OP-ED: ‘Catholic Schools Week’ Celebrated in Virginia

EdNews Virginia | February 4, 2024

Catholic Schools Week was celebrated January 28 through February 3 in Virginia and nationwide. The week has been observed annually since 1974, according to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). “Every year, I’m joyfully reminded that Catholic Schools Week is a jubilant celebration and joyous recognition of the transformative power that education rooted in Catholic values holds, shaping not just students, but servant leaders and faith-filled communities,” said NCEA President Lincoln Snyder.

Jennifer Bigelow, interim superintendent for the Diocese of Richmond, noted the academic success of Catholic students in a letter released on Monday. “Catholic schools have changed a lot over the years, but we remain steadfast in our pursuit of academic excellence. We maintain a 99% high school graduation rate with 98% of those graduates being accepted by a college or university. Additionally, our graduates received over $25 million in grants and scholarships last year,” Bigelow wrote. “Our students succeed because they receive an education rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, where Catholic doctrine and values, and academic excellence prepare each student for a life of faith, service and integrity. Our administrators, teachers and staff not only have great academic credentials but see their roles as ministers in education. They have answered a call to the vocation of teaching, and we are blessed for their commitment.”

In a video statement, Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge stressed the role of parents as the primary educators of children. “The mission of Catholic schools is to assist parents in the education and faith formation of their children so they may grow in their love and knowledge of Christ and be moved to serve him and others,” Burbidge said. “I am so proud that our Catholic schools carry out that mission with great distinction. I extend my heartfelt and sincere appreciation to you, the parents, who make many sacrifices so your children can receive a Catholic education. Thank you for taking seriously your role as the first teachers of your children in the ways of faith, and for giving our Catholic educators the privilege of assisting you.”

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