The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is joining in the national observance of Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, which has the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
The annual observance celebrates the Christ-centered, faith-based education that some 56,440 students (according to 2015 figures) receive in the 119 elementary, 17 secondary and four special education schools in the five-county area comprising the archdiocese.
Following are some of the Catholic Schools Week events happening around the archdiocese:
Sunday, Jan. 29
Maternity B.V.M. School: Parish Hall: 9322 Old Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Maternity B.V.M. will hold its first “Hall of Honor” complete with a Communion Breakfast and Hall of Fame Presentation. The honorees for “Hall of Honor” include: Thomas Filer, Robert Drennen and Sister Mary Anne Basile. Filer, Class of 1970, played six seasons in Major League Baseball with teams including the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. He is currently the assistant pitching coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drennen, Class of 1966, is a retired Philadelphia Fire Department Battalion Chief. Prior to retirement he earned a master’s degree in Public Safety Management and Education from St. Joseph’s University. He currently serves as the Director of St. Joseph’s University’s Public Safety Institute. Sister Mary Anne served as principal of Maternity B.V.M. School from 1965-1971. Following her departure she served in various roles including as a Community Supervisor, Associate Director for Elementary Schools of Middles States Association, Member of Community Leadership and Administrator of McAuley Convent Residence for Ill and Infirmed Sisters.
“Our Alumni Association has really worked hard to start a ‘Hall of Honor,’ and the day’s now here,” said Father Paul Quinter, pastor of Maternity Parish. “It’s an important one for the alumni, the honorees, and especially our current students, because they’re going to see three outstanding role models and learn the lesson that anything is possible through faith and knowledge.”
St. Andrew Catholic School: 51 Wrights Road, Newtown, PA 18940 (Bucks County)
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
An open house will welcome current and prospective school families and parishioners to tour the school and learn more about several of the programs offered including: a partnership with the First National Bank and Trust Company of Newtown, a student-run television studio, and technology on display throughout the school including Smartboards, Bright Links, and Mondo Boards.
During the open house students, faculty, and staff will present displays and activities that highlight the school’s academics and service components.
The St. Andrew Class of 2017 has earned more than $1 million in academic scholarships to archdiocesan and private Catholic schools including Archbishop Wood, Conwell Egan Catholic, and Father Judge High School for Boys.
Monday, Jan. 30
Holy Trinity School: Stockham and Osborne Avenues, Morrisville, PA 19067 (Bucks County)
Holy Trinity will hold its “Academic Olympics” Opening Ceremonies. Its “junior high unit” will kick-off their month-long academic competition with a parade of participating “countries,” playing of each country’s national anthem, running of the torch, flying of each country’s flag, and academic, physical, and team-building challenges.
Bishop Shanahan High School: 220 Woodbine Road, Downingtown, PA 19335 (Chester County)
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
To celebrate Bishop Shanahan as a community of faith, Eucharistic adoration is available in the chapel throughout the school day. The school community has encouraged cross-curricular visits to its school chapel, no matter what curriculum/discipline an instructor teaches, in order to show students that adoration is not just for theology class. Faculty and staff are also being encouraged to take a few minutes and spend them in the adoration chapel during the day.
St. Andrew the Apostle School: 535 Mason Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 (Delaware County)
8:30 a.m. (all day)
The school will hold a “Vocation Awareness” program for students in grades 5 through 8 at St. Andrew. Sister Celeste Mokrzycki, S.S.J., and Sister Michelle Lesher, S.S.J., will speak to classes about their vocations as Sisters in the Religious Order, Sisters of St. Joseph (SSJ)
Philip and James Catholic School: 721 East Lincoln Highway, Exton, PA 19341 (Chester County)
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
The school will hold its annual Souper Bowl of Caring collection event. Each student in grades pre-K to 8 have been asked to bring in at least one can of non-perishable food for the drive. Each class will present their offerings as a group and will be recognized for their donation. During this year’s event two special guests, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ryan, longtime parishioners of SS. Philip and James Parish and proud parents of Matt Ryan, quarterback of the 2017 NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons and SS. Philip and James Class of 1999 graduate, will be in attendance to show their support for the students’ charitable works.
St. Aloysius Parish School: 220 North Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 (Montgomery County)
9 – 11 a.m.
St. Aloysius Parish School is a part of “Project Lead the Way,” which is an innovative program that introduces STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum to students as early as pre-school. Each teacher will be incorporating STREAM projects in their classrooms. Older students will initiate more in depth-projects, while younger students will complete simpler lessons to start their introduction to engineering, design principle and science learning. Also during this time, the school is hosting an open house.
Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul: 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
John W. Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls will hold its opening Mass for Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Mother Church, the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. The students will be part of the congregation and several will also have liturgical roles during the Mass including as readers and cantors.
Tuesday, Jan. 31
St. Ephrem School: 5340 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA 19020 (Bucks County)
8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Students in sixth grade will participate in a religion lesson with invited parents and visitors. The teacher will present the group with a Gospel reading and a set of questions, which students will respond to via Google Classroom. The class will allow students to show their technology skills with Google Classroom to parents and guests.
St. Bernadette of Lourdes School: 1015 Turner Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 (Delaware County)
St. Bernadette students will show their gratitude to those who serve the community-at-large throughout the year. The school has invited local police officers, fire fighters, first responders, and service men and women to attend a community appreciation assembly. Kindergarten through 4th grade will perform a selection of songs on stage, 5th and 6th graders made thank you cards, and the 7th and 8th graders made place mats for the event. Light refreshments and breakfast will be provided.
St. Helena School: 1499 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422 (Montgomery County)
9:30 – 10 a.m.
Kindergarten students at St. Helena will try to answer the annual debate, “Will Pennsylvania’s resident weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, see his shadow on February 2nd?” The 5- and 6-year-old students will make predictions about whether we’ll have an early spring or six more weeks of winter through classroom activities.
Lansdale Catholic High School: 700 Lansdale Avenue, Lansdale, PA 19446 (Montgomery County)
2:30 – 2:35 p.m.
Students will recognize Lansdale Catholic faculty and staff in the form of a Faculty Walk of Fame. Prior to the end of the school day all students and staff will stop class, go out into the corridor and line the hallways. A playlist of music will be heard throughout the school over the public address system, including “We are Family” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Faculty and staff will be applauded as they walk or dance their way through the hallways lined with students cheering for them.
Mary, Mother of the Redeemer: 1321 Upper State Road, North Wales, PA 19454 (Montgomery County)
Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish priests including the pastor, Msgr. John T. Conway, as well as parochial vicars, Father William J. Teverzczuk and Father Daniel J. Arechabala, will share lunch with officers from the Student Council and their prayer partners in younger grades. During this lunch, the students will present “spiritual bouquets” to the priests. Students in each grade, Kindergarten through eighth, have offered daily prayers with the priests as their intentions. Some grades created a representative paper bouquet to present to the parish priests as a gift.
St. Cecilia Catholic School: 525 Rhawn Street, Philadelphia, PA 19111
Students in eighth grade will perform song selections for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders from their lessons with Rebecca Graham of Musicopia. The lessons were provided for the past three years with a grant from the William Penn Association. Parents are invited to attend.
Immediately following the music recital, students who participated in the 21st Annual Philadelphia Regional Future City Competition, which was hosted by Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor (Delaware County) on Saturday, Jan. 21 will present their table top design to the audience. The group of 15 members of seventh and eighth grade classes came in third place out of 38 public, private and charter school groups from around the Philadelphia region.
Immaculate Heart of Mary School: 815 Cathedral Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Tuesday is Immaculate Heart of Mary School’s “Student Appreciation Day,” with many activities around the school. Prayer partners will have the chance to read books together, sing karaoke, and participate in other activities. For the main event, the leaders of the school, fourth grade and eighth grade, will challenge their teachers to some friendly competition with games of “Newcomb” ball (a variation of volleyball) and volleyball. Kindergarten through fourth grade will cheer on the fourth graders, and fifth through eighth will attend the volleyball game as spectators in the afternoon.
Blessed Trinity Regional Catholic School: 3033 Levick Street, Philadelphia, PA 19149
9 – 10:30 a.m.
Blessed Trinity will host its annual “Heroes Breakfast.” Philadelphia officers from the 15th and 2nd Districts, Firefighters and EMT’s from Engine 52, school crossing guards, and school parents who work in law enforcement or as first responders have also been invited to take part in the breakfast.
Wednesday, Feb. 1
St. Ignatius of Antioch School: 995 Reading Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067 (Bucks County)
Students, teachers, and staff will hold a Patriotic Assembly with songs saluting the country. Snack boxes that were packaged by the students will also be presented to law enforcement and first responders who will be in attendance as well as Chris Harding, Mayor of Yardley Borough, and members of the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus.
St. Mary Magdalen School: 2430 Providence Road, Media, PA 19063 (Delaware County)
10:15 – 10:30 a.m.
St. Mary Magdalen’s cheerleaders will perform their state championship routines for the student body before they head to the national championship competition in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 11-12 that will be broadcast on ESPN.
St. Francis of Assisi School: 112 Saxer Avenue, Springfield, PA 19064 (Delaware County)
6 – 8 p.m.
The school will host an inaugural “Academic Fair.” Each student has been tasked, for the last several months, with working on a project that interests him or her in the fields of art, technology, science, and music. They will showcase their work schoolwide for parents and invited guests throughout the evening.
St. Catherine of Siena Pre-School: 317 Witmer Road, Horsham, PA 19044 (Montgomery County)
Students from Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School (OLM) will visit St. Catherine of Siena Pre-School as “guest readers.” Along with “Winston,” the OLM school mascot and Rosa Costanzo, school librarian, OLM students will present a special reading session along with a craft project and a special treat for Catholic Schools Week for the 3- and 4-year-old students.
St. Christopher Catholic School: 13305 Proctor Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116
9 – 10 a.m.
An appreciation reception will be held by students, faculty and staff for police and firefighters. Approximately 75 law enforcement officers and first responders are scheduled to attend including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr. During the reception students will present a video and a prayer blessing for the men and women in uniform will be delivered.
St. Mary Interparochial: Fifth and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) will perform a concert for the students of St. Mary’s. The concert is sponsored by the Connelly Foundation. The mission of AMLA, a non-profit 501(c)(3), founded in 2006 in North Philadelphia, is to promote the development, dissemination, and understanding of Latin American music and culture in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Region with a strong emphasis on youth.
Thursday, Feb. 2
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, College Division Auditorium: 100 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, PA (Montgomery County)
10 – 10:30 a.m.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will host the keystone event for Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He will make an announcement regarding a historic partnership between the 17 archdiocesan high schools and Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian relief agency of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Archbishop Chaput will be joined by Auxiliary Bishops Timothy C. Senior, John J. McIntyre, Michael J. Fitzgerald and Edward M. Deliman. The event will also include Christopher Mominey, secretary for Catholic Education; Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., superintendent of secondary schools; Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services; and Maureen McCullough, regional director of Catholic Relief Services. The principals and student council presidents of all 17 high schools will also participate.
In conjunction with this announcement, approximately 800 Catholic elementary, secondary and special education students will participate in an event mirroring the Helping Hands Initiative that took place during the World Meeting of Families in 2015. The CRS Helping Hands program serves individuals in the most vulnerable areas of the world by sending food for immediate hunger relief. It also funds income-generating projects to prevent hunger in the long term. The goal for the day is to package 50,000 meals.
In addition to packaging meals students will have an opportunity to hear from College Division seminarians and two junior professed IHM Sisters about their path to discerning their vocation, which coincides with the national CSW theme of the day “Celebrate Vocations.”
The event will be streamed live at https://livestream.com/archphila//events2017.
Friday, Feb. 3
St. Isidore Catholic School: 603 West Broad Street, Quakertown, PA 18951 (Bucks County)
11:15 a.m. -12 p.m.
Students in fourth through eighth grades will compete in a STEM Challenge designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Participants will be asked to individually design and build a shock-absorbing system that could protect an astronaut with materials including marshmallows, straws, index cards, and cups. The students whose designs complete this task will then be placed in a St. Isidore STEM Team that will represent the school in a county-wide competition later in the year.
St. Dorothy Church: 4910 Township Line Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 (Delaware County)
St. Dorothy School will hold a prayer service in the parish church to celebrate one of its teachers, Audrey Neill, a Kindergarten Teacher who was named a recipient of the 2017 National Catholic Education Association’s “Lead. Learn. Proclaim” award. The award recognizes excellence and distinguished service in Catholic school education. Neill is one of only 42 such awardees across the nation. She will be honored at the NCEA 2017 Convention in St. Louis in April.
Bishop McDevitt High School: 125 Royal Avenue, Wyncote, PA 19095 (Montgomery County)
As one of the final events of its Catholic Schools Week celebration Bishop McDevitt High School will hold an “Academic Appreciation Day” that will begin with Mass in the school gymnasium. After the homily at Mass, Theresa Johnson, long-time secretary of the Student Services Office who will be retiring at the close of the 2016-17 school year, will be recognized for her service. At the conclusion of Mass, the National Honor Society student induction ceremony will take place.
Good Shepherd Catholic School: 835 North Hill Avenue, Ardsley, PA 19038 (Montgomery County)
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
A “Dance for Education” will be held in the school gymnasium. Every student in the school (grades pre-K – 8) will be involved. Each school family previously sent out five or more sponsor forms asking relatives and friends to sponsor the student dancing with a donation. The money collected represents the students’ efforts toward the school’s annual fund. Money collected will enhance Good Shepherd’s science and technology programs by incorporating robotics in the junior high grade levels of the school.
SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School: 1736 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
In honor of Catholic Schools Week the SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School community engages in a variety of activities celebrating all areas of school life including Catholic identity and service while also taking time to appreciate our students, teachers, and staff.
On the final day of the week the school community will gather in the gym for a morning of recreation. The theme of the day is “Black and Gold,” Neumann-Goretti’s school colors. Students, faculty, and staff will be dressed down, wearing black and gold to demonstrate school spirit. Volleyball teams from every grade will compete in a tournament. The winning student team will play the faculty and staff team to conclude the day. The event also features a mini pep-rally recognizing seniors who have achieved success outside of school including Jamin Chen, a commended student by the College Board based on his junior year PSAT’s and Quade Green for his participation in the Junior Olympics last summer.
The pep rally also includes recognition of the school’s winter senior student-athletes, a performance by the cheerleaders and a “Senior Wing Bowl.” During the event each grade will have participants in various team building games such as tug-of-war and a hoola hoop chain.
Saturday, Feb. 4
Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School: 403 North (Delaware County)
3 – 10 p.m.
Over 300 students from Bonner-Prendie will close out Catholic Schools Week with an annual student run Mini-THON event to support the fight against pediatric cancer. Last year Bonner-Prendie students raised over $19,000 for the Four Diamonds fund. The Mini-THON event will include seven hours straight of dancing and activities in the Bonner-Prendie school gymnasium.
Four Diamonds Mini-THONs inspire teamwork, leadership and creativity among students while empowering young people through philanthropy and service in the fight to conquer childhood cancer.