WASHINGTON—National Catholic Schools Week 2019 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses around the country January 27–February 2. This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.,” focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education firmly rooted in the Truth of the Gospel.
As Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, Oakland, newly elected chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education said, “Young people today need Catholic education more than ever. In a world where truth, beauty and goodness are considered all but subjective, the Way, Truth and Life offered us in Jesus Christ are our only source of direction, clarity and hope. Furthermore, being rooted in faith does not endanger the academic quality of Catholic schools, but in fact is their very motivation for excellence in all things.”
Nearly 1.8 million students are currently educated in 6,352 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that helps them become critical thinkers, strong communicators and active members of society, thus equipping them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society. “Following Christ’s example of loving and serving all people, Catholic schools proudly provide a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in our schools. Since the inception of Catholic schools in our country, we have always sought to welcome families of all backgrounds while maintaining our principles and teaching in a spirit of charity,” Bishop Barber said.
The observance of CSW began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country will hold activities such as Masses, open houses, and family gatherings to celebrate the communities they represent. The week also highlights the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety nine percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college. This percentage has been consistent for over 20 years.
In the Diocese of Bridgeport, 9,000 students attend our 20 elementary schools, five high schools, and one special education school, St. Catherine’s Academy.
Our academic program, faith-filled learning communities, and safe and secure classroom environments, help us educate the whole student. We promote our students successful journey to higher education and throughout their lives. 50 percent of our elementary schools achieved the Blue Ribbon of National Recognition. 99 percent of graduating high school seniors go on to college. College financial aid awards to our graduating seniors total six million dollars in federal, state, and local scholarships and grants. Nationally recognized curriculum mapping process exceeds Connecticut state standards. Faculty participate in highest caliber professional development.
(To find out more about Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport visit: www.dioceseofbridgeportcatholicschools.com.)