Catholic Schools Week is January 29 – February 5, 2012

Published on Jan 30th, 2012 by Austin Keith | 0

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2012 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.” Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open house and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. Check with your parish school or diocesan Catholic high school for a schedule of planned activities for the week of January 29-February 5.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE:  January 26, 2012
CONTACT: Kathleen Bagg
(904) 262-3200, ext. 110/office
(904) 434-3909/cell

The Diocese of St. Augustine Celebrates National Catholic Schools Week

Jacksonville, Fla. – As the nation celebrates Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2012, Bishop Felipe J. Estévez and the bishops of Florida take the opportunity to express their appreciation and admiration for all members of the Catholic school community, including students and their parents, school administrators and teachers, and clergy, for the important role each places in the ministry of Catholic education.

In a written statement (see attachment), the Florida bishops acknowledge the financial sacrifices made by parents who have entrusted the education of their children to Catholic schools. “The financial sacrifices made by these parents in paying taxes to support public schools, while at the same time paying tuition, results in a huge savings to our state. Considering the $6,267 average basic cost to educate a child each year in Florida’s public schools, the over 82,000 students in Florida’s Catholic schools save the state $470 million annually. This considerable savings is realized after adjusting for the nearly 11,000 Catholic school students participating in State funded scholarship programs.”

“It is appropriate that the theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week, ‘Faith, Academics, Service,’ focuses on three priorities of Catholic schools,” said Patricia Bronsard, Ed.D., superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of St. Augustine. “Catholic school students are taught not only our faith, but also ways to nurture and build a faith relationship with God. Academics in schools are taught keeping each child’s individual talents in mind. Service to others is an integral part of the Catholic school experience,” she said, adding, “This week’s observance is one that celebrates Catholic schools with students, families, parishioners, and the community at large.”

In addition to the bishops’ gratitude, Catholic schools in Florida are being praised by members of the Florida legislature. Resolutions recognizing “Catholic Schools Week” in the State of Florida have been filed in both the Florida House and Senate. SB 932 (Altman) and HB 9025 (Kiar) acknowledge that the common good of the state of Florida is strengthened through the existence of Catholic schools.

“We are grateful to Senator Altman and Representative Kiar for publically recognizing the valuable contribution of Catholic schools in the education of Florida’s youth, including many students of other faiths, and some who are economically disadvantaged or have special education needs,” said James Herzog, associate director for education for the Florida Catholic Conference.

Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration designated by the National Catholic Education Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.”

The Diocese of St. Augustine is particularly proud of the nationally recognized achievements of St. Paul Catholic School in Jacksonville Beach and Queen of Peace Academy in Gainesville. Both schools were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education in 2011 for their excellence in education. They join three other schools in the diocese that have received the national recognition: Palmer Catholic Academy, Ponte Vedra Beach; Cathedral Parish School, St. Augustine and Christ the King Catholic School, Jacksonville.

Highlight of local Catholic Schools Week Events (Jan. 29-Feb. 5)
All Catholic Schools in the diocese are assigned non-perishable food items to collect during the week to stock Catholic Charities food pantries. All schools perform service projects throughout the year.

The following schools provided a sampling of activities they will be sponsoring during Catholic Schools Week 2012:

St. Paul Catholic School, 428 2nd Ave.,  Jacksonville Beach 32250.  Phone: 249-5934
Feb. 1 – Spanish Mass with Bishop Estévez and Unite Prayer Chain
Feb. 3 – Annual ARTFEST celebrating Art in the Alps all day.

Bishop John Snyder High School, 5001 Samaritan Way, Jacksonville 32210.  Phone: 771-1029
Jan. 30 – Catholic Schools Week kick-off Mass celebrated by Bishop Estévez at 9 a.m.
Feb. 2 – Praise and Worship Concert at 1:50 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Blessing of Throats for Feast of St. Blaise at 7:40 a.m. in chapel

St. Matthew Catholic School, 1773-0010 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville 32210.  Phone: 387-4401
Feb. 2 – Career Day with Commander Grant Dunn of the U.S. Navy from 8:15-8:30 a.m. and between 9-11 a.m. Dave Widell former Jacksonville Jaguar football player, Olga Walker a local veterinarian and Peggy Sidman, attorney for City of Jacksonville
Feb. 3 – Recycles Orchestra perform in parish hall from 11:15-noon

Additional Information:

Florida Bishops Catholic Schools Week 2012 Statement (English)

Florida Bishops Catholic Schools Week 2012 Statement (Spanish)

Florida Catholic School Statistics for 2011-2012 School Year

Florida Catholic School Participation in State Scholarship Programs for 2011-2012 School Year

Senate Resolution 932 (Altman)

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