TRENTON, NJ - Local Catholic schools showcased as part of national celebration

Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Trenton will join with others nationwide to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, with open houses, exhibits, prayer services, showcases, Mass, and a variety of other exciting activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

The theme for this year’s CSW observance, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed,” is brought to life with the official CSW logo of an open book made up of multi-colored pages that symbolize how all areas of Catholic schools blend together with faith – symbolized by the cross – at the forefront.

“Catholic Schools Week” annually provides all Catholics — whether they have children in Catholic schools or not — with the chance to think about how the faith is taught and witnessed and the ‘value’ that Catholic schools offer to children, to parents, to families, to the Church, to society at large with respect to that faith and its influence,” wrote Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in his CSW message.

“The key to the future of primary and secondary Catholic schools lies in the hands of Catholic parents and families as well as non-Catholics who value Catholic education for their children.  It comes down to a decision.  Catholic schools do the job and do it well,” the Bishop stressed.

The observance of CSW began in 1974, highlighting the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety nine percent of students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.  This percentage has been consistent over the past 20 years.

Nearly 1.9 million students are currently educated in 6,429 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that prepares them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society.

JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, reported that, in the Diocese of Trenton, “16,182 students choose Catholic schools and save taxpayers in excess of $184 million annually. The schools are academically competitive demonstrated by students’ scores that exceed the 75 percent national average.  In 2017, 1,684 graduating seniors were awarded over $227 million in scholarships and grants.”

In addition, she noted, “Eight Catholic schools have attained recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence – St. Ann School, Lawrenceville; St. Paul School, Princeton; St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft; St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square; Holy Cross School, Rumson; Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown; St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach, and Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft.

“Students in these schools score in the top 15 percent of all schools in the nation in English, Language Arts and Math.”

“The history of American education reveals that good Catholic schools have … made a substantial contribution to society and are, likewise, necessary.  ‘Catholic Schools Week’ is an annual reminder that Catholic schools continue to make an incredible, faith-based difference in the lives of students with a ‘value’ worth choosing,” said Bishop O’Connell.

A round-up of special events and activities taking place in Catholic schools of the Diocese is available here.  For a full listing by county of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton, visit our website.

Media outlets are invited to reach out to their local schools and consider covering this celebratory week when school doors will “open wide inviting the public to be a part of the Catholic school experience, [and] visitors can observe an environment centered in faith with intriguing programs and activities that engage the learner and promote discovery and adventure in learning,” said Tier.

Catholic Schools Week can also be followed on Twitter @USCCBCatholicEd, @NCEATalk, and throughout social media via #CSW18.