Singing the praises of Catholic schools

Singing the praises of Catholic schools
Grace Malcarney, a fifth grade student at Christ the King School, Haddonfield, attends Mass  to begin Catholic Schools Week Jan. 31 at Christ the King Church. Bishop Dennis Sullivan was the celebrant. Photo by Cynthia Soper

Grace Malcarney, a fifth grade student at Christ the King School, Haddonfield, attends Mass to begin Catholic Schools Week Jan. 31 at Christ the King Church. Bishop Dennis Sullivan was the celebrant.
Photo by Cynthia Soper

At Christ the King School in Haddonfield, it was “May the Blessing of God Be Upon You.” At Bishop Schad Regional in Vineland, it was “We Are Building the Kingdom.”

Throughout the Diocese of Camden the past six days, students were welcoming, and showing off their vocal pipes, as Bishop Dennis Sullivan visited several schools during national Catholic Schools Week.

On Sunday, Jan. 31, he kicked off the celebration with a morning Mass at Christ the King Church, joined by clergy, students, faculty and staff, and parents.

“Catholic education is the best investment that can be made for a child’s future,” Bishop Sullivan said, addressing the congregation in his homily.

The schools of the Diocese of Camden aid students in “moral and character development, through the exposure of Catholic traditions, and the best of academic instruction, to use their God-given talent to develop their full potential,” he said.

The school is a family of “faith, knowledge and service,” he said, echoing this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme.

Bishop Sullivan also recognized the efforts of teachers, administrators and parents in teaching the youth.

For parent Alissa Davis, this Catholic Schools Week celebration is the first she has been a part of since she graduated from Queen of Heaven School, Cherry Hill, in the late 1990s.

She remembers the Masses; the art projects displayed in the hall; and community breakfasts held back then. Now she gets to experience them with her son, Ben, a kindergartener at Christ the King.

“Christ the King is a great place to be,” she said.

Two days later, Bishop Sullivan led a prayer service for Bishop Schad Regional School at Sacred Heart Church in Vineland.

, and told students that Catholic education creates “a firm foundation that will last you all of your lives.”

In addition, he and the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools honored principal Dr. Patrice DeMartino, who received the 2016 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). The organization recognized DeMartino for her “strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and academic results.”

DeMartino, principal of the school for the past 15 years, received a framed painting of Christ the Teacher, by Brother Mickey McGrath — a paining of Jesus with a child —and a gift from the school’s PTA.

During the week, Bishop Sullivan also paid a visit to two schools in Camden, Saint Joseph and Holy Name, and Saint Joseph Regional School in Hammonton.

Catholic Schools Week continues Through Feb. 6.

The annual observance began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country mark the week with special Masses, open houses, service projects and school assemblies. The week also highlights the educational successes of Catholic schools around the county, stressing, for example, that an estimated 98 percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.

“Catholic schools are a vital aspect of the church’s mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so an important aspect of our own teaching mission,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education.

About 1.9 million students currently attend nearly 6,600 Catholic schools in the United States. There are 28 Catholic elementary schools and nine Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese of Camden.

A week of celebration begins at Catholic schools

Bishop Dennis Sullivan talks to students of Bishop Schad Regional School during a prayer service at Sacred Heart Church in Vineland on Feb. 2. Also pictured is Msgr. John H. Burton, pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, where both the church and school are located. Photo by Mike Walsh

Bishop Dennis Sullivan talks to students of Bishop Schad Regional School during a prayer service at Sacred Heart Church in Vineland on Feb. 2. Also pictured is Msgr. John H. Burton, pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish, where both the church and school are located.
Photo by Mike Walsh

There he told students that Catholic education creates “a firm foundation that will last you all of your lives.”

Teachers, staff, school administrators, parents, and students gathered Feb. 1 at Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in Camden for a prayer service led by Bishop Sullivan, who visited students as part of Catholic Schools Week. Right, Father Matthew Weber, pastor, prays over schoolchildren of St. Michael the Archangel Regional School, Clayton, in St. Bridget Church, Glassboro, on Jan. 31. Photo above by James A. McBride; bottom, by Alan M. Dumoff

Teachers, staff, school administrators, parents, and students gathered Feb. 1 at Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in Camden for a prayer service led by Bishop Sullivan, who visited students as part of Catholic Schools Week. Right, Father Matthew Weber, pastor, prays over schoolchildren of St. Michael the Archangel Regional School, Clayton, in St. Bridget Church, Glassboro, on Jan. 31.
Photo above by James A. McBride; bottom, by Alan M. Dumoff

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In addition, he and the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools honored principal Dr. Patrice DeMartino, who received the 2016 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). The organization recognized DeMartino for her “strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and academic results.”

DeMartino, principal of the school for the past 15 years, received a framed painting of Christ the Teacher, by Brother Mickey McGrath — a painting of Jesus with a child —and a gift from the school’s PTA.

During the week, Bishop Sullivan also paid a visit to two schools in Camden, Saint Joseph and Holy Name, and Saint Joseph Regional School in Hammonton.

Catholic Schools Week continues through Feb. 6.

The annual observance began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country mark the week with special Masses, open houses, service projects and school assemblies. The week also highlights the educational successes of Catholic schools around the county, stressing, for example, that an estimated 98 percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.

“Catholic schools are a vital aspect of the church’s mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so an important aspect of our own teaching mission,” said Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education.

About 1.9 million students currently attend nearly 6,600 Catholic schools in the United States. There are 28 Catholic elementary schools and nine Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese of Camden.

Gov. Chris Christie recently signed a proclamation designating the week of January 31-February 6, 2016, as Catholic Schools’ Week in New Jersey and acknowledging the contributions of Catholic schools.

Dr. George V. Corwell, director of the Office of Education for the New Jersey Catholic Conference, noted that the Governor’s proclamation continues the tradition of recognition afforded Catholic schools in New Jersey by the executive branch of state government.

“The Catholic schools of New Jersey represent an investment in New Jersey’s future, and the sacrifices made by Catholic school parents save the state’s overburdened public school system (and local tax payers) over $1 billion annually,” stated Dr. Corwell. “We hope that all residents of New Jersey recognize the dedicated efforts of Catholic school teachers which contribute to the overall success of our schools. Truly, Catholic schools represent a significant opportunity for parental choice in education.”

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