which students were paired with a classmate who acted as their twins. The students were very creative with their matching clothing, Todd said.
— Jocelyn Thomas is Director of Communications for Holy Name Province.