Weather cancels Mass amid celebration

St. Stephen Martyr School students danced in a conga line Jan. 30 during a dance party held to celebrate staff and faculty for Catholic Schools Week. (Photo Special to The Record)

Freezing temperatures and icy conditions canceled the Catholic Schools Week Mass — the centerpiece of the weeklong celebration observed this year from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.

Students and educators from across the Archdiocese of Louisville would have gathered Jan. 31 at St. Agnes Church on Newburg Road for the special liturgy with Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre.

With the liturgy canceled, Dr. Mary Beth Bowling, superintendent of schools, reflected on the theme of Catholic Schools Week — “Faith. Excellence. Service.” — and the message she planned to share with educators.

The week’s theme captures the mission of schools in the archdiocese, she said during a phone interview, adding, Catholic school educators are called to excel in those three areas.

“Just like a three-legged stool will fall if one of the legs is missing, the same can be said about our schools,” said Bowling. “If we don’t blend faith with academic excellence and service, we are not fulfilling our mission as a Catholic school community.”

Henry Mell, a fourth grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School and Lynn Lewis, his grandmother, played a game of bingo Jan. 30 in the school’s gym. Bingo was one of the activities the school planned for Catholic Schools Week celebration. (Photo Special to The Record)

She noted that in light of the Gospel call to serve those in need, students attending the liturgy were asked to bring a personal hygiene item to benefit survivors of human trafficking. Catholic Charities’ Bakhita Empowerment Initiative works with survivors. The Catholic Schools Office is now working with Catholic Charities to collect those items.

During the liturgy, three educators and a volunteer were slated to be honored for their contributions to Catholic education. Bowling said the awards will be presented individually at a later date.

Four students were also to be recognized as winners of the Catholic Education Foundation’s poster and essay contests. The contests invited students to demonstrate how to “Open the door to Jesus: Be Intentional in Walking With Him and Sharing the Gospel Message,” the theme for the 2022-23 school year.

CeeCee Ortega, a preschooler at St. Martha School, dressed as a 100-year-old to celebrate the 100th day of school Jan. 30 which coincided with the St. Martha’s Catholic Schools Week celebration. (Photo Special to The Record)

The winners and their work are listed in the Catholic Schools Week section in this week’s Record. They will be recognized at their individual schools, according to the foundation.

Schools in the archdiocese hosted special events throughout the week. Below is a sampling of their activities reported to The Record:

  • Throughout the week, members of Assumption High School’s faculty and staff are sharing personal reflections on the five distinctive hallmarks of the Catholic faith — ritual, sacrament, tradition, community and social teachings.
  • Students from Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Ky., delivered homemade bread to Nelson County first responders.
  • At Holy Trinity School, 423 Cherrywood Road, students learned about different aspects of the Catholic faith by taking part in a “What Makes Us Catholic” scavenger hunt.
  • At Our Lady of Lourdes School, 510 Breckenridge Lane, students are taking part in a “Dollar War” that will end Feb. 10. The funds raised will benefit a capital campaign for the school’s expansion and improvement project. The school also hosted a bingo game for students and grandparents.
  • St. Mary Academy’s Girl Scout Troop #3040 is holding a week-long pet food drive to benefit the No Kill Louisville animal shelter.
  • St. Stephen Martyr School students celebrated members of the faculty and staff with a dance party. Second graders attended a school Mass Feb. 1 and handed out treats to parishioners and church staff.
St. Martha preschoolers wore costumes to celebrate the 100th day of school Jan. 3. (Photo Special to The Record)
Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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