Sunday marked the beginning of Catholic Schools Week, with schools in the Diocese of Columbus planning many events to mark the celebration, the Eagle-Gazette reports.
According to a press release from the Diocese of Columbus, Catholic Schools Week highlights the mission of Catholic schools to provide an education that supports the whole child academically and spiritually and prepares him or her for future success. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools Light the Way.”
"Our teachers and curriculum foster wisdom and understanding that help produce future leaders and adults who understand the obligations of human life, the dignity of the individual and the shared responsibility for our common good," said Linda D. McQuaide, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Columbus, speaking to the Eagle-Gazette.
Fisher Catholic High school, for instance, will have theme days and an academic competition between teachers and students. Students can avoid wearing their uniforms to school if they bring food and toiletries to donate to charities like a local pregnancy center or a soup kitchen.
"The students are aware of [their] obligation to care for those who are less fortunate," theology teacher and campus minister Lynn Anderson explained to the Eagle-Gazette. "It comes down to what Jesus said, 'Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.' Through service projects like this, we can openly address and teach that concept."
The school will also celebrate a Wednesday Mass honoring English and Social Studies teacher Ben Thimmes, who was forced to retire after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
A Catholic elementary school will celebrate a Mass for a school nurse, retiring after 29 years of service.
Another elementary school will have students decorate and assemble birthday bags for local food banks and will make Valentine’s Day boxes for veterans at the local Veterans’ Administration Hospital. The students will also write letters thanking their parents for the sacrifices they made to educate their children.