Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Catholic Schools Week features creative activity throughout diocese
by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Jan. 12, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane each year join in the national observance of Catholic Schools Week, a joint project between the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2006 is “Catholic Schools: Character, Compassion, Values.” The observance begins Sunday, Jan. 28 and concludes Saturday, Feb. 4.
Here are a few examples of what’s going on in Eastern Washington’s Catholic schools.
Assumption, Walla Walla
Walla Walla’s Catholic elementary school will participate in a special Mass on Sunday at 10:30 a.m., followed by an open house at the school, all in the context of celebrating the school’s 50th Anniversary. Students will collect items for Garden Court Apartments, which is sponsored by Catholic Charities in Walla Walla. On Friday, Assumption will gather with DeSales High School for an all-school Mass at Assumption Church at 8:30 a.m.
St. Paschal, Spokane Valley
Students will begin each day of Catholic Schools Week with prayers led by the seventh and eighth grades. After the prayers, the students will explain the various projects for the day and how they relate to the theme of the week. Other events include a recognition luncheon for school volunteers and a Sunday Mass which will recognize the school with its teachers and students.
Sunday, Jan. 29, will be Parish and Priest Appreciation Day at Cataldo. Students will speak at all Masses in the three parishes served by the school, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Augustine, and Sacred Heart. Classes will also make cards of appreciation for all three of the pastors. On Monday, all Cataldo volunteers are invited to attend a presentation and reception hosted by teachers and staff. Wednesday will be Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day. A luncheon will be hosted by the Cataldo volunteer parents to thank the teachers and staff for all they do.
St. Charles, Spokane
St. Charles School will celebrate beginning Sunday, with a parish pancake breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. “This is a great way for students, parents and parishioners to come together and reinforce the connection between church and school,” said Skip Bonnucceli, principal. Tuesday will be a day of prayer and reflection. Wednesday morning there will be a student Mass. That afternoon, there will be an all-school skating party. Friday will be faculty and staff appreciation day. Throughout the week, there will be a Thank You banner on the front of the school aimed at all the volunteers who help out at St. Charles.
St. Patrick, Pasco
At Pasco’s Catholic elementary school each day of Catholic Schools Week will have a Faith Community meeting focused on a theme of the day. Sunday, the 11 a.m. parish Mass will be planned by students and faculty to highlight Catholic Schools Week. This year the school will host an All Catholic Schools Mass at 10 a.m. on Friday, at the parish, with clergy, faculty, and students from all the Tri-City schools attending.
Assistant Principal Judy Long reported that Catholic Schools Week presentations will be given at all parish Masses the weekend of Jan. 28. Assumption’s eighth graders will present speeches at the Senior Parish Member Appreciation Luncheon on Jan. 30, and the Kids Korus will perform. Feb. 2 is Student Appreciation Day, with students being served chocolate milk and ice cream, and this is also a free dress day. To cap it off, on this day teachers give no homework.
Holy Family, Clarkston
Thinking creatively, Clark-ston’s Catholic school will celebrate Catholic Schools Week this year from Feb. 5-12, with an all-week Book Fair, a Spirit Week, and other activities. The students will serve as lectors and lead the music at the Sunday Masses. Students will also write essays on “Why I Like Attending a Catholic School.” A special Catholic Schools Week Mass is celebrated on Friday.
Gonzaga Prep, Spokane
Gonzaga Prep’s main observance of Catholic Schools Week includes the nomination of a faculty member as the Diocese of Spokane’s Catholic Schools Teacher of the Year. This year, Prep’s nomination went to Religion teacher Bob Nedved.
St. Thomas More, Spokane
St. Thomas More’s principal, Deacon Doug Banks, reported that all parish Masses for Sunday, Jan. 29 will include “a reflection on the values of Catholic Schools and an invitation to parishioners to visit the school. Also, older parishioners will be invited to volunteer for reading and tutorial programs.” During the week, the school’s hallways will host displays of memorabilia illustrating the history of the school. On Feb. 1, each class will write thank-you letters to benefactors, volunteers, supporters of the parish, and parents. Everyone is invited to remember and thank the important people in Catholic education.
Principal Dan Hill reports: “We try to have lots of fun during Catholic Schools Week, and the kids really do have a lot of spirit.” On Monday, Dan Hill says, “the eighth grade team captains take a student from each lower grade and spend lunch toether, and they make cards for shut-ins.” Students bring favorite board games to school on Tuesday, and play as teams with their eighth grade team captain. Wednesday is P.E. challenge day. The 5th and 6th graders take on the 7th and 8th graders in jump rope, basketball lay-ins, scooter races, relay races, and school spirit challenge. The winner receives the coveted “Trinty Rubber Chicken.” On Friday students have a special Mass in honor of the school pastors and volunteers.
DeSales High School, Walla Walla
“We traditionally have high school students speak after all weekend Masses,” said principal John Lesko, “thanking the parishes for their support and inviting them to celebrate Catholic Schools Week with us.” Elementary students from Assumption distribute home-made bookmarks to parishioners after Mass, he said.
Each day during the week, DeSales observes a different theme: Jan. 30, “Faith With Our Community;” Jan 31, “Faith With Our Students,” and so on.
St. Mary, Spokane Valley
Principal Lauri Nauditt will present a Catholic Schools Week reflection at all weekend Masses at St. Mary Parish. Students from the school will serve as lectors and gift bearers at all weekend Masses, and students will also read an Introduction to Catholic Schools Week prior to each Mass. Students from the school will attend Mass in their school uniforms and join in the Entrance Procession. After each Mass, students will hand out bookmarks they have made to parishioners. A school assembly on Tuesday will honor Msgr. John Steiner, St. Mary’s pastor.
St. John Vianney, Spokane Valley
The school will host a Spirit Week for all students. The activities and the theme for each day will be based on a Bible verse researched by the eighth grade class. Activities will include a Twins Day and a free dress day.
St. Patrick, Spokane
Principal Dorothy Galla-gher said that students will prepare and participate in the Masses at both St. Patrick and St. Francis Xavier Parishes, which share a pastor, Father Dan Barnett. The students’ participation in the Masses includes serving as ushers, greeters, lectors, and gift bearers. “This year, on Friday, our families, grandparents, friends, benefactors and parishioners will be invited to join us for lunch and help us celebrate our 91-year tradition of Catholic Education in Spokane,” she said.
All Saints, Spokane
“Catholic Schools Week gives us a chance to honor our incredible volunteers, grandparents, donors, students and staff,” said principal Kathy Hicks. “We also get a chance to celebrate the first half of the school year being complete and look forward to the next half beginning. On Friday, Jan. 27, the school hosts a dance for seventh and eighth grade students from all area Catholic schools. Special Masses at all three of the parishes that the school serves take place on Saturday evening and Sunday.”
St. Aloysius, Spokane
Principal Kerrie Rowland said that “The St. Aloysius School community will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with special activities and Mass. As teachers, families, and clergy, we work ‘together in faith’ to form and educate the children whom God has placed in our care. This year’s theme for Catholic Schools Week reminds us of our role as a team of evangelists and educators for our children.”