National Catholic Schools Week opens

National Catholic Schools Week 2019 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses around the country Jan. 27–Feb. 2. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.,” focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education firmly rooted in the Truth of the Gospel.

As Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., newly elected chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education, said, “Young people today need Catholic education more than ever. In a world where truth, beauty and goodness are considered all but subjective, the Way, Truth and Life offered us in Jesus Christ are our only source of direction, clarity and hope. Furthermore, being rooted in faith does not endanger the academic quality of Catholic schools, but in fact is their very motivation for excellence in all things.”
Nearly 1.8 million students are educated in 6,352 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that helps them become critical thinkers, strong communicators and active members of society, thus equipping them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society.

“Following Christ’s example of loving and serving all people, Catholic schools proudly provide a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in our schools. Since the inception of Catholic schools in our country, we have always sought to welcome families of all backgrounds while maintaining our principles and teaching in a spirit of charity,” Bishop Barber said.

The observance of CSW began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country hold activities such as Masses, open houses and family gatherings to celebrate the communities they represent. The week also highlights the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety-nine percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college. This percentage has been consistent for more than 20 years.

For the second year, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) will lead the “Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools,” in partnership with FACTS Management, Jan. 29, 12 p.m. EST through Jan. 30, 12 p.m. EST. This 24-hour period is one way to support development programs in Catholic schools throughout the country. Scheduled during National Catholic Schools Week, this Day of Giving is a perfect time for individuals to give to their local Catholic schools. In 2018, more than $850,000 was donated to 539 participating Catholic schools, six dioceses and NCEA. For more information on the Day of Giving, go to NCEA.org/csw/manygifts.

Catholic schools and the many members of Catholic school communities will share their Catholic Schools Week celebrations on social media using #CSW19. The NCEA and the Secretariat of Catholic Education also will highlight Catholic education’s strengths, successes and stories on their Twitter profiles: @NCEATalk and @USCCBCatholicEd.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019