Catholic schools extol differences

The Catholic Diocese of Toledo boasts its almost 200 schools across the region are “different by design” according to its slogan.
Alissa Widman Neese
Feb 5, 2014
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.


John Harville

Define 'implied blackmail'.


The whole "Sandusky Mom's status would be negatively impacted if I named the names I know" bit. You've been issuing veiled threats to name these names for weeks, and it's getting old. It would be like a breath of fresh air if you ever just said what you mean plainly and up front.

John Harville

Like you do? How about the SCCA president stating on her vita that she "lives in Sandusky" but actually residing in Rossford? So local dollars are paying taxes in Wood County and to make the mortgage payment on a $200,000 home there?

Address: 114 HELEN DR
City State Zip: ROSSFORD OH 43460


It's all about truth and where parish donations actually are benefitting.


So what's your point? You love to throw out these non-sequiturs as if you've found some earth shattering insight, but they have no relevance to anything.

MANY residents of this area work outside the county and many commute to work here from somewhere else. The superintendent of Perkins lives in another county, too, and he's a public employee. People have the right to live and work where they please.

John Harville

My $$$$ to SP&P should be spent here and utilized here to expand our economy.


Because of your cries to the moderator to silence your critics?

And you call the school hypocritical?

The irony, it is rich.

John Harville

Some of the comments here violate the Mollom policy and the Register's own policies for posting.

John Harville

BABO Saturday 2:04 p.m.

Now compare that figure (zero) to the many teachers, police officers, government officials AND EVEN THE PUBLISHER OF THIS NEWSPAPER that have had ALLEGATINS OR CONVICTIONS of SEX CRIMES involving children in the Sandusky Register reading area.

REALLY? The publisher. Better give details...


I notice you don't ask for a citation, but rather for the juicy details.
Us the prospect of salacious gossip making you salivate?

John Harville

Only in your perverse mind am I asking for 'salacious gossip'.
Asking for 'details' obviously is seeking a citation since another on here decided to forego attempts at petty character assassination and offer a citation and quotation.
The attacks - except the publisher comment - were generalizations.
But you and SM have focused on discrediting me or 'revealing' salacious attacks on my 'real' identity.


I've done nothing of the sort. I don't give a rat's backside who you are.


Here's the link to one story in the Toledo Blade:

He was charged for sexually exploiting a 10 year old boy. He also sexually exploited a young girl but was never charged for it. Baxter brought in his usual special prosecutor for politically charged cases.

Nemesis made the case far better than me. The facts are irrefutable. A student is safer in a Catholic school than in a public school or in a local police station.

John Harville

So your intent was to write "a FORMER publisher" in a story that is more than 10 years old.

Never again can we trust anything you say as being factual or on-point.

"the facts are irrefutable". THE FACTS we've been offered from posted links are 1) a newspaper publisher who had virtually no contact with students an 2) An SCCS football coach and teacher in DIRECT DAILY CONTACT with students.


No, they are reports issued by the government you so fawningly worship showing that the abuse records of public schools and other agencies of your beloved state make the Catholic schools look stellar by comparison.

Ned Mandingo

Who was speaking to the crowd in the gym in the first picture? I think they are all saying HEIL HITLER!


Leave it to you to validate Godwin's law.


I work with a st marys graduate who can barely read. when he has to read at work he sounds out the words like my 8 year old grandson. He is in his upper 20s

John Harville

"By the way, religion isn't the major difference in the Catholic schools. It's the fact that THEY ARE ALLOWED TO SCREEN OUT the sort of students who bring down the public schools. They share that chatacteristic with every other private school, be it Catholic, Prostestant, Jewish, Muslim, or secular." - NEMESIS.
Thank you for putting into writing for all to see that private school are allowed/encourage to DISCRIMINATE in placement of students - unbound by any artificial 'lines' in recruiting students.
Bottom line is a Libertarian like yourself is pleased that private schools can enjoy tax exemption, suspension of student rights, discrimination, statewide recruitment, participation in OHSAA athletics....


Of course I'm pleased. They are exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of association. They choose to teach those who want to learn, rather than throw away resources in a futile attempt to teach those who don't. That's the beauty of private enterprise.

That's why employers place more value on a degree from a selective private university than a public one that admits anyone with a high school diploma.

The interesting thing is you leftists scream about it, but I notice your standard bearer in the Oval Office sends his kids to a selective private school.

So, John, since you believe discriminating on the basis of motivation and achievement in educational programs is such a horrible thing, next time one of your loved ones needs surgery, I'm sure you won't mind it being performed by someone trained by a medical school that admits anyone who asks and graduates anyone who sticks around for four years, right?

John Harville

If the private schools are so good, why not get off the state teat and truly make it entirely on their own? The SCCS budget - as posted in the foundation's annual report, includes more than a half million in state funding.
I think his children should go to a good public school - if you can find one in DC. The last presidential child in pubic school was Amy Carter.
My children went to Catholic school until a teacher showed offensive movies to the junior high students. In another instance we utilized Catholic School until the public schools began offering more and better programs.
Of course there ARE all those Catholic kids who have speech, reading, PE, computers, Music taught by persons funded by state subsidy.
Discrimination is discrimination. Which is why they continue to recruit athletes from extended public schools.

John Harville

Half of all doctors graduate in the lower 50% of their classes - regardless of the credentials.

I'm more interested in where the doctor practiced internships and residencies and in which disciplines.

GW Bush graduated from Yale and Harvard with business degrees and was probably the only Texan to lose money on oil.

Ned Mandingo

I love how you catholic people feel you are morally superior due to your ridiculous religion.


Not sure to whom you're talking, but no one's made any claims of moral superiority here except Harville, and he's done nothing but attack the RCC. Then again, he does claim to be one of them.

John Harville

You just read the ones with which you agree, huh?


They've been on life support for quite awhile now. SMCC will be closed in 10 years, so who cares?


That would be a sad thing, themomx6. When I attended SM in the late 70s/early 80s, the school had over 500 students: the mission was more about education then, not so much about religion. The school was very strong in science, art/music and English, not so much in math. I remember that SM was one of the first area schools to offer computer science, thanks to Sr Jaculin, the tech nun! I'm not sure what happened that in 30 years the school lost more than 1/2 its students....


Enrollment figures are declining in all Ohio schools public and private. It's due a variety of factors. Ohio's population is stagnant and aging so there are fewer women of child bearing age. Also women are having fewer babies and families in general are much smaller.

You attended after the baby boom but still during a time when people had bigger families. Keep in mind abortion became legal in 1973 and contraception became more widely available as well.

IMO, there will always be a place/demand for Catholic and other private schools, especially as our country becomes more polarized based on economics and politics.


Babo, thanks for the analysis. I also remember that my highest tuition was around 400-600 dollars a year; so even if adjusted to inflation over 30 years, that is way lower than what students pay today. Another thing I liked then was that, unlike SHS, they did not segregate students in an academic caste system (levels 101, 102, 103). Everyone basically took the same courses, and they provided tutoring support to those who were struggling.

John Harville

You had tuition. Through most of that period Catholic school was free as long as your parents attended church and made minimum contributions. They also had to work at the Parish Festival and Bingo - and attendance was recorded. Even non-Catholics could attend with 'contributions' to the parish. Even in the late 80s in SOUTHERN OHIO we 'good Catholics' weren't paying anything except Sunday offering and working Turkey Bingo and Parish Festival.


@ DCFred: You're welcome. Money is probably an issue too. But I think it's more likely that families don't place as high a value in general on education in today's instant gratification society. Thus the sacrifice won't be made to pay for private school.

The base salary for my profession has increased 7 fold since 1980. So what is tuition today for a parishioner?

In any event, I would hope that the Church remains faithful to the call to serve and that those parishioners who can afford it provide the funds so that a child from families who cannot afford it would still be able to attend. I regret not making the sacrifices to send my children to a Catholic or some other private school.