Catholic Schools Week will be observed Jan. 29-Feb. 4
Catholic Schools Strive to Form Saints, by Sheila Whalen
COLORADO SPRINGS. Catholic Schools Week will be observed Jan. 29 - Feb. 4. This year, Bishop James Golka will celebrate Masses at individual schools in place of an All Schools Mass. Following is a listing of the various activities planned by schools in the diocese for Catholic Schools Week 2023.
AVE MARIA, Parker
Ave Maria School in Parker is starting off its 2023 celebration of Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 28 by having staff, students and families attend the 4 p.m. Mass, with a spaghetti dinner from 4-7 p.m.
On Jan. 29, students will attend Sunday Masses and pass out doughnuts after the 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Masses.
Jan. 30 is School Spirit Day. Middle school students will gather in the church for a kickoff event with remarks by the mayor of Parker. Students will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in class. In the afternoon, middle school students will gather in the gym for a student vs. teacher volleyball game.
Jan. 31 is Parent and Faith Appreciation Day. An open house with tours will take place from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Parents will receive a special gift and blessing at 2:45, and students will write thank-you letters and prayer bouquets for their parish priests and Bishop Golka.
On Feb. 1, Bishop Golka will celebrate Mass at Ave Maria at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided for teachers and staff.
On Feb. 2, missionaries from Christ in the City will give a presentation at the school, and students will work on service projects.
Feb. 3 is Student Appreciation Day. An All School Rosary will be prayed, and students will be treated to popcorn and a movie.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Colorado Springs
Corpus Christi School will begin its celebration of Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 29 by holding an Open House after the 11 a.m. Mass until 1 p.m. Students will collect prayer requests from parishioners throughout the week and will also be assembling bags that families can distribute to the homeless.
On Jan. 30 beginning at 7:35 a.m., a community job fair will be held in the school gym featuring local Catholic-owned businesses.
Jan. 31 is Student Appreciation Day, and students will have games in the afternoon.
On Feb. 1, students will make Valentine cards for veterans.
On Feb. 2, Bishop Golka will celebrate Mass at 8:30 a.m. Sisters from Our Lady of Good Health convent will visit the school and have lunch with students. Parish priests will visit classrooms and play “Stump the Priest.”
On Feb. 3, students will show appreciation to the staff by serving them lunch.
DIVINE REDEEMER, Colorado Springs
Divine Redeemer School will begin Catholic Schools Week by having a Family Mass on Jan. 28 at 5 p.m., followed by a chili and cornbread dinner sponsored by the eighth-grade class.
On Jan. 30, the National Junior Honor Society will sponsor a theme dress day, and students in grades 3-8 will begin a novena to St. Michael the Archangel.
On Jan. 31, Bishop Golka will celebrate Mass at 1 p.m., followed by the distribution of service awards. It will be a “no homework” night.
On Feb. 1, a “Cardinal Classical Symposium” will take place from 9-11 a.m. There will be a vocations assembly at 2 p.m. in the gym featuring a married couple, permanent deacon, religious sister and priest.
Feb. 2 will feature an Eye Opener breakfast from 6:30-7:45 a.m. and pajama day.
On Feb. 3, students will participate in a eucharistic procession starting at the church at 10:45 a.m., ending at the rosary garden at 11:15 a.m., where eighth-graders will lead the rosary.
HOLY APOSTLES, Colorado Springs
Holy Apostles Preschool will begin its celebration of Catholic Schools Week with visit from Bishop Golka on Jan. 27 at 9:30 a.m.
An open house will take place on Jan. 29 from 10-11 a.m.
On Jan. 30-31, students will have Pajama Day and make thank-you cards for parents.
On Feb. 1-2, students will “Celebrate the Nation” by dressing in red, white and blue, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, listening to patriotic music in their classrooms and having a USA parade.
On Feb. 3, students will wear their school colors and there will be a celebration for staff.
ST. GABRIEL, Colorado Springs
St. Gabriel Classical Academy will begin their celebration of Catholic Schools Week by having donuts and an information table after the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Masses on Jan. 29.
On Jan. 30, students will write thank-you cards for those who have supported the school during its inaugural year.
On Jan. 31, Bishop Golka will celebrate the 8 a.m. school Mass and visit classrooms.
On Feb. 1, students may dress in red, white or blue, and military service members will visit classrooms to talk about their careers. Students will pray the rosary for the nation and all service members.
On Feb. 2, priests, deacons and religious will visit classrooms and share their vocation stories.
On Feb. 3, teachers and staff will be treated to a luncheon.
ST. KATHARINE DREXEL, Lone Tree
St. Katharine Drexel Preschool in Littleton will begin its celebration of Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 29 with students and families assisting at the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Masses and serving donuts afterwards. An open house will take place after each Mass.
On Jan. 30, students will collect used shoes for “Soles 4 Souls” and collect diapers and wipes for the food pantry at Pax Christi.
Jan. 31, students will be presented with certificates recognizing them for virtues.
On Feb. 1, family members who have served in the military will be recognized, and students will make cards for those in the school community who are on active duty.
On Feb. 2, students will recognize those who have answered God’s call to the priesthood and other vocations.
On Feb. 3, students will show appreciation to staff and volunteers.
On Feb. 4, school families will attend an outing to Hammond’s Candy factory.
ST. MARY’S, Colorado Springs
St. Mary’s High School will begin Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 30 by showing appreciation for faculty and staff with a lunch and coffee cart. On Jan. 31, students can wear red, white and blue to benefit the Tunnels to Towers foundation. On Feb. 1, students will celebrate volunteers. On Feb. 2, students will celebrate vocations by showing appreciation to Deacon Rob Rysavy and Father Joe Dygert. On Feb. 3, the school will celebrate students with a throat blessing and ice cream party.
ST. PAUL, Colorado Springs
St. Paul School will begin Catholic Schools Week on Jan. 29 by holding an open house from 9 a.m.-10 a.m. and having fourth and fifth grade students sing at the 10:30 a.m. A Parish Faith Night will take place from 6:30-8 p.m.
On Jan. 30, there will be a kick-off pep rally with a free Hawaiian dress day for the school’s Tiki Time Fundraiser. A food drive for West Side Cares will also begin that day.
On Jan. 31, St. Paul School will observe “Celebrating Your Students” Day by having a no- homework day. Father Matthew Kane will lead Catholic Trivia for students.
Feb. 1 will be a “Day of Giving.” Students will bring loose change for collection baskets and decorate doors for military and first responders.
On Feb. 2, Bishop Golka will celebrate Mass at 1 p.m. at St. Paul. Students will pray a rosary for vocations in the morning and parents will receive donuts and coffee at carpool.
On Feb. 3, the school will conclude its food drive for West Side Cares with an award for the winning class, and there will be an altar server recognition assembly after Mass.
ST. PETER, Monument
St. Peter School in Monument will begin Catholic Schools Week by participating in the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Jan. 29. After Mass, students will serve coffee and donuts and an open house will take place from noon-1 p.m.
Jan. 30 is “Celebrating Our Community and Nation” Day. Students will dress as their favorite Dr. Seuss character and pray for active-duty service members and veterans, as well as collecting food for Tri-Lakes Cares.
On, Jan. 31, there will be a panel of speakers to talk to students about vocations.
On, Feb. 1, Bishop Golka will celebrate Mass at St. Peter at 1 p.m., followed by a staff lunch.
Feb. 2 is “Celebrating Students” Day. Students will dress as their favorite superheroes and there will be an 8th grade vs. staff volleyball game.
On Feb. 3, students will work on their family trees and dress in wacky outfits.
Catholic Schools Strive to Form Saints
By Sheila Whalen
A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.” — Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Teachers and Religious, 2010.
Our Catholic schools are preparing for the annual Catholic Schools Week, where we celebrate the contributions of Catholic education to our families, parishes, and our nation. The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Colorado Springs fully embrace the vision of Pope Benedict. Our mission is bigger than our academic excellence; the human person needs more than knowledge to embrace his or her identity as a child of God. Our mission is centered on truly forming the whole child: intellect and will, mind and heart. We know we are forming saints!
This mission inspires the culture and curriculum of each school. We believe that an authentically Catholic education teaches the rich intellectual tradition and sacramental life of the Church. One of the foundational beliefs in Catholic education is that parents are the primary educators of their children.
“It is particularly in the Christian family that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship him, and to love their neighbor.” (“Gravissimum Educationis,” Vatican II ) We support parents in their responsibility to form disciples whose faith, wisdom and virtue will frame lives of happiness and holiness.
Each school is a unique community, but all serve their families and parishes through cultivating a sense of truth, beauty, and goodness in our students. We encourage parents to visit our Catholic schools over the next month as we begin enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year. Our schools are vibrant and growing as more and more parents look for an environment that supports the values taught at home.
We recognize the sacrifices that parents make for their children to attend a Catholic school. Bishop James Golka has continued the scholarship program started by Bishop Michael Sheridan. We are committed to providing financial assistance to families who have a desire for Catholic education but don’t have the resources. You can apply for this scholarship through this link: https://online.factsmgt.com/grant-aid/inst/3GRTM/landing-page.
(Sheila Whalen is superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Colorado Springs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)