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Bishop Burbidge kicks off Catholic Schools Week in Woodbridge

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Bishop Michael F. Burbidge began Catholic Schools Week by celebrating Mass for St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School students at Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge. The Mass was concelebrated by Father J. Kevin O’Keefe, pastor of Our Lady of Angels; Father Michael J. Bazan, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Manassas; and Father Brian G. Bashista, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge.

Catholic Schools Week is celebrated Jan. 28-Feb. 3 this year. The annual celebration is sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association. During his homily, Bishop Burbidge expanded on the theme of Catholic Schools Week — “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

Betty Phan, an eighth-grader, said going to Catholic school teaches something beyond the basics like math and science. “I think it means that you are morally trained. You learn more about your faith and how to treat others,” Phan said. “You learn how to be a better person and citizen to everyone around you, and that’s important.”

Pamela Howser, development specialist at St. Thomas Aquinas, appreciated what Catholic schools offered her children. “We wanted them to be exposed to their faith growing up and have that educational setting where their faith is part of their learning. As they are learning (a subject), they’re learning it in the context of their faith,” she said. She added that working at a Catholic school gives her an opportunity to support what she is passionate about.

After Mass, Bishop Burbidge spent the afternoon visiting faculty, staff and students. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018