In honor of Catholic Schools Week, U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski (D- Ill.) introduced a House resolution commending Catholic schools for their work and contributions to society.

"As a proud graduate of Catholic grammar school and high school, every year I look forward to highlighting the achievements of America's Catholic schools during Catholic Schools Week," said Rep. Lipinski in a Jan. 23 statement.

His resolution commended Catholic schools for promoting a "broad, values-added education emphasizing the lifelong development of moral, intellectual, physical, and social values in young people in the United States."

The resolution also extends support to "the goals of National Catholic Schools Week" and welcomes the "key role" that Catholic schools "play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the Nation."

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Catholic Schools Week, instituted by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The theme for this year – which runs Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 – is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service."

Each year during Catholic Schools Week, Lipinski visits some of the Catholic schools in his district.

"The Chicago Archdiocese and the Joliet Diocese run two of the very best school systems in the country, regularly producing graduates who are successful in their chosen fields and go on to become leaders in their communities," he said.

"Visiting the students, teachers, and administrators at our Catholic schools throughout this special week is always inspiring. It is one of the highlights of my year."

Brother Robert Bimonte, FSC, president of the National Catholic Educational Association, thanked Congressman Lipinski and the co-sponsors of the resolution.  

"This week is not only a celebration but a timely reminder that Catholic schools are both a gift to the Church and to the nation that must be treasured and preserved," he said.

"Catholic schools provide a rich environment of faith and learning where students experience how much God loves them in Christ," commented Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Neb., who chairs the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' education committee.

"Our schools have educated millions of young people over the years by providing them a superior academic background, always pointing the way to eternal life," the archbishop said in a Jan. 15 statement.

He added that Catholic school students "are free to express their own love for God in prayer and the celebration of the sacraments and to express love of neighbor in a community where each is respected as a gift from God."

"The success of Catholic schools in handing on the faith, generation after generation, is a bright light in the history of the Church in the United States."