Catholic Schools Week begins January 29 and ends February 5. The national theme this year is “Catholic Schools – Faith. Academics. Service.”
There are 31 Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Orlando, as well as five high schools and Morning Star School, a special education school. All will be commemorating Catholic Schools Week in some way.
Henry Fortier, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Orlando, said this year’s theme defines Catholic schools well.
“Faith, academics and service help define who we are,” Fortier said. “We are educating the whole child. We are promoting excellence in everything that we do.”
Many schools host open houses, while students create thank you cards and letters for their parents and community members, participate in food drives and of course, have fun. Many priests also bless their schools during prayer services, and speak about vocations. Many schools have subthemes honoring their parish, community, students, nation, vocations, family, volunteers and staff, and induct their National Junior Honors Society members this week.
The following are highlights from select schools in the counties where diocesan schools are located (not all schools could be listed because of space constraints).
Our Saviour Catholic School: Students will attempt to Skype with astronauts or troops and pick flowers from garden to provide to nursing homes.
Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School students will participate in various service activities.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School students will pray a nine-day novena for Our Lady of Lourdes.
Ascension Catholic School students will construct prayer chain from prayer requests.
Divine Mercy Catholic School students will be celebrating a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the academy to community.
St. Teresa Catholic School: Students receive special T-shirt to wear during Mass, skating party.
St. Paul Catholic School students will participate in a banner contest. Students and staff will dress up as famous Catholics or favorite saint. Teachers will swap classrooms one afternoon. Bishop John Noonan will join the community for the school’s 50th anniversary celebration on January 22.
Blessed Trinity Catholic School students will write letters to Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Nalweyo, Uganda. There will be a volleyball game between eighth-graders and faculty.
Trinity Catholic High School students will participate in a service day. They will dress as their favorite teacher or administrator and celebrate Grandparents Day.
Good Shepherd Catholic School students will walk to raise funds for iPads.
Holy Family Catholic School students will volunteer for an appreciation breakfast; listen to career day speakers; participate in a walk-a-thon for missions. The eighth graders take over school.
Morning Star School students will collect food; view a school slide show presentation, and play beach volleyball.
St. Andrew Catholic School students will participate in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and view movie with moral themes.
St. John Vianney Catholic School students will celebrate its 50th anniversary with Mass celebrated by Bishop Noonan and host a dance-a-thon.
St. Margaret Mary Catholic School will participate in a walk for Haiti; collect blankets, hard boiled eggs and bananas for homeless; and participate in science fair projects.
Holy Redeemer Catholic School students will create murals and collect money for food pantry.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School students will participate in career day; a mother/son bowling tournament; a father/son basketball game; and the celebration of Mass to pray for their grandparents.
St. Joseph Catholic School students will celebrate 100th day of school year; participate in Jeopardy competition against St. Joseph Catholic School in York, Pa. via Skype; and collect hygiene supplies for veterans.
Resurrection Catholic School students will : Hike fundraiser, in which proceeds benefit parish’s food pantry; service project planned
St. Anthony Catholic School students will participate in a community day with professionals from forestry department, animal control and police and fire departments.
St. Joseph Academy: Wacky Olympics
Santa Fe Catholic High School: Sending gift and treat baskets to city officials and religious life, as well as cards to veterans
Annunciation Catholic Academy former students will return to teach for a day; there will be a blessing of throats; bingo; and a middle school dance.
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School students will participate in an outdoor prayer service; curriculum fair; volleyball game between students and faculty; awards liturgy; and family picnic.
All Souls Catholic School students will try to stump their teachers in a faith brain bowl entitled “Are you smarter than an ASCS student?”and eighth-graders will participate in a scavenger hunt.
Our Lady of Lourdes Academy students will participate in the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation with Bishop Noonan and a five-kilometer race.
St. Peter Catholic School students will participate in a ‘pajama’ party with popcorn, treats and a movie.
New Smyrna Beach
Sacred Heart Catholic School students will participate in a “Minute to Win It” challenge; and there will be an inflatable bounce house in gym for students to enjoy.
St. Brendan Catholic School students will participate in a field trip to the beach for a sand building contest and a talent show.