Celebrating Catholic Schools Week
CSW Daily Prayers
- Monday, January 29th - Prayer for Community/Parish/Family
- Tuesday, January 30th - Prayer for Students
- Wednesday, January 31st - Prayer for our Nation
- Thursday, February 1st - Prayer for Vocations
- Friday, February 2nd - Prayer for Faculty and Staff
Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC: Education, Uplifted.
From Philly soft pretzels and New Year's celebrations to the essential role of lay people as “Agents of Spirituality” in our Church.
Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, faculty member and Director of Pastoral Life for the Alliance for Catholic Education, reflects on ACE as a movement of the Holy Spirit and its culture of discernment, as well as middle schoolers as litmus tests for relevancy and celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a joyful and boisterous racket.
A Family of Teachers
ACE 27 teacher Jimmy Ryan authored this post about parents being the primary educators of their children, and how his own parents have found the overlap between God, family, and education in their lives.
Celebrating Catholic Schools Week Inclusively!
The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) advocates for the intentional integration of inclusive practices and encourages you to lead with them during Catholic Schools Week! Please use them in your celebrations!
Do you have a favorite resource that you'd like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to the list!
We begin CSW 2024 by sharing a few documents from U.S. Catholic Bishops and professionals that reflect on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Church.
To kick off Catholic Schools Week 2024 at your school, consider a special prayer celebrating inclusion in your community, as well as ways to reach out into your community to strengthen partnerships, and/or make new connections.
- 1 Corinthians 12:13-27 offers us a message on unity and variety.
- Consider the Prayer for Inclusion by Dr. Christie Bonfiglio.
- Be Open by Doreen Engel includes a number of powerful reflections on inclusion in Catholic schools. Integrate them into your weekly practices.
- Consider ways to partner with a local organization that supports inclusion efforts. For organizations you already collaborate with, take a moment to thank them for their work in inclusive education!
Tuesday of CSW is a good day to celebrate the uniqueness of each community member.
- Consider an “All About Me” activity with students, highlighting individual strengths and areas to grow.
- Encourage a dress-up day focused on awareness of various disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome awareness socks, or Autism puzzle piece headbands).
- Focus on friendships and belonging. Consider social-emotional learning activities that help to strengthen connections and friendships for all students.
As we reflect on our nation today, explore the national organizations at the forefront of advocating and supporting inclusive efforts, some specific to Catholic schools. Here are just a few:
By focusing on faith, knowledge, and service, Catholic schools prepare children to use their God-given talents to the fullest.
- Did you know there are a number of saints with disabilities? Consider having students research the lives of the following:
- Saint Andre Bessette - learner who struggled
- Saint Bernadette - difficulty reading
- Saint Anna Pak Agi - learner who struggled
- Saint John Vianney - learner who struggled
- Saint Joseph of Cupertino - patron of people with intellectual disabilities
- Blessed Solanus Casey - learner who struggled
- Saint Sesrvulus - patron of people with disabilities
- Saint Thomas Aquinas - slow to speak, and Doctor of the Church!
- God’s Wild Flowers by Pia Matthews has a number of stories of saints who pursued God’s call in life with various disabilities.
The important work of inclusion could not happen without our staff, faculty, and volunteers. Take some time to celebrate their good work!
- Celebrate your colleagues, staff, faculty, and volunteers with simple acknowledgements of their talents, achievements, contributions, and recent notable growths.
- Send messages of gratitude for your team’s efforts, highlighting the investment into building an inclusive community.
Parents, guardians, and other family members play a vital role in Catholic education. Not only do they volunteer at the school, they instill values and expectations for academic excellence in their children at home.
- Provide simple positive feedback about their child(ren). Highlight strengths, areas of growth, and positive contributions to the culture of inclusion in your classroom or school.
- Communicate your appreciation of the inclusion of students with disabilities. Reach out to these families and share the special contributions made by their child.
- Highlight peer mentoring programs and students who are shining examples of building friendships and belonging for students on the margin. Inform parents of unique examples.
- Consider ways to bless families with special needs.