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

Sooner. With no Religious to teach for free and as even more Catholics use birth control and as even more Catholics run away from the Catholic Church (Pope Francis is the last chance for the Church to recover.

John Harville

SANDUSKY MOM... as long as my $$$$ are going in the collection plate each Sunday and my contributions to the foundation continually through friends I WILL exercise my right to offer opinions on how the school operates.


You don't belong to any Sandusky parish, you do not give to the Foundation, and you have no ties, whatsoever, to SCCS. You live in Clyde, and troll the Register for a living. Enough John!


In 2005, the Diocese of Toledo had a $117 million investment portfolio. I'm sure that has grown considerably over the years....think of all the scholarships they could give with some of that money!


I just don't understand why so many people are such "haters". Read the article...or don't read the article. Absolutely no reason to bash. Catholic schools have the chance to bring God into childrens lives on an everyday basis...nothing wrong with that...especially with what this world has become.

John Harville

Public school children - especially non-Catholic ones - take God to school within them every day. God is prevalent in public schools without indoctrination, forced prayer and Bible-reading. Public school teachers and staff treat students with care, compassion, discipline - without ever openly introducing God. And yet public school children initiate prayers, singing, and religious gathering in school from inner motivation.


ding ding ding ding ding....we have a "hater" amongst us. And of course...nearly all teachers "treat students with care, compassion, discipline" origin means nothing.

Ned Mandingo

I feel sorry for you people that this creepy church has under their control. Your religion is a criminal organization that is responsible for murders, extortion and sexual abuse on a worldwide scale.
To give any credibility to a old man in toledo who wears a dress and a funny hat is insane. i can understand not wanting your children to go to public ghetto schools but to support these weirdos and let them dictate your life is unhealthy.


Ned, the problem is not the faith itself but its leadership: The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The pedophilia scandals oblige us-- all Catholics-- to take a journey of transformation. The future of the Church is with young Catholics who want a Church that is consistent, moral and transparent.