CINCINNATI — Catholic school students, their teachers, and their communities throughout the 19-county Archdiocese of Cincinnati will celebrate the 42nd annual Catholic Schools Week Jan. 31 through Feb. 6 under the theme, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
“As the motto indicates, Catholic schools exist to form students in the faith and educate them for a life of loving service to the community,” said Susan M. Gibbons, interim superintendent of catholic schools and director of educational services for the archdiocese. “During this week, we celebrate their tremendous success at doing that in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for almost 200 years.”
On the first school day of Catholic Schools Week, Monday, Feb. 1, the Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, archbishop of Cincinnati, will speak with Catholic high school students across the archdiocese via videoconference. The archbishop will convey his gratitude for Catholic schools and answer student questions through a live-streamed webcast from Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
More than 1,000 representatives from Greater Cincinnati Catholic schools will participate on Tuesday, Feb. 2, as Schnurr presides at a special 10 a.m. Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, downtown Cincinnati. A procession of students carrying school banners will begin at 9:40 a.m.
Feb. 2 is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day because a part of the liturgical celebration of this day is to bless the candles that will be used throughout the year. This year, the feast day is also the closing of the Year for Consecrated Life. Therefore, the archdiocese has invited some men and women religious to carry lighted candles in the opening procession. The archbishop will bless the candles along with other cathedral candles.
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer will preside at a Mass for students from Dayton and the Northern Region at 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 3, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Kettering, with a procession at 9:40 a.m.
The 111 Catholic elementary and high schools in the archdiocese will mark the week with special programs, such as open houses for parents and grandparents, out-of-uniform days, service projects, Masses, talent shows, special decorations, student-faculty games and entertainment.