National Catholic Schools Week, an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States, is being celebrated this week, from January 31st through February 6th. In the Fall River Diocese, the Catholic schools typically observe the week with Masses, assemblies, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members to celebrate and congratulate. This year, schools need to be a little more creative, and along with the Catholic Schools Alliance, have indeed risen to the occasion. Just another shining example of the excellence our Catholic schools have exhibited throughout this pandemic.
This year’s theme is Catholic Schools:
Faith. Excellence. Service
As the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Schools Alliance so perfectly expressed on their Catholic School Week webpage:
“While the 2020-21 school year will be remembered as the year of masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer, it will also be recalled as the year of challenges for education in general. Catholic schools have much to celebrate as they often have been a haven of stability for the many families and students benefiting from the mostly in-person Catholic education since the end of August.
Moreover, even during the pandemic, the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools continue to live out the Catholic faith by integrating the teachings of Jesus Christ into all that is done at the schools every day. Many other educational forums do not have the benefit of someone sitting with each child and helping them learn to pray – which is one of the gifts of Catholic education that has been experienced by so many new families who have recently joined the Catholic school community.”
Each day during Catholic Schools Week, the Catholic Schools Alliance website has been sharing different ways to celebrate schools across the diocese with families, parishes, communities, and more. Although I was unable to make the usual number of visits to our schools that I like in 2020, I have been incredibly impressed and proud of what I have been able to see virtually. And, I look forward to celebrating Masses, services, and other special celebrations, in the coming years. Catholic schools across the country have been lauded for their success in not only helping children return to school safely but, more importantly, keeping them there, despite the winter surge in Covid-19 cases. That alone is enough for all of us to celebrate our Fall River Catholic Schools, but we know they do so much more for our children.
One activity I was able to witness first-hand last year was the Santa Shop service project at Bishop Feehan High School. What a beautiful involvement of students—collecting gift cards for families in need and taking the time to create heartfelt Christmas cards. Thanks to the Bishop Feehan community, students collected $35,000, which allowed them to help over 300 local children this Christmas. Our Catholic Schools demonstrate not only excellence in education but in character and community development as well.
Catholic Schools Week is a time when schools host open houses and open registration for the following academic year, which have been done exceptionally well this year, virtually. Students and parents who are interested in enrolling in one of the Catholic schools or learning more about the enrollment process should contact the school of interest.
A complete list of the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools is available at: CatholicSchoolsAlliance.org/list-of-schools.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha