While admittedly, I might be partial, I do believe that Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fall River are some of the finest; they continue to impress me with the outstanding programs and educational experiences they offer. This Sunday, Catholic schools across our Diocese and across the country will begin their annual observance of Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses, and a variety of special programs and activities. According to the most recent annual report from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), national enrollment in Catholic K–12 schools increased by nearly 4 percent for the 2021-2022 school year, the biggest enrollment increase the NCEA has ever observed.
The value of Catholic schools and what Catholic schools do to our young people no one else can do. We offer not only a quality academic education, but we offer values and faith. Our Diocesan Catholic schools do this seamlessly, integrating the teachings of Jesus Christ with a high standard of academics, community, and extracurricular activities.
Our Catholic Schools Office is dedicating this year’s Catholic Schools Week to celebrating the principals who have led each Catholic school through these unprecedented times. Thus, our Diocesan theme for Catholic Schools Week is “Rediscover Your Catholic School Principal,” encouraging all families to recognize the leadership and commitment these women and men have given to the 19 Catholic schools here in the Diocese of Fall River. On the Catholic School Alliance website, you will find a series of “Meet Our Catholic School Principals” videos with this introductory message, “It is through the leadership and commitment of our school principals that we are able to offer rigorous academics and spiritual development. We welcome you to meet the amazing women and men of the Diocese of Fall River who have given so much of their time and talent to our students and families!” I wholeheartedly concur and extend my gratitude to them! Click here to watch all of them.
Diocesan Open Houses
Another Catholic Schools Week tradition is having school open houses across the Diocese. To locate a school to visit near you, I invite you to visit our complete list of the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools at: CatholicSchoolsAlliance.org/list-of-schools.
Financial Aid Available
We are blessed in the Fall River Diocese to have an organization that helps families desiring a Catholic education for their children. The Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) helps reduce the cost of tuition by providing scholarships. For this school year, more than 1,000 students have received a needs-based award, which in many cases, has reduced tuition by more than 30%, and for many schools, this can result in a monthly tuition payment of $300 or less. Awards are determined by a family’s financial circumstances at the time of application. FACE scholarships help reduce tuition costs. Families are encouraged to apply by the deadline of March 24, 2023, for the best chance of receiving an award, as funds are limited.
3 Financial Aid Opportunities in the Diocese of Fall River:
Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) — As mentioned above, students in Kindergarten through grade 8 are eligible for financial aid through FACE. Once your student is registered at one of our Catholic schools, complete the online FACTS application to apply for financial aid through FACE.
SCHOOL-BASED— Students in high school (9-12), as well as some of our elementary schools, offer school-based financial aid. Families should speak with a school’s principal or business manager to learn about school-based financial aid.
PARISH SPONSORED—Many of our parishes throughout the Diocese offer financial aid to active parishioners. Please contact your parish for more on this.
Receive Jesus. Worship Jesus.
I am so pleased that our Diocese is once more able to offer an in-person Women and Men’s Conference after a two-year absence because of pandemic restrictions; it will be good to be together again. Our Conference theme of “Receive Jesus, Worship Jesus” echoes the National Eucharistic Revival now underway across the country and is designed to help rekindle and deepen devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I look forward to gathering with you for this day of enrichment and renewal with engaging presentations and opportunities for worship, reflection, music, friendship, and more.
Many of you will be familiar with one of our featured speakers, Father Roger Landry; however, you may not be aware he has been named one of the National Eucharistic Preachers with the USCCB National Eucharistic Revival. Fr. Landry has been ministering outside the Diocese as the Catholic Chaplain to Columbia University, New York, following his assignment as attaché to the Holy See UN Observer Mission.
The other speaker, Mari Pablo, is a national ministry consultant with The Evangelical Catholic. Mari is a regular presenter at the annual Steubenville Youth Conferences, NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conferences), NET (National Evangelization Teams), and Focus Conference. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Augustine Institute in Colorado, from which she earned a master’s degree in Theology.
I look forward to hearing from both on March 11th, as we once again come together at the Ames Sports Complex on the campus of Stonehill College. It is sure to be a blessed and inspirational day as we once again come together as a Diocesan community. To learn more or to register, please visit: https://www.fallriverdiocese.org/2023-women-mens-conference
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha