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Celebrate Catholic Schools Week in the Diocese of Grand Rapids

January 24, 2020

More than 6,340 students in 31 Catholic schools across the Diocese of Grand Rapids are celebrating national Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” Events will highlight how Catholic education provides lifelong benefits for students and their communities.

It is an annual tradition to have several hundred student representatives and educators from across the diocese gather for Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew to give thanks for the gift of Catholic school education. This year, Superintendent Dave Faber will share an exciting announcement immediately following Mass, about a new major initiative.

Schools also plan their own celebratory activities each day. Browse a list of activities below; several events offer the community opportunities to learn more about our Catholic schools firsthand.

Nearly 1.8 million children across the United States attend Catholic schools. Catholic Schools Week began in 1974 and is a joint project of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

"Many Gifts, One Nation"

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are participating in "Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools". The 24-hour giving event begins at noon on Jan. 28. The donation page to support the diocese's Office of Catholic Schools can be found here. Donors may also search the "Many Gifts, One Nation" database to make a gift to a particular school.

Related: Support Catholic education during the “Many Gifts, One Nation” event

Bishop Walkowiak writes Catholic Schools Week letters to parishioners, Aquinas College

Click here to read his letter to parishioners.

Click here to read the letters exchanged by Bishop Walkowiak and Kevin Quinn, Ph.D., President of Aquinas College.

Michigan lawmakers adopt resolutions recognizing Catholic Schools Week

Click here to read the state House of Representatives resolution.

Click here to read the state Senate resolution.

Catholic Schools Week events

Visit our open house calendar for opportunities to learn about enrolling at a Catholic school near you!

The following list will be updated as school events are received. Contact schools for any additional information about these events.

All Saints Academy, Grand Rapids

  • Sunday, January 26: Celebrating your parish

    • Pack the Pews at St. Alphonsus, 11 a.m. Mass

  • Monday, January 27

    • Mismatch & crazy hair day

    • Middle school rosary

    • Middle school spelling bee

  • Tuesday, January 28

    • Crazy socks & hat day

    • 3rd grade attends Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew

    • Movie day

  • Wednesday, January 29

    • All-school Mass and picture at St. Alphonsus, 10:30 a.m.

    • "Reader's Theatre" performances

  • Thursday, January 30

    • Red, gold & black day

    • Family B-Ball Game Night (8th grade vs. staff at St. Isidore, 6:30 p.m.)

  • Friday, January 31

    • Elementary campus rosary

    • Elementary campus pep assembly

    • Middle school students attend youth rally

    • Middle school teachers vs. 8th grade basketball rematch

Divine Providence Academy, Conklin & Ravenna

  • Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26

    • Students wear their uniforms to Mass, and many will have Mass parts

  • Monday, January 27

    • Deliver cookies to local businesses who support the school

    • Hat day

  • Tuesday, January 28

    • Upper elementary students attend Mass at the cathedral

    • Board game party

  • Wednesday, January 29

    • Rosary for the nation

    • Red, white and blue dress up day

  • Thursday, January 30

    • Fr. Fred celebrates his final children's Mass at St. Catherine before retiring, followed by breakfast with students and families

    • St. Joseph: semi-casual day

    • St. Catherine: crazy sock day

  • Friday, January 31

    • Fr. Fred celebrates his final children's Mass at St. Joseph before retiring, followed by brunch with students and families

    • St. Joseph: crazy sock day

    • St. Catherine: semi-casual day

Holy Spirit Catholic School, Grand Rapids

  • Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26
    • Students participate as greeters, ushers, and readers at weekend Masses
  • Monday, January 27
    • All-school Kahoot tournament
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Student Council members attend Mass with Bishop Walkowiak at Cathedral of Saint Andrew
    • Super Friend activity and thank-you's to parents
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Students attend Mass with Bishop Walkowiak at St. Anthony of Padua (combined activity with St. Anthony students)
    • Rosay for the nation
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Grades 1-4 go to Mass at Covenant Living
    • Student Council v. teachers volleyball game
  • Friday, January 31
    • Field trip to Altitude Trampoline Park
  • Saturday, February 1
    • Community Winter Carnival, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Holy Trinity Catholic School, Comstock Park

  • Sunday, January 26
    • Students encouraged to wear uniform to 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Mass
    • Pancake breakfast, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, January 27
    • All-school morning prayer in the hall
    • Students can wear clothes with their favorite sports team's logo
    • Grades K-5 decorate bags for Kids Food Basket and parent turnovers
    • Graders 6-8 assemble food items for Kids Food Basket and make snack bags
    • Junior high students write to lawmakers and community leaders to thank them for supporting Catholic schools
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • "What is your future you" day: Students may dress as their career arpiration
    • 8th grade and Student Council attend Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
    • All-school team-building hula hoop activity and superfriend activity designing Catholic Schools Week posters
    • Where are they now? Alumni profiles put on display to inspire current students
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • All-school Mass
    • Students may wear patriotic dress
    • Spelling bee
    • Students display their CSW posters
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Students may dress in spirit wear and comfy clothes (in accordance with alternate-wear days rules from the handbook)
    • K-8 make cards for seminarians, and for retired priests and nuns living at St. Ann's Home
    • Grades 5-8 hear presentation from Alpine Twp. Supervisor Greg Madura (a parishioner) about how his faith impacts decisions he makes regarding the community
    • Lunch mix-up day (students may sit anywhere in the cafeteria)
    • Field trip to the 3 Mile Project
  • Friday, January 31
    • Dress like a teacher
    • Parent gratitude turnovers

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, Grand Rapids

  • Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26
    • Students wear uniforms to weekend Masses
    • Students serve as greeters before each Mass
    • Students participate as lectors at weekend Masses
    • Catholic Central senior (who is also an IHM alum) speaks at each Mass
    • After School Choirs sing at 11 a.m. Sunday Mass
    • Students also welcome to sing in choirs at 5:15 p.m. Saturday or 8:30 a.m. Sunday Masses
    • Students hand out prayer intention cards to parish adults after Masses
  • Monday, January 27
    • Morning prayers including decade of the rosary
    • Jeans day for students who wore uniform to weekend Mass
    • Students and staff participate in Souper-Bowl food drive sponsored by Knights of Columbus, benefitting the pantry at St. Francis Xavier/Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The grade who donates the most food (based on average pounds donated per student) will win a pizza party!
    • Grades 3-8 write thank you letters for Killgoar Foundation contributors
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Morning prayers including decade of the rosary
    • Leadership Council attends Mass at Cathedral of Saint Andrew and has lunch afterward at Saint Thomas the Apostle with Saint Thomas Leadership Council
    • Students write promises of prayer for Father Troy and Sister Mary Paul on colored strips of paper to make paper chains
    • Look-alike contest for boys to dress up as Father Troy and girls to dress up as Sister Mary Paul
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Morning prayers including decade of the rosary
    • All school Mass, students' family members encouraged to attend
    • All-school picture in the gym following Mass, and video recording of Pledge of Allegiance
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Morning prayers including decade of the rosary
    • Teacher baby picture guessing game
    • Teacher/staff luncheon
    • Students make thank you cards for parish/school maintenance professionals for taking care of the building
    • Night of prayer and praiser with Dan DeMatte, 6:30 p.m. in the church
  • Friday, January 31
    • Morning prayers including decade of the rosary
    • IHM spirit day - jeans and spirit wear
    • Students return their baby bottles for the Coins for Kids fundraiser
    • Grades 6-8 travel to youth rally at Catholic Central high School
    • Pep rally and staff v. students basketball game

Muskegon Catholic Central

  • Sunday, January 26
    • Students invited to wear Mass day uniforms to their parish Masses
  • Monday, January 27
    • Green & gold day: Dress in MCC gear (grades 7-12)
    • Morning prayer
    • Catholic trivia (grades 7-12)
    • Service project kick-off, benefitting the Catholic Charities baby pantry (continuing all week)
    • Elementary students write thank you letters to board members, priests and parents
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Elementary students dress up like staff members, and staff dress up like students
    • Morning prayer
    • Catholic trivia (grades 7-12)
    • Student representatives attend Mass at Cathedral of Saint Andrew
    • "What I Love Most about MCC"
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Elementary students and staff wear red, white and blue
    • Morning prayer
    • Catholic trivia (grades 7-12)
    • Students write thank you letters to deployed military personnel
    • Visit from the Muskegon Lumberjacks (elementary school)
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Elementary students dress as what they want to be when they grow up
    • Living rosary
    • Catholic trivia (grades 7-12)
  • Friday, January 31
    • Catholic Schools Week Mass with Bishop Walkowiak
    • Grand Friends Day: Grandparents, parents and special friends join their elementary students for Mass, followed by cookies and a craft
    • Catholic trivia winners announced (grades 7-12)
  • Saturday, February 1
    • "Fun with Friends" for elementary students in the Cioe Gym

SS. Peter & Paul Catholic School, Ionia

  • Sunday, January 26
    • Students wear uniform to parish Mass
    • Pancake breakfast following Mass
  • Monday, January 27
    • Hallway morning prayer
    • Community awards ceremony, 1 p.m. in the church (all are welcome to attend)
    • Students bring in LEGO contest entries representing SSPP
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Hallway morning prayer
    • Jean day with new Catholic Schools Week t-shirts
    • How to Train Your Dragon at the Ionia Theatre
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Hallway morning prayer
    • Red, white & blue jeans day
    • Student service project making valentines for veterans
  • Thursday, January 30
    • School Mass, 8 a.m. (all are welcome to attend)
    • Cards made for Father Tom, Father Oscar and Deacon Cardenas
  • Friday, January 31
    • Jeans day with SSPP shirt
    • All-school breakfast buddies
    • Hallway morning prayer
    • Ice cream social for all parents, volunteers and students
    • Winner of LEGO contest announced

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Grand Rapids

  • Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26
    • Students wear uniforms to Mass and speak about the investment made in Faith and Future by choosing Catholic schools
  • ​Monday, January 27
    • Christian juggler performs for students
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Mass at the Cathedral of St. Andrew for Student Government
    • Games and a snack with Superfriends
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • School Mass with Bishop Walkowiak and Holy Spirit students at St. Anthony
    • Movie & popcorn in the afternoon
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Talent show
  • Friday, January 31
    • School Mass with VIP community members
    • Cookies after Mass
    • 3 Mile Project field trip for kindergarten - 8th grade
    • Pizza hot lunch at 3 Mile Project; snack provided

St. Charles Catholic School, Greenville

  • Weeklong baby bottle coin drive for Right to Life
  • ​Monday, January 27: We celebrate our community
    • PTO serving breakfast to students in classrooms
    • John Ball Zoo assemblies
    • Students deliver cards/treats to local businesses/community members
  • Tuesday, January 28: We celebrate our students
    • Dress code: Sweats and patterns day
    • 2nd grade attends Mass at the cathedral
    • Games with friends
  • Wednesday, January 29: We celebrate our nation
    • Dress code: Red, white and blue
    • All-school bingo
    • Sledding, if weather allows
  • Thursday, January 30: We celebrate vocations
    • Dress code: Sports team day
    • Making cards for seminarians
    • Knights of Columbus spelling bee
    • Grades K-2 sing at Friendship House
  • Friday, January 31: We celebrate faculty, staff, and volunteers
    • Dress code: Dress up day
    • VIP lunch followed by all-school Mass
  • Saturday, February 1
    • Pack the pews at the 5 p.m. Mass
    • Snowball Dinner and Dance following Mass

St. Mary Catholic School, Big Rapids

  • ​Sunday, January 26
    • All-school Mass at 9 a.m.
    • Roller skating
  • ​Monday, January 27
    • Wear favorite college team clothes
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Grades 7-8 attend Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
    • Remaining grades attend regular school Mass
    • Students spend the afternoon making fleece blankets for neighbors in need
  • ​Wednesday, January 29
    • Wear red, white and blue
    • Service people appreciation assembly
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Assemblies for grades K-2 and for 3-8
  • ​Friday, January 31
    • Wear red school tee
    • Grades 5-8 on retreat
    • Parent appreciation with coffee and bagels
  • ​Sunday, February 2
    • All-school Mass, 11 a.m. at St. Paul's

St. Mary Catholic School, Spring Lake

  • Sunday, January 26
    • Students participate in parish liturgy
  •  Monday, January 27
    • We thank those in the community who provide service to St. Mary's School
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • We thank priests and deacons, and we will send encouragement to seminarians
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • We say thank you to the teachers and staff of St. Mary's School
  • Thursday, January 30
    • We say thank you for the loving sacrifices our parents and guardians make to give us the gift of Catholic education
  • Friday, January 31
    • We say thank you to our students for working hard socially, academically, and faithfully to become the young people God wants in the world

St. Patrick Catholic School, Parnell

  • Monday, January 27
    • Field trip to 3 Mile Project
    • Wear shirts supporting your favorite team or sport
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Donuts and teacher switch
    • Read-aloud
    • Cozy day with sweats and slippers (no pajamas)
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Dance breaks
    • Catholic bingo over the PA
    • Wear mismatched clothes and wacky hair
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Minute to Win It (8th graders v. teachers)
    • Neon/80's day
  • Friday, January 31
    • Teacher superlatives over the PA
    • Rosary said for Catholic schools

St. Patrick Catholic School, Portland

  • Monday, January 27
    • Preschool-12th grade treated to donuts
    • Comfy day for all students
  • Tuesday, January 28
    • Delegation of students go to Mass at Cathedral of Saint Andrew
    • All students pray candlelight rosary
    • Dress up as a teacher
  • Wednesday, January 29
    • Grades K-12 attend Mass
    • All students celebrate the "Souper Bowl" by bringing a donation of canned/boxed goods
    • Dress in Sunday best
  • Thursday, January 30
    • Ice cream/popsicles served at lunch
    • Dress in your favorite color head-to-toe
  • Friday, January 31
    • Grades 6-12 assembly with guest speaker Dr. David Den Braber
    • Middle & high school pep assembly wth movies/games in the afternoon
    • Elementary students go bowling
    • Dress in Shamrock spirit wear
  • Saturday, February 1
    • High school students enjoy semi-formal dance
  • Sunday, February 2
    • Students are invited to represent at the 9:30 Mass

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,340 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.

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