Allison B. Hudson

During the week of January 30 – February 5, 2011, thousands of Catholic schools across the country, including the thirty-two Catholic schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, will celebrate Catholic Schools Week.  This week is set aside to recognize the valuable contributions that Catholic schools have made and continue to make to the Church, the community, and the country.

This year’s theme, Catholic Schools: A+ For America, underscores the commitment of Catholic education in developing our communities, country and Church.  As part of their effort to educate the whole child, Catholic schools instill a lifelong commitment to learning.  By teaching students about civic engagement and providing them with opportunities to serve, Catholic schools equip students with the tools they need to fulfill their future roles as good citizens, productive employees, and compassionate leaders.

On February 2, the community joined the rest of the nation in celebrating National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools.  Catholic educators and students will be visiting the U.S. Capitol to remind our nation’s leaders of the gift that our Catholic schools are to the nation.  On the local level, students will be writing letters to their legislators about Catholic schools.  Catholic Schools Week provides an opportunity for the whole community to discover the gift of Catholic education.

On the evening of February 2, the Distinguished Catholic School Graduates Award Dinner, recognized the contributions that our graduates continue to make throughout their lives, will be celebrated at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  At the dinner, a graduate from each school, whose life exemplifies the principles of Catholic education, was honored.

On Friday, February 4, there will be a diocesan-wide Catholic Schools Week Mass at St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church in Baton Rouge.  The Mass, at the conclusion of the school week, is an excellent way to end our celebration because the Eucharist is our source of grace and divine life.  During the Mass special recognition will be given to the 2010-2011 Distinguished Catholic School Elementary Teacher, Principal, and Pastor. Service Awards will also be present to Catholic school personnel who have served in Catholic education for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.

This year, the school communities celebrated National Appreciation Day for Catholic School Teachers on February 2, 2011.