Catholic schools prepare to celebrate Catholic education (1)

January 14, 2014

HOUSTON — With a theme of “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” the 60 schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will celebrate Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. 

The annual week-long event is dedicated to celebrating the exceptional standards of Catholic schools, school achievements, individual school communities nationwide and to open the doors to parents interested in learning more about Catholic education for their children.

Dr. George Laird, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese, said the week is designated by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) to provide an opportunity for each school to demonstrate to all interested parties the values of Catholic schools through various events.

“Each school plans different events for parents, students, faculty and potential parents and students to demonstrate the academic and spiritual values in Catholic education,” he said. “The expectation is that all Catholic school supporters as well as potential supporters will realize the spiritual and educational opportunities available at our Catholic schools.”

Throughout the week, every Catholic school in the nation will host a number of activities each day, ranging from volunteer activities to parent and grandparent appreciation events. Our Lady of Fatima School in Galena Park, for example, will have a book fair all week and host a Bible Verse and Prayer Contest that they hope to continue annually, among other planned events. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in The Woodlands will have an alumni reunion and Mass where alumni attend Mass and receive a blessing then meet in the gym for volleyball, pizza and karaoke. St. Francis de Sales Catholic School students will be participating in the University of Houston School of Engineering Mars Rover Contest and also have an International Food Fest. Many other schools will have similar, organized fun and unique events, such as saints trivia game, science projects and canned-goods collections.

Catholic schools in the area will also participate at an Open House at the University of St. Thomas (UST) at the Jerabeck Athletic Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The event is for interested parents to meet with representatives from Catholic schools across the Archdiocese to find out how Catholic schools are preparing students for the future and learn why families choose Catholic schools. 

The event is a collaboration of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, UST, and Families Empowered, an organization that empowers Houston-area families to engage in a marketplace of schools — that is, to understand their school options and choose the right school for their child. It does this by providing families with tools and resources for selecting a school and helping them navigate the application process to get there.

Students do not have to be Catholic to attend Catholic schools. According to NCEA’s Data Summary Report for the 2013-14 school year, enrollment in elementary and middle schools in the Archdiocese include 1,688 non-Catholic students out of 14,119 total enrolled. 
In secondary schools, 1,070 students out of 4,783 total enrolled are non-Catholic.

About the Network of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston:
• The Archdiocese has the largest private school system in Texas and welcome students of all faiths.
• There are currently 60 schools throughout the counties of the Archdiocese.
• More than 18,000 students are enrolled.
• The schools serve students PreK-3 through 12th grade.
• Need-based tuition assistance is available. 
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston serves 1.2 million Catholics in 10 counties. It is the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Texas and the 12th largest in the United States. For more information, visit