Catholic schools were built in this country beginning in the 19th century. Now, centuries later, the desire for a Catholic education still flourishes. That is the seed of the national, weeklong celebration of Catholic Schools Week. Sponsored by the NCEA, Catholic schools plan events that “focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to Church, local communities and the nation.”
The dates were set and the work began. Headed by Campus Ministry Director Dave Gilpin and assisted by Middle School Director Mrs. Katie Folan and Theology teacher Kelly Donnelly, the AWHS Catholic School Week was a combination of service, prayer and fun. Our tradition of purchasing and delivering books to local Catholic elementary schools continued. On Tuesday, January 29th, the junior class participated in a Day of Service. Juniors gave their time, energy and talents to the Greater Boston Food Bank, My Brother’s Keeper, Quincy Community Action Program, Meeting House Montessori, Children’s Museum of Easton, Clifford Marshall School, Cradles to Crayon, Active Daycare and Catholic Charities. On Thursday, the 31st, the school community was treated to an assembly delivered by James Orrigo. His mission is carried through his “Lad in a Battle” initiative. Lad encourages positivity, kindness and happiness. Sharing his travels across the USA, visiting Children’s Hospitals and working a day in pediatric oncology units entertaining kids and helping them to write original songs, accompanied by original art that then becomes a cartoon was a wonder and a show stopper for our student body. Orrigo’s infectious spirit literally lit up the auditorium. His message of living a life of service is something any young person can consider with vision and determination. His message was true to the ideals of Catholic Schools Week.
The Week would not be complete without a Liturgy celebration. Special to the Liturgy was the awarding of the Pelican Award. This Award is given to a member of our Faculty or Staff and recognizes an “adult member of the school community who by his or her commitment strives to live out the motto “Caritas Christi Urget Nos” ( the love of Christ drives us on) by “ living the Gospel of Christ; participating actively in the school community; nurturing members of the community and beyond; dedicating themselves to instilling academic excellence and developing the talents of others; recognizing the importance of educating the whole person; living out the values of simplicity, humility and charity and performing works of peace and justice in the world. This year’s recipients are Mr. Robert Brearley and Mr. Perry Larkin. Our school is a better place because of them!
The Week ended with a Dress down Day and class cakes. More importantly, the week ended knowing our students lived the theme of this year’s Catholic School Week celebration: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.