By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
Catholic schools around the Archdiocese of Louisville celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 25 to 29 with a variety of service projects and by giving thanks for Catholic education.
During the week, which is observed nationally, students, faculty and staff gathered Jan. 26 for the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass. And schools throughout the archdiocese held special events to celebrate their mission.
Following is a sample of Catholic Schools Week activities that schools shared with The Record:
- Students at St. Nicholas Academy took part in a Mass celebrated by Father Anthony Chin in English and Vietnamese Jan. 29. The school’s celebration also highlighted their STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, the Arts and Math) program with a series of “in-school” field trips. Representatives from the Louisville Zoo, Bluegrass Music and Cloggers, Rauch Planetarium, the Frazier History Museum and Stage One visited the school and made presentations for the students. Local children’s book author Gail Nall also visited St. Nicholas Academy where she spoke to fifth- and sixth-graders about the process of writing a book.
- Holy Trinity School’s students in third- and fourth-grade wrote letters thanking their parents for sending them to Catholic schools. Kindergarteners and first-graders celebrated 100 days of school during the week. Fifth-graders visited Masonic Home where they played Bingo and made crafts with the residents. The eighth-graders competed against members of the faculty and staff in a volleyball game Jan. 27.
- Students at St. James School in Elizabethtown, Ky., celebrated Mass at their school Jan. 28. Students all wore T-shirts donated by the Grandparent’s Club, a group which volunteers at the school.
- Students at St. Rita School heard from Donna Young, director of volunteers and conference affairs for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, on how the school’s service projects have helped the people served by that non-profit this school year. Students also wrote prayer intentions for the community and the nation and made a paper prayer chain. Students ended the week by attending an 80s themed concert at school.
- Preschool through second-grade students at St. Joseph School in Bardstown, Ky., took part in a “Nutty Scientist” program Jan. 28 with interactive and hands-on science projects. The eighth-grade class played against members of the faculty in a volleyball match on Jan. 29.
- Sacred Heart Model School students worked with their peers at Nativity Academy to collect socks, gloves and hats for homeless men served by Wayside Christian Mission. The students worked together to sort the items and wrote notes to the residents. Students also had the opportunity to tour the shelter, learn about the plight of homeless men and learn about Wayside’s mission. Preschool students visited the Ursuline Motherhouse Chapel and sang for the Ursuline Sisters. The preschool class also collected socks for men served by the St. John Center for Homeless Men.
- Students at Our Lady of Lourdes School held a kick-off event for their upcoming St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, in which students volunteer to have their hair shorn to raise money for childhood cancer awareness.
- Students at St. Athanasius School collected personal hygiene items and sixth-grade students created care packages to be delivered to homeless shelters in the city. The students collected more than 2,000 items and made more than 150 care packages.
- St. Leonard School students collected canned and non-perishable items for United Crescent Hill Ministries.
- St. Xavier High School students took part in the school’s annual Catholic Schools Week blood drive. St. X students have been donating blood to the American Red Cross for 37 years. According to the school, it’s one of the largest blood drives in Kentucky.
- As part of their service during Catholic Schools Week, Assumption High School students, faculty and staff members sold more than 2,200 tickets for the school’s Rocket Raffle and raised more than $35,000 for the school’s tuition assistance program.
- In honor of Catholic Schools Week, Presentation Academy students hosted a staff and faculty appreciation event. Seniors also took part in a retreat.
- Holy Cross High School students organized a Mass at school to thank members of the faculty and staff. They also created a video in which individual students thank their parents for sending them to Catholic school.
- Holy Angels Academy students celebrated by starting work on the school’s action plan for the Holy Year of Mercy. Students took part in writing and art contests, depicting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
- St. Michael School students took part in a “penny challenge” to benefit Home of the Innocents. Students also wrote letters to parents and members of the school staff, thanking them for making their Catholic education possible. The letters were blessed during the school’s Mass. Students also took part in “Muffins with Mom” and “Doughnuts with Dad” events.
- Students at Mercy Academy took part in a school Mass celebrated by newly ordained priest Father Adam Carrico.
- St. Agnes School’s Parent Teacher Organization hosted a lunch for teachers. And students held a prayer service for parents at the school. The service was centered on the theme “be kind and merciful.” During the service, parents were presented with magnets designed by sixth-grader Samantha Schaefer, who won the school’s art contest depicting the theme. Fourth-graders also performed the story “The Lion and the Mouse” to demonstrate kindness.