Schools across the country are celebrating Catholic Schools Week, and for Viatorians and the parishes where they serve, the week underscores their educational mission, of accompanying young people on their faith journey.
Celebrations took a variety of forms, but at Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep in North Las Vegas, faculty and administrators created a video in which they articulated in a brief comment, why they chose Catholic education.
Elsa Ndukwu, Director of Recruitment and Admissions, summed it up this way: “I wanted a place where I could practice my faith comfortably — and feel welcome.”
Science Teacher Armando Acero said: “I chose Catholic education because of the community. All my life I’ve been searching for a community — just like this one.”
The theme of Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community played out at the Bishop McNamara Catholic schools, where supporting parishes, like Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais and St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, promoted the schools — and the Viatorians’ role in bringing Catholic education to the region.
Priests from both parishes concelebrated the opening Mass on Monday at Bishop McNamara High School, including Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, from Maternity BVM and Fr. John Peeters, CSV, from St. Patrick Church.
“During this Catholic Schools Week, we are reminded of the gift of Catholic education, and how blessed we are to practice our faith in school,” administrators said at the beginning of the faith-filled and fun week.
At Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, an international delegation of Viatorians celebrated the all-school Mass on Wednesday, along with Fr. Charlie Plovanich, Associate Pastor from nearby St. Cecilia/St. Colette Parish. Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, President, was the main presider. On the altar with him were these Viatorians: Fr. Dudley Pierre, CSV, of Haiti and Fr. Jean-Didier Sohotode from the Republic of Benin in West Africa.
Together, these Viatorians from around the world, coming together with a neighboring parish priest and surrounded by the entire student body, demonstrated just how Catholic Schools unite us, through faith and community.