Galveston-Houston Catholic schools celebrate Catholic education
January 24, 2023
Holy Ghost Catholic School is hosting a ukulele choir concert on Feb. 1 in celebration of the 49th annual Catholic Schools Week. (Photo courtesy of Holy Ghost Catholic School)
HOUSTON — National Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated across the country and in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 with the theme: “Faith. Excellence. Service.”
Sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Secretariat of Catholic Education, Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. Now entering its 49th anniversary year, Catholic Schools Week has traditionally been held the last week in January.
Secretariat Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Debra Haney said, “Now more than ever in our country, it is imperative for us to highlight the value of a Catholic education and how it supports families in raising children with a firm faith foundation and solid spiritual life. Our young people need a strong moral compass to navigate within a secular societal culture that seems to devalue the dignity of the human person, place limited worth on a church community, and degrade family life, all of which are critical in life’s journey through our chosen vocations as children of God.”
The Archdiocese observes the week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.
On Monday, Jan. 29, all St. Helen Catholic School students will be engaged in a STREAM event. “They are building a small hovercraft to see how friction impacts motion,” Dr. Phyliss Coleman, principal of St. Helen Catholic School in Pearland, said. “Our middle schoolers will be assisting students in Pre-K to kindergarten, but other grade levels will experiment in their classrooms.”
On the same day, Holy Family Catholic School in Galveston will begin with a Mass with the students at O’Connell High School in the school’s chapel. The students will then share posters about a place in the U.S. they have either visited or would like to visit and do a gallery walk to celebrate the nation.
Many schools host events that are sometimes unique to their school. Holy Ghost Catholic School is hosting a ukulele choir concert on Wednesday, Feb. 1, led by music teacher Paul Hanak; this is the first year the school has a ukulele choir.
“It is a big hit! The school purchased 20 instruments, but now students are buying them on their own,” Holy Ghost Catholic School Principal Deborah Crowe said. “The choir is made up of 24 fourth and fifth graders, but we are expanding it for next school year.”
Crowe said Catholic Schools Week is a great opportunity to show the community the importance of a Catholic education for students.
“The values that students get from attending a Catholic school will stay with them for a lifetime,” she said.
On Thursday, Feb. 2, Sacred Heart Catholic School in Conroe will celebrate an Arts and Culture Day, where students can dress as their favorite artist, musician, author, storybook character, actor or anything representing the arts. Artwork from their art classes will be displayed upstairs close to the library for visiting grandparents to see.
On Friday, Feb. 3, students at St. Laurence Catholic School in Sugar Land will celebrate Career and Vocations Day. Speakers will visit the school and share with third- to eighth-grade students how faith guides their work.
“Catholic Schools Week is important because it allows us a dedicated timeframe in which we can share and celebrate what is unique and special about a Catholic education,” Suzanne Barto, principal at St. Laurence Catholic School, said. “Each day that week we get a chance to show our appreciation to those who support us in our mission, from the surrounding community, staff, parents and students, to those in vocation.”
During the week, Catholic schools plan to share their Catholic Schools Week celebrations on social media using #CSW23.
To learn more about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, visit www.choosecatholicschools.org.