Communities welcome to visit Catholic schools Nov. 13-19 for Discover Catholic Schools Week

November 13, 2022

Prospective families, donors, educators, and other community members are invited to visit area Catholic schools showcasing their students and events for Discover Catholic Schools Week Nov. 13-19

While each school celebrates in its own way, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) suggests several themes, including focusing on parishes, students, parents, and alumni.

“Catholic schools across the country prove time and time again that education provided by Catholic schools is superior and prepares graduates for their futures. I encourage all parents and grandparents to discover the Catholic school in their community and support the work being done for our future,” said Superintendent Dr. Debra Haney.

She added, “Catholic schools are incredible in the way in which they provide a safe, nurturing, academically rigorous, well-rounded, and morally sound education for school-aged youth. We are so proud of our students and the staffs that support their ability to thrive.”

Principal Rebecca Bogard of St. John Paul II Catholic School, 1400 Parkway Plaza in west Houston, said, “We are planning to highlight and celebrate our students and community through honoring our grandparents with performances by all students.”

The school also has its own Halo News Student Broadcast to spread the Good News as well as on its social media, she said.

Corpus Christi Catholic School in the Meyerland area, 4005 Cheena, has chosen its own theme.

Principal Cindy Barranco said, “Our school theme this year is Esther 4:14 ‘Who knows...perhaps it was for a time like this that you were created.’”

An All School Mass at Corpus Christi church was planned to kick off Discover Catholic Schools on Sunday, November 13th. Bake sales at the Masses this weekend will help the school’s eighth graders raise funds for their upcoming trip to Washington, DC. 

On Wednesday, November 16th, the school is hosting a Missionary speaker Sister Lisa Valentini, Religious from the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Reading PA., Barranco said.

Those interested in visiting the schools or attending any of the events can call to make arrangements.

Catholic education in the area began when the Ursuline sisters landed in Galveston by ship in 1847. This Roman Catholic religious order built the Ursuline Academy, the first Catholic school for girls in Texas, which is considered the foundation of the Catholic school system today.

They immediately began forming their educational mission after arriving on Jan. 18,1847 and opened the school by February with 23 students. By April of 1847, their enrollment shot up to nearly 60 pupils.

But hurricanes, heat and disease took their toll. During their first year of school, a yellow fever epidemic reduced enrollment to a dozen students, but not a single case of the plague occurred among the nuns. Then the Civil War and more yellow fever in 1861 closed the school, but the nuns reopened it as a hospital. The "Nuns of the Battlefield" monument in Washington, D.C., lists six names of Galveston Ursulines on it.

The Ursulines of Galveston survived 85 years of yellow fever, war, Spanish flu, and hurricanes, including the storms of 1853, 1875, 1900 and 1961. The 1900 hurricane terrified the town, killing thousands. Flooding turned streets which bordered the convent building into a river.

But in 1961, Hurricane Carla damaged the brick building beyond repair and it was subsequently demolished. Now Holy Family Catholic School is set on the location in Galveston at 2601 Ursuline St. Next to it lies a cemetery which contains the remains of more than 80 nuns who gave their lives to Jesus and serving the community.