Our network

Week-Long Celebration of Catholic Schools January 29 – February 6, 2012 | Schools

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Week-Long Celebration of Catholic Schools January 29 – February 6, 2012
Week-Long Celebration of Catholic Schools January 29 – February 6, 2012

The following information was sent to us by Brie Hall:


Dozens of events have been planned by schools throughout the Archdiocese of Washington to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, January 29 – February 6, 2012. This annual celebration highlights the contributions of Catholic schools through Masses, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 98 archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools, educating nearly 30,000 students in Washington, DC and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.


This school year, four schools in the Archdiocese of Washington received the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Award in recognition of the schools’ academic achievement as America’s most successful schools. This award was only given to 49 private schools nationwide this year. The four archdiocesan schools are St. Jane de Chantal School (Bethesda), St. Bartholomew School (Bethesda), Mary of Nazareth School (Darnestown) and St. Mary School (Rockville). This is the largest number of archdiocesan schools to receive the coveted award at one time. Archdiocesan and independent schools have received the national Blue Ribbon School award 28 times.


Each year, the Archdiocese of Washington strives to keep Catholic education affordable and to help as many families as possible have the opportunity to give their children a Catholic education. To assist families, tuition assistance is available through the Archdiocese of Washington. This school year, $5,000,000 in tuition assistance was awarded. The deadline for tuition assistance applications for new students is February 10, 2012.


The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2012 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.” The theme focuses on three priorities that Catholic schools establish that make them stand out from other educational institutions. Children are taught faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to have a relationship with God. Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, help each child reach their potential. Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship.


Nearly all of the schools will hold Open Houses for prospective students and parents. The open house schedules are online at http://site.adw.org/2012-open-houses. Below is a list of some of the events from around the region. A link to the full list of Catholic Schools Week events is available online athttp://site.adw.org/pdfs/12MA-CSW-events-web-%20full%20list(1).pdf.



Sunday, January 29, 2012

St. Mary’s School, 13735 Notre Dame Place, Bryantown

In an annual tradition, the students and school community will begin to collect winter coats and blankets to donate to the needy as part of the “Stuff the Bus Service Project.” Students will also be collecting Jeans for Teens to help the increasing number of homeless teens.  The other items students will collect are baby items for the Catherine Foundation of Charles County. This project will last through Catholic Schools Week, and donations will be taken throughout the week.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Mary of Nazareth Catholic School, 14131 Seneca Road, Darnestown, MD

            Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will celebrate Mass at 1:30 p.m.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School, 9222 Kentsdale Drive, Potomac

The school begins the day with Mass, followed by students preparing brown bag lunches and handmade cards with personal notes and prayers to be donated to So Others Might Eat.

Meanwhile, this week, the students from grade 6 will be serving at the Community Based Shelter of Rockville.  This is a project that begins in the fall, when the students began to study the causes of homelessness and prepare to lead the school in its Fannie Mae Mini-Walk for the Homeless.  Then, in early December, the students had to organize and bake for their Christmas bake sale, which raises the needed funds to purchase breakfast and lunch supplies for their week of service at the shelter.  Also in preparation, the students study Bible texts related to serving others, and write prayers that focus their intentions for their shelter week.  When the last week of January finally arrives, the students and their families become responsible for feeding forty homeless women for a full week.   During the days, the shelter staff use the supplies purchased by the students to provide breakfast and lunch for the residents.   In the evenings, the students come to the shelter to serve the hot dishes that they have helped their families to prepare.  After making sure that the residents have all been served, the most important part of the project is when the students fill their own plates and join the residents around the tables.  They eat together and share stories, and it is not uncommon that the residents stay seated late into the evening, laughing, and even singing, with the sixth grade students.  When the meal is over, the students clean up and make the brown bag lunches that will be handed out the following day. 

Father Andrew White, S.J. Catholic School, 22850 Washington Street, Leonardtown

The school will kick off the school-wide service project where each class will be asked to donate specific items for packages to be sent to the troops in Afghanistan.

St. Columba Catholic School 7800 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill

The school will kick off two service projects as part of the initiative, “Faith Through Serving.” For “Penny Wars,” the classes compete to raise money for Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Each class will serve as a team. Teams place coins that receive positive points in their own containers, while placing coins and paper money that count as negative points in the containers of competing teams. For the “St. Jude Math-a-Thon,” students will test their math skills in a competition that raises money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The program includes a free math curriculum supplement for grades K-8 that students complete after obtaining sponsorships from family and friends.

St. Mary’s School, 13735 Notre Dame Place, Bryantown

Students will work in groups with their Guardian Angel Partners to make prayers cards and Valentines for the Veterans Home and Nursing Home Residents.  The project will begin at 9:30 a.m.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

St. Michael Catholic School, 16560 Three Notch Road, Ridge

Penny Walk to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

Mother Catherine Spalding Catholic School, 38833 Chaptico Road, Helen

The school will take part in a service project to benefit the patients at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington. Students will gather in the gym, each bringing a shoe box. The youngest will stuff the boxes with things like coloring books, crayons, playing cards, books, etc. Older students will make “Wish You Well” cards to place in the boxes. The middle school students will wrap the boxes with wrapping paper.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School, 12319 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring

Students will gather items and prepare to deliver food items to the St. Camillus Food Pantry after a two week food drive.

Archbishop Neale Catholic School, 104 Port Tobacco Road, La Plata

At 8:30 a.m., students will box up and send collected and donated items as care packages to military troops stationed in Afghanistan. A student’s father is currently serving overseas, as are relatives and friends of students and staff.  The care packages will also include cards made by students.

St. Columba Catholic School 7800 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill

Students can participate in “Twin Day,” where they can dress as a friend. Funds generated from student participation will benefit the Oxon Hill Pantry.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Saint Francis International School, 1500 St. Camillus Drive, Silver Spring

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will celebrate Mass at 8:40 a.m.

St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, 11011 Montgomery Road, Beltsville

At 8:15 a.m., students will attend the second quarter honors and awards assembly. In the afternoon, the students will put their knowledge to the test with class trivia and strategy games. The school will also host a canned food drive to benefit St. Joseph’s Pantry. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

St. Columba Catholic School, 7800 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill

Students can wear funny socks with their uniform. Funds generated from the students’ participation will benefit the Fort Washington Senior Center.

Mount Calvary Catholic School, 6704 Marlboro Pike, Forestville

Students will make Valentines for service men and women as part of the “Warming Their Hearts Service Project.”

St. Catherine Labouré Catholic School, 11811 Claridge Road, Wheaton

Students will host and staff a cake raffle and bake sale, with the proceeds going to So Others Might Eat.



Friday, February 3, 2012

St. Peter Catholic School, 3310 St. Peter’s Drive, Waldorf

10:00 a.m.  “Sew Much Comfort” clothing drive

The students will host a clothing drive for the Sew Much Comfort organization, which provides adaptive clothing at no cost to injured service members. Each week, many wounded military members arrive back in the U.S. for extensive medical treatment for bullet wounds, burns, head and limb injuries and amputations. These injuries require prosthetics, casts and other equipment that are too bulky to fit under ordinary clothing or underwear. Without adaptive clothing the only option for them is a hospital gown.  Volunteers for Sew Much Comfort will open the seams and sew in Velcro and otherwise adapt the clothing so to accommodate certain injuries and so that our wounded warriors will be able to dress themselves even with severe injuries. 

A food drive will be held at the same time and on the same day as the clothing drive.  All food donations will be given to the St. Vincent DePaul organization and distributed to local families. 

St. Mary’s School, 13735 Notre Dame Place, Bryantown

Middle school students will enjoy a “Rock-A-Thon” to supply the Catherine Foundation of baby items for young mothers and their babies. They will decorate their designated area based on the Catholic Schools Week theme of Faith, Academic and Service.  One member of each team must keep their rocking chairs rocking at all times.  Music provided by a DJ, and games, prizes, food and prizes will be part of the celebration.



The Archdiocese of Washington has 98 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools. The teaching staff is made up of over 3,000 and the total student enrollment is nearly 28,000.  Schools in the archdiocese have been awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon of Excellence 28 times.