Held once a year, Catholic Schools Week is a chance for Bishop Guilfoyle to celebrate what makes the Catholic education experience unique, as well as the aspects that connects it to other Catholic schools all across the country.
Running from this Sunday, Jan. 28, to Friday, Feb. 2, this year’s CSW focuses on the theme: “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
“Catholic Schools Week at Bishop Guilfoyle is a celebration of the many aspects of our Catholic school community,” says Anna Shrift, who is helping coordinate BG’s events this year. “Throughout the week we celebrate our parishes, our students, our faculty and staff, our vocational calling, our call to service and our local community.”
While each school follows the same “theme of the day”, it is up to each individual school to decide how they would like to express that theme. BG is kicking off the week with speakers at local masses to celebrate the religious guidance and support that parishes provide throughout the year.
On Monday, schools will be celebrating their students. To honor students’ commitment to service and rigorous academics, BG will distribute ice cream sandwiches at lunch as a special treat. Tuesday is a chance for the students to turn the appreciation around. Faculty and staff will be able to show off their school spirit and relax with Dress Down Day.
“Catholic Schools Week is important because it draws attention to the many components of the Catholic school experience,” says Shrift. “Parishes, students, teachers, staff, service to others and the support of the community are all integral parts of creating the Catholic school experience for our students.”
That appreciation will continue with “Celebrating Vocations” on Wednesday, honored by a schoolwide mass at 9 a.m. On Thursday, BG will commemorate the enormous role that service plays in the school’s mission. Students, faculty and staff will volunteer with the Mountain Lion Backpack Program. Anyone wanting to participate in filling backpacks with food for deserving local children can help out at 3001 Beal Avenue from 4:45 to 6 p.m.
“Students are especially looking forward to Jeans and Teams day,” says Shrift, “which is a fundraiser organized by the United Way of Blair County.”
Jeans and Teams Day, in which students can pay $5 to wear jeans or team apparel, finishes off the week for “Celebrating our Community.” Not only is this a chance for students to relax in more casual wear, but the proceeds will be going directly to the United Way of Blair County, a nonprofit benefiting underprivileged families in the community.
Robert Sutton, who teaches religion at BG, sees this week as an opportunity to celebrate and give back to the community. “Catholic Schools Week has always been an important part of the school year at Bishop Guilfoyle, precisely because it celebrates something that is larger than our school and, at the same time, a perfect encapsulation of it.”