National Catholic Schools Week is a celebration that takes place every year in the U.S. Founded in 1974, National Catholic Schools Week begins the last week of January and runs through the entire week (this year it runs from Jan 31st until Feb 6th.) Each year has a theme and a focus for the week. The theme for 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.”

While it varies from school to school, celebrations can include all manner of activities from Masses to open houses, curriculum for students, and getting students and schools involved with parishioners, families, and communities outside of the school. Some schools will participate in food drives for the needy, spirit days for the schools, liturgies, games with prizes, special Mass, and open houses to bring families into the school. The focus here in all areas of curriculum and community events is shining a light on the value that Catholic education can provide to young people and the church and community around it. From the academic excellence, and faith-based learning, Catholic schools all over the country boast great test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendances, and more.

While there are some challenges facing Catholic schools today with declining enrollments and school closures, there is so much to celebrate in our schools and churches. 32% of Catholic schools have waiting lists for admissions and new schools are opening everywhere. The enthusiasm, excellence, and benefit to the children, young adults, communities, and nation are immeasurable and exciting. Each day of the week has a daily theme for focus, teaching, and celebration during National Catholic Schools week, be it in your homes, schools, or church, and each day’s theme is different.

In addition, Wednesday is National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools, and Friday is Teacher and Principal Appreciation, which will fit nicely into the themes for the days of the week, so make sure to celebrate those, too! Use the hashtag #CSW16 to post about your activities to join in the conversation and fellowship on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and see what others are doing nation-wide!

Sunday – In Our Parish

Monday – In Our Community

Tuesday – In Our Students

Wednesday – In Our Nation

Thursday – In Our Vocations

Friday – In Our Faculty, Staff, and Volunteers

Saturday – In Our Families