Catholic Schools Celebrate Gift of Exceptional Academic Education Rooted in Gospel Message
SAGINAW — In Catholic schools across the nation, and here in the Diocese of Saginaw, a celebration is underway this week. National Catholic Schools Week, January 25-31, is an opportunity to recognize the great gift of Catholic schools to faith and local communities. This year’s theme is Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.
“At the beginning of the school year, I traveled to each of our Catholic schools to celebrate Mass for our students, educators and families,” said the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw. “I asked the students to each morning, when they wake up and throughout the day, make Jesus Christ the center of their lives. It is a great blessing we have in Catholic schools to encourage our students and educators to become more like Jesus. We are shaping the future leaders of our county, and also our Church.”
The classroom environment provides instruction, discussion and interaction between teachers and students with the daily opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ. The strength of Catholic schools is nurtured through an integrated approach to education that combines rigorous academic instruction with spiritual development.
This year, superintendent of Catholic schools, Mary Ann Deschaine initiated the Disciple of Christ: Education in Virtue program into all 14 Catholic schools across the diocese. The program was developed by Sister John Dominic. O. P., of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor. The behavior-support system is structured around St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity and the cardinal virtues of prudence (sound judgment), justice (fairness), fortitude (courage) and temperance (self-control). Along with the beatitudes, the virtues are used to encourage good behavior or correct behavior in a positive way.
“It is our belief that as we help our children recognize and develop the unique gifts and talents God has given to them we are preparing them for success in this life and also the next,” Deschaine said.
“We owe a great deal to all those who make a Catholic School education possible: our dedicated principals, teachers, school staffs and volunteers, committed parents, pastors and pastoral administrators who provide excellent leadership, and, in a special way, generous parishioners and benefactors,” Bishop Cistone said.
As part of Catholic Schools Week, a DVD of Bishop Cistone reading the book, The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau was sent to each Catholic school across the diocese. Students will have an opportunity to hear Bishop Cistone read the book this week. The book, which teaches a lesson about the great joy in giving to others, provided an opportunity for Bishop Cistone to help the young people understand the great joy their parents and teachers experience in giving them the gift of a Catholic education.
Throughout Catholic Schools Week, schools across the diocese have been engaged in service projects and special collections for those in need. They have also celebrated with special events and activities.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is home to 14 Catholic schools with more than 2,500 students. School leaders, teachers and staff are committed to excellence in faith formation, academics, athletics, the arts and community service. The legacy of Catholic school education in Saginaw began in 1868.
To enroll your child in one of our Catholic schools and to learn more about a Catholic School education click here.