Leave Feedback

Catholic schools extol differences

Alissa Widman Neese • Feb 5, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Each year, students at those schools — including several locally — set aside the final week of January as Catholic Schools Week to celebrate those differences and thank the individuals who allow them to happen each day.

Catholics nationwide have recognized the weeklong celebration since 1974.

“I’ve always told our kids the reason we celebrate Catholic Schools Week is because the education they have is truly a gift,” said Rita Dominick, coordinator of special activities at Sandusky Central Catholic School. “It’s a spirit-building week with a purpose of giving thanks, so we can appreciate that gift”

Treacherous winter weather and numerous school cancellations cut the Catholic Schools Week celebration a bit short this past week, prompting some schools, such as Immaculate Conception School in Port Clinton, to extend their much-anticipated activities into Monday and Tuesday.

At Immaculate Conception School, activities included Mass, a book fair, fun dress-up days and a pajama day paired with popcorn and a showing of the movie “Despicable Me 2” in the school gym. The students also collected donations for Heartbeat of Ottawa County, to benefit new and expectant mothers in the area.

On Tuesday, the celebration finished with Bible bingo, a variation of the traditional game using symbols and images from Bible stories. Students in older grades paired with students in younger grades to complete their bingo cards.

“We look forward to Catholic Schools Week every year” fifthgrader Garrett Hirt said. “It’s fun, and it makes us thankful, because we realize how lucky we are to go to school here”

At Sandusky Central Catholic School, the week’s activities also included dress-up days, as well as a scavenger hunt and a Mass with students in all grade levels. The school invited three alumni who are now priests — Charles Singler, Jeremy Miller and Ken Lill — to participate.

A highlight this year: When the school gathered in “The Den” on Friday for a concluding pep and faith rally, they used their new video scoreboard with Margaretta Schools student Ali McKean, 7, through Skype chatting.

Ali’s mother visited the school in the fall to talk about her daughter’s rare genetic condition, which makes it impossible for her to attend a traditional school. Since then, Sandusky Central Catholic School students have rallied to support the family.

During the discussion, the group presented the McKean family with almost $1,000 to help with medical expenses, offered words of encouragement and also prayed for Ali’s strength and well-being.

Elizabeth Ficocelli, a nationally known speaker, was scheduled to speak at Sandusky Central Catholic School, but her visit is postponed until next month because of weatherrelated cancellations.

Recommended for You