Teachers thanked for ‘apostolic work' in Catholic schools

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Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde and Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano joined about 1,500 diocesan school staff members, teachers and clergy at All Saints Church in Manassas Aug. 23 for the annual bishop's opening Mass to start the school year.

The Mass also provided an opportunity to honor the teachers celebrating 25- and 30-year anniversaries. St. Mark School in Vienna and Our Lady of Hope School in Potomac Falls were also recognized with a round of applause for achieving Blue Ribbon status from the U.S. Department of Education last fall. Jennifer Bigelow, the new superintendent of schools, noted that more than 60 percent of diocesan schools have achieved Blue Ribbon status.

Bishop Loverde thanked the teachers for their service at the end of the Mass, saying, "You're very dear to me. I hope you know that. I don't know all of you personally, but I treasure what you do."

Bishop Loverde said that he often tells parents, "You can give the perfect gift to your child: provide him or her the opportunity to be formed totally - mind, heart, spirit, body. The whole person."

"So I just want to thank you again," he said. "You know, I understand it's a sacrifice to teach at Catholic schools. I'm well aware that the salary is different. But you share in very, very apostolic work. Thank you."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016

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