CSW 2020 – Oratory Kicks Off Its 46th Celebration of Catholic Schools Week

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Joseph Marchese

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A Family Reunion
January 6, 2020

Image Courtesy of ncea.org

Once again, Oratory Prep is participating in National Catholic Schools Week (CSW), an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. Catholic Schools Week often occurs during the last week of January (this year January 26 to February 1), this year marking the 46th anniversary year of the celebration. During 2019/20, however, the National Catholic Educational Association decided to take their celebration a step further and have both January 26 to February 1, 2020 and November 17–23, 2019 be designated as Catholic Schools Week in order for Catholic schools to leverage their good news in a national initiative: Discover Catholic Schools Week. The November CSW was designed to help schools connect with prospective families, donors, educators, and other community members, and was largely a success. The NCEA finished discussing the November week, saying, “we want to help showcase what makes Catholic schools the best when families are looking to find the right school for them.”

This year, Father Scott led the Catholic Schools Week celebration, initiating numerous events in order to participate in the nationwide event. On Monday, religion classes had the opportunity to hear from CRS Global Fellow Deacon Peter Barcellona, where students learned about one of CRS’s new initiatives, combating the refugee crisis. The Deacon stressed how bad the crisis is getting, and he urged everyone to help support the initiative. At the end of his presentation, the students went through a simulation of sorts, where Deacon Pete put different scenarios on the screen and asked students to consider what they would do in a similar situation. The first question, setting up the whole simulation, read, “If you had 15 minutes to pack and you could only take 6 items from your home that you would probably never see again, what would you take?” Students were then given difficult situations to consider. For example, having the truck carrying the refugees break down, having to carry a family member the rest of the way to the coast, having to shed up to four of their only six items, having boat issues, and meeting disloyal people who claimed to be helping. Unfortunately, those are all things that many refugees are forced to face, which served as a rude awakening to many students. 

Father Scott also held a tag day for CRS on Tuesday, allowing students to dress down for only $5 with all the proceeds going to CRS. 

Catholic Schools Week has been a longstanding tradition at OP and something that will certainly be celebrated again next year in honor and recognition of all Catholic schools nationwide.