Feb. 20 race brings Houston communities together

February 7, 2016

HOUSTON — Pope Francis calls upon every Catholic to support Catholic education. In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Steps for Students 5K Run is the largest celebration of Catholic education that provides the opportunity to answer that call. 

Saturday, Feb. 20, in the shadow of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, the Archdiocesan community will gather in support of Catholic schools at the 11th annual Steps for Students. Everyone is invited to participate in the fellowship and race festivities. Whether running in the 5K, sponsored by Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta, walking it, or even standing on the sidelines cheering for all the runners, Steps for Students is the perfect opportunity to support Catholic schools. 

The race includes: The Steps Sunrise Mass at 6:30 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and a visit to the Román and Cecilia Martínez Memorial Catholic School Village, where Daniel Cardinal DiNardo frequently visits school team tents. 
To Cardinal DiNardo, the benefit of the race is clear. 

“Steps for Students offers our students a new perspective and the opportunity to see students from other Catholic schools across the Archdiocese and know that they are a part of something bigger: part of an Archdiocesan family, part of our universal Church,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “That is a wonderful thing for each of us to know; that we are a part of something greater and through actively living our faith together that we can accomplish tremendous good.” 

A major highlight of Race Day is when Cardinal DiNardo blesses the thousands of runners and walkers who will take to the race course, as well as those in attendance. Just before the start of the race, the David Guite Spirit Award, presented by St. Joseph Medical Center, will be given to the Catholic school team that best demonstrated the spirit of participation, creativity and enthusiasm through their team efforts. The award is named for David Guite, late principal of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Galena Park and founding member of Steps for Students. It is the highest honor the race bestows each year. 

11,000 runners joined the race at last year’s Steps for Students.
“Steps is the biggest event that brings together people from across the Archdiocese standing in solidarity to support Catholic schools,” Race Co-chair Diana Dávila Martínez said.
The race course runs into Downtown and back through Midtown in a single-loop course. Race gun-time is 8 a.m. for all runners and walkers, with official race results this year sponsored by Neighbors Emergency Center. For runners or little ones that might tire out before reaching 5K, there is an escape route turn-off from the race course at the 1K distance and again at one mile. 

After the run, all are welcome to participate in face painting, family activities and visiting with race partners the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders and the Chick-fil-A Herd of Cows. Don Nelson and Tim Heller from KTRK ABC13 will emcee the event.

There are many ways to be part of Steps for Students and each of them advances the mission of Catholic education and is a way of answering Pope Francis’s call. Race Co-Chair, Román Martínez, extends this invitation, “If you went to Catholic school — come join us; If your child is in a Catholic school — come join us; If you believe in Pope Francis’ call to support Catholic education — come join us!”
To register to run or walk, volunteer or donate, visit www.steps4students.org. The $25 registration fee can be designated to the Catholic school of your choice or support the Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance program.