January 16, 2013
Amarillo—All five Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo have announced plans to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, set for Sunday, Jan. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 2.
All five Catholic Schools are centering its’ activities around this year’s theme, Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.
Here are thumbnail sketches of activities planned for Catholic Schools Week and other activities planned for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year. Events listed are subject to change without notice—please consult your Catholic school for additional information.
Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Amarillo
Holy Cross Catholic Academy will observe Catholic Schools Week by celebrating various ways in which Catholic Schools “raise the standards,” according to Father Robert A. Busch, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo and Head of School at HCCA.
“To recognize the spiritual dimension of our school, Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will celebrate the Eucharist with the HCCA community on Friday, Feb. 1 at 11:30am,” he said.
Throughout the week, students will compete in a trivia contest focusing on Catholic School graduates.
Academic achievements will be commemorated with the induction of new members of the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society during a ceremony scheduled Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:00pm. Also on Jan. 31, the service component of Catholic Schools will be highlighted through a school-wide service day, when students and faculty will scatter throughout Amarillo that morning to assist at Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle, Another Chance House, the Ronald McDonald House, Snack Pak for Kids, the High Plains Food Bank and United Way.
The community aspect of Catholic Schools will be marked by an evening social gathering for HCCA parents on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Bridge the Gap: Those contributing to the Bridge the Gap project at Holy Cross Catholic Academy are reminded that donations are due by or before Thursday, Jan. 31 for tax purposes.
St. Joseph’s School, Amarillo
St. Joseph’s School appreciates those who help Raise the Standards for Catholic education. Catholic Schools Week begins by appreciating St. Joseph parishioners and school families at an 11:00am Mass Sunday, Jan. 27. Students will serve as lectors, greeters, gift bearers and servers, according to principal Angi Seidenberger.
The week before Mass, the school will conduct a contest for grades one through five for the best poem or letter to the parish, thanking them for their support of the school. The winning letters or poems will be read at the end of the Jan. 27 Mass. Montessori and Kindergarten students will write a class letter that will hang in the school gym, along with poems and letters from other students during a Hamburger and Hot Dog appreciation lunch following the Mass, sponsored by St. Joseph Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and Knights of Columbus Council #4621.
During Catholic Schools Week, each class will have a jar placed at the front of the school, collecting loose change. The class that collects the most change during the week will earn a special reward for collecting the most change. All monies collected will go towards the school’s Accelerated Reader program.
Monday, Jan. 28 the school will thank its’ volunteers and boards for helping to Raise the Standards. Students and classes will find a special way to thank the many board members and volunteers that make St. Joseph’s School possible.
“We know it is important for our volunteers to know we appreciate them and Catholic Schools Week is the perfect opportunity to show this appreciation,” said Seidenberger.
On Tuesday Jan. 29 the school will show its’ appreciation to the Priests, Bishop, Sisters and Seminarians for their support in helping to Raise the Standards. Classes will adopt one of the many religious individuals and collect items for a basket to be presented to them after an 8:15am Mass with Bishop Patrick J. Zurek. Students will also hear from a number of guest speakers who will talk to students about the importance and life of being a priest or sister.
The military will be honored Wednesday, Jan. 30 as the school shows its’ support to the military for defending the freedoms so that St. Joseph’s School can continue to Raise the Standards.
“We will offer special prayers during morning announcements for our military,” said Seidenberger. “The Junior ROTC at Caprock High School will present the colors and speak to our students at 2:00. Students will be allowed to wear camouflage or red, white and blue, instead of their uniform.”
The school will thank the community for their part in Raising the Standards on Thursday, Jan. 31. St. Joseph’s students will dress as what they aspire to be when they grow up, according to Seidenberger.
“We’ll also have a D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Day and we’ll also have individuals from the community visit classrooms throughout the day and talk to students about their occupations and how important school is to achieve their dreams,” she said.
Students and staff will be recognized Friday, Feb. 1 for Raising the Standards at St. Joseph’s School.
“It’s a day to say thank you to all of our students and staff for their dedication to our Catholic Schools and for making Catholic Schools great and blessed,” Seidenberger said. “We’ll have Student Olympics in the morning, followed by a noon dismissal. The PTO will also treat our staff to a meal at an Amarillo restaurant.”
Upcoming Events: Amarillo Catholic Schools have been invited to St. Thomas Thursday, Jan. 24 for Catholic School information night for St. Thomas families. The school will take part in the annual St. Joseph’s Smorgasbord, set for Sunday, Feb. 10 (see story, page 2 and ad, page 11). The school will present Experience St. Joseph’s and KinderPreview Thursday, March 7, with KinderPreview from 8:00am to 11:00am and Experience St. Joseph’s that evening from 6:00 to 8:00. Spring Break is set for Monday, March 11 through Friday, March 15. The annual School-A-Thon will take place Friday, May 3.
St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Amarillo
St. Mary’s Cathedral School will officially kickoff Catholic Schools Week Friday, Jan. 25 with a Family Dance Night, sponsored by the Home and School Association. Parent DJ Jimmy Cardona will play music for students and parents from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in the Monsignor Francis Smyer Activity Center gym.
Students will participate in the 9:15am and noon Masses on Sunday, Jan. 27 by proclaiming the Word, bearing the gifts and serving as greeters. The children’s choir is also scheduled to sing with the adult choir during the 9:15 Mass.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 28, students at all grade levels from pre-K to fifth will pray a decade of the Rosary during morning announcements. Students will also begin its 14th year of participation in the St. Jude Math-a-Thon on Jan. 28. They will work on a variety of math problems in the Math-a-Thon Fun booklet while collecting donations from family and friends. Over the year, students have donated $34,247.56 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Those wishing to assist students in this year’s Math-a-Thon are encouraged to call the school at 376-9112.
A Catholic Schools Week tradition will continue Jan. 28, when the Tascosa High School Freedom Singers perform at 2:15pm in the gym. This will be the 27th year the group has performed at St. Mary’s during Catholic Schools Week, according to principal Kathi Lewis.
The Holy Cross Catholic Academy Choir will perform on Tuesday, Jan. 29. The day will also include presentations by alumni. The alumni have been asked to speak to how a Catholic education at St. Mary’s has influenced their lives and helped to shape their future.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, students will make greeting cards for the veterans in the VA Hospital. They will also make greeting cards for the clients who are on the Meals On Wheels route the school has been responsible for the past 15 years. Currently there are nine clients on the route that receive noon meals on Wednesdays.
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will visit the school on Thursday, Jan. 31, celebrating a Mass for the students and faculty at 2:00pm. Students will participate in proclaiming the Word and the Prayers of the Faithful, while the student choir will provide the music.
Throughout the week, parents of students in Montessori pre-school through fifth grade will be invited to visit in the classroom for a 45-minute lesson, followed by having lunch with their child, according to Lewis.
“The intent is to showcase the excellent teaching that marks 99 years of educating students at St. Mary’s Cathedral School,” she said. “We are proud of our strong academic program that includes the four “R’s,” and proud to offer as part of our required curriculum for students in grades K-five weekly swimming lessons and a weekly Spanish lesson for grades one through five.
“Students also have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities that include Mileage Club, Hands-on-Science, Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA), Meals On Wheels, private violin and piano lessons offered at the school and Student Council.
Various service projects are done throughout the year, giving students the opportunity to fulfill the mission of the church to reach out to others. The school recently collected 1,178 canned food items for the Inter-Faith Hunger project and donated stuffed animals and books for the Eveline Rivers Christmas Project.
“Three and four year old students are served through the Montessori method of instruction taught by certified Montessori teachers. Christ is the center of the school through daily religion classes, daily prayer during announcements, weekly Mass, monthly Adoration and individual ways that teachers bring His presence into the classroom.”
St. Anthony of Padua School, Dalhart
Catholic Schools Week at St. Anthony of Padua School begins Sunday, Jan. 27 with Mass in English at 9:30am and at 12:15pm in Spanish. Students will participate in the Masses, sitting in the front pews. The Book Fair will also kickoff on Jan. 27 after the 9:30 Mass, continuing throughout the week. Throughout the week, students will be entered into a raffle to win a book from the Book Fair, which encourages life-long learning through reading.
It’s dress uniform day for students on Monday, Jan. 28, as Bishop Patrick J. Zurek celebrates Mass at 11:00am. As a small sign of appreciation to the staff and faculty in their continuing efforts to instill a higher standard of learning for the student body, the Home and School Association will host a lunch for them and Bishop Zurek after the Mass. The student focus for the day will be on the Holy Trinity and parts of the Mass.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 begins with Pastries with Parents in the morning, giving students an opportunity to spend time with their families and showing that the higher standard begins with our families and in the home. A number of workers within the community will visit the school and speak with students about the importance of continuing their learning throughout their lives.
“By engaging the community, our hope is that students will rise to a higher standard of higher learning and expectation of self,” said St. Anthony of Padua School principal Karen Graff.
Parents and grandparents are invited to join their children and/or grandchildren for lunch on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Lone Star Ballet of Amarillo has been invited to provide entertainment in the St. Anthony’s Parish Life Center.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, students will participate in a Catholic Faire. Each class will research a Catholic living person, Saint or school and display their findings, similar to a Science Faire. Older grades will put together individual projects to display. That evening at 6:00, the Home and School Association will host a Pulled Pork Dinner for families, which will include an Open House in the classrooms from 6:00 to 7:00 and a family dance from 7:00 to 8:30.
Spirit Day will be celebrated on Friday, Feb. 1. Students will wear the school colors of blue and yellow, with the focus on the Holy Spirit and how it shapes the faithful as individuals. Students will also have an early dismissal.
“Catholic Schools Week gives us an opportunity to help our students raise their standards of self within our school and their families,” said assistant principal Melissa Meneses. “By offering opportunities to find a Catholic role model or institution and study it throughout Catholic School Week, showcased at the Catholic Faire, we are praying that students realize that by raising their standards of self, they will be able to achieve great things without losing their Catholic-Christian identity.
“Our several family activities throughout the week help bring together our school community and reiterate to our families that raising the standard begins in the home,” she said.
St. Anthony’s School, Hereford
St. Anthony’s School will begin Catholic Schools Week Monday, Jan. 28, with the theme of the day Raise the Standards: In Our Community. The day will include an Alumni Open House from 8:30am to 10:30am in the school’s Antonian Room, celebrating 95 Years of Excellence, which includes a presentation from the school’s oldest living alumna, Adeline Loerwald, according to principal Linda Aranda.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 is Raise the Standards: In Our Students day. Students will take part in relays and competitions in the morning, followed by a special lunch with parents as the invited guests.
The theme for Wednesday, Jan. 30 is Raise the Standards: In Our Nation. The day includes Eucharistic Adoration along with St. Anthony’s Church parishioners, who will participate in a special Day of Prayer for the continued success of all Catholic Schools in the United States. Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will celebrate Mass with the school community at 10:00am. Students will also spend a portion of the day making cards for U.S. troops.
Raise the Standards: In Our Vocations is the theme for Thursday, Jan. 31. The school will host a Breakfast/Open House for all local community ministers and their assistants from 8:30am to 10:30am in the Antonian Room.
It will be a short day for students Friday, Feb. 1 as the school notes Raise the Standards: In Our Faculty and Staff. K4 students will be dismissed at 11:45am, with K5 through sixth grade dismissed at 12:35pm. Extended day will close at 1:00pm. Faculty and staff will be treated to a luncheon.
Catholic Schools Week officially wraps up at St. Anthony’s School on Sunday, Feb. 3 with the 11:15am Mass at the parish. During the Mass, the 2013 Distinguished Graduate will be announced. A potluck dinner follows the Mass, which will also include the opportunity for the public to view a student created Art Exhibit, according to Aranda.
Upcoming Events: If spring is approaching, then it’s getting busy at St. Anthony’s School. The sixth grade will host a Fat Tuesday breakfast on Feb. 12, ushering in the Lenten Season. Students will celebrate Valentine’s Day with parties and service projects on Thursday, Feb. 14. Other Lenten activities include the annual Parent Teacher Organization Auction on Sunday, Feb. 26 (see related story, page 7). Holy Week will be observed with a Seder Meal on Thursday, March 28 and a Children’s Eucharistic Hour.
The school’s annual Science Fair is set for Wednesday, April 10, with the Intermediate Spelling Bee on Friday, April 26 and the Primary Spelling Bee Friday, May 3. The month of May also includes May Crowning on Friday, May 3 and the annual School Picnic on Friday, May 24.
Why are Catholic Schools so important and why is Catholic Schools Week so important? Linda Aranda: “Catholic Schools Week provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight and celebrate the benefits of a Catholic education. Catholic schools provide an education with an emphasis on Catholic identity, rich in tradition and rigorous academics. We develop the whole person in an environment where children are taught self-discipline with a Christian focus.
“We at St. Anthony’s School are blessed, in that, this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme is a true reflection of our Catholic school as we celebrate 95 Years of Excellence in Catholic Education. Our school and parish commitment to our students is phenomenal and I know we all do a wonderful job of providing our students with an excellent academic education in an environment integrated with our Catholic faith. We are certainly blessed to have a village teach our children at St. Anthony School in Hereford and hope to do so for generations to come.”
Memories Sought: St. Anthony’s School is compiling memories from 95 years of Catholic school education.
To submit a memory or for additional information, contact Janie Banner at 364-7626 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.