Catholic Schools Week 2014
2014 will mark the 40th anniversary of National Catholic Schools Week which began in 1974 as a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The theme in 1974 was; Catholic Schools, Different Where It Counts--Message, Community and Service and this year’s theme "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service” echoes that first statement.
The theme Communities of Faith, knowledge and service points out that there is more to education than simply attaining knowledge. It will always be about community, service and what is done with that knowledge. Catholic culture and formation remains at the very heart of our schools in essence teaching our students to recognize and pursue that which is good, holy, true and beautiful. The Church knows that there is beauty in wisdom and in the pursuit of truth; that without the proper formation of one’s heart and conscience all the knowledge in the world is lost.
Today the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Gaylord stand in stark contrast to the present world view of hedonism and relativism and one could argue that if ever there was a moment in history that they were most needed, it is now. While 40 years is certainly a landmark and cause for celebration many of our schools have existed nearly three times as many years with over half of our schools founded well beyond the century mark the oldest of which dates back to 1882.
The longevity of our schools is a testament not only to the will of our communities, but also to the long-standing commitment of individual parishes with schools to invest 40% of their ordinary Sunday income in support of that school. In these challenging economic times accessibility to these schools continues to be a concern and thus it remains the policy of all our schools to not turn away any families who are active parishioners and who remain willing to enter into a partnership with the parish/school.
Catholic Schools Week 2014 runs from Saturday January 26 to Sunday, February 1. Throughout this week celebrations take place recognizing the contribution Catholic schools make in our lives and encourages prospective students and their families to consider the high-quality faith-focused, values-added education our Catholic schools offer.
Detailed itineraries and event listings for each of our Catholic schools may be attained by contacting individual schools. Visit www.dioceseofgaylord.org, select Diocesan Offices, and click on Catholic Schools for a complete school listing and contact information.
As we kick off Catholic Schools Week 2014, I would like to say thank you for all of the many things that each of you do to help realize the mission of our schools. Thank you to our pastors for their dedication and leadership. Thank you to our parishes for their continued support. Thank you to our principals, teachers and staff for their commitment and sacrifice. Thank you to all of our schools’ benefactors for their investment in our society and in the future Church. Thank you for the loving example that so many of you witness at home and in our parish/school communities every day. It is truly a privilege and an honor to serve this diocese.
May God grant us the wisdom and grace equal to the task before us.
Charles H. Taylor
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Gaylord