Catholic Schools Week holds many opportunities

Catholic Schools Week holds many opportunities

Brianna Glase, Managing Editor

As the only Catholic school in Harford County, JC should look at Catholic Schools Week (CSW) as a highly anticipated week packed full of activities that every member of the school looks forward to.

Though Campus Minister Patti Murphy Dohn works hard to plan activities and themed days throughout the week, enthusiasm in the student body and the faculty is not there. A few improvements could make it a time for the whole school community to grow in faith together.

The theme for CSW this year is “Faith. Academics. Service,” so there is no better way to start off Monday than a mass to celebrate Priest Appreciation Day.  While the Grandparents Celebration is usually included on Monday, it should be combined with Parent Appreciation Day on Thursday so that multiple family generations can see what the school has to offer.

As for the CSW mass itself, it should be the year’s most interesting mass with the most exciting songs, encouraging everyone to respond and sing.  There is no better way to grow as a community of faith than by praying and singing together.

Tuesday is Teacher Appreciation Day, which includes a special breakfast and a dress down day for teachers.  On this day, students should take this ideal opportunity to thank their teachers for giving them knowledge and guidance for the future.

Appreciation for the administrative faculty should also be incorporated into this day.  Though the administrative personnel have very demanding schedules, on this day they should try to take some extra time to visit classrooms to interact more closely with students.  This would also give students the opportunity to thank them for all that they do for the school.

Wednesday is Student Appreciation Day, which includes the infamous free treat in the cafeteria.  Students should be able to dress down on this day, just as the teachers can on Tuesday.  Usually dress down days that are sponsored by a specific cause, so having a free dress down day would add to the anticipation for CSW.

Parent Appreciation Day is Thursday, including a treat for parents and an opportunity for them to visit in classes.  In addition to letting grandparents and parents tour classrooms, the Winter Literary Tea should also take place on Thursday so that parents and grandparents can see artistic talents showcased rather than watching them take notes in multiple classes.

According to Murphy Dohn, the activities for Archbishop John Carroll Appreciation Day on Friday are yet to be determined.  To increase school spirit, the main activity for this day, the conclusion of CSW, should be a winter sports pep rally.  A pep rally is a perfect way for CSW to go out with a bang.

In addition to the daily activities during CSW, there should also be some week-long activities to incorporate the theme of “Faith. Academics.  Service.” and tie the whole week together.

The faith portion doesn’t have to start on a high note on Monday and turn flat through the rest of the week.  Every morning on the announcements, the school prays for intentions together, but a book of prayer intentions should also be placed outside of the chapel.  Every morning during prayer students can keep in mind the anonymous intentions in the book.

For the academics portion, it would be simple to have either a second quarter or first semester awards assembly to highlight those students who excelled in academics.

As for the service part of the theme, Outreach Director Tony Martin should take this week as a time to visit religion classes for at least one mod to reiterate the importance of service.

Murphy Dohn mentioned that she and Principal Madelyn Ball had thought of doing a school-wide fundraiser to go to a good cause, but Ball said that nothing concrete had been decided.

Notre Dame Prep High School takes part in a school-wide service project which JC could easily implement with a little bit of planning.  They have a fundraiser called “Pasta for the Philippines,” in which they host a spaghetti dinner and donate the profits to a sister school in the Philippines.

Because CSW is just a little less than two weeks away, this may be impractical to enact this year.  Even so, there are plenty of charities in Bel Air that need support, including Habitat for Humanity, Birthright, Anna’s House, and more.  Many of these already have connections to the JC community.

CSW has so much potential to showcase the best of the school community and help students and teachers to grow in faith together.  With a few changes, CSW could reach its full potential.

Brianna Glase is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.