Catholic Schools Week proclaimed in nation, Donaldsonville

Pictured left to right: Tyler Simoneaux (12th), Katie Pizzolato (5th), Sandy Pizzolato (Principal), Mayor Leroy Sullivan, Sarah Sotile, Madeline Sotile (7th), Father Paul Yi (Ascension of Our Lord Church).

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan signed a proclamation last week recognizing Catholic Schools Week in the city. At the same time, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by U.S. Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu recognizing Catholic Schools Week and honoring the valuable contributions of Catholic schools in the United States.  This year’s Catholic Schools Week, sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, ran from January 27 to February 2.

“More than two million students attend Catholic schools in the United States, and more than 85 percent of them go on to pursue a college degree,” said Sen. Vitter in a released statement. “These students and their families should be commended for their strong dedication to their faith and for their steadfast commitment to furthering their studies.”

“Our nation’s Catholic schools have a long history of putting students from all walks of life on the path to success,” Sen. Landrieu said in a released statement. “Across America, and especially in Louisiana, they are the cornerstones of our communities, enriching the minds and hearts of young people.”

This year the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools held the Catholic Schools Week Mass and Program in Donaldsonville at the Ascension of our Lord Church. It marks the first time the event was held in the city since the tradition started about 170 years ago in the Baton Rouge areas.

The proclamation Sullivan signed to the Ascension Catholic School at the City Hall said he commends the Catholic Schools for impact on the city and parish’s citizens that have experienced and enjoyed the quality of education provided to them.

At the Mass celebration on Friday, Dr. Melanie Verges, Superintendent of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools Office, gave an opening welcome to for the program. In her welcome she said they are just honoring catholic education.

“Each year we celebrate the good values of Catholic education,” Verges said at the Ascension of Our Lord Church. “Achievement is not limited to academics, it also is in seeds of faith. We pray the seeds take root for in the future they [the students] will continue service in the church.”

Verges also commended the Catholic school educators and said without them, “there is no Catholic education.”