This week marks the annual kick-off for “Catholic Schools Week” beginning January 27th thru February 2nd.! This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the wonderful benefits of Catholic School education, an education that balances both excellent academic skills with our Catholic Faith and spirituality as well. I am always impressed with the quality of students that come out of our Catholic School (CCS) system, including our own All Saints Academy (ASA) here at the St. Cloud and St. Joe campuses. We also have some wonderful principals (Paula Lieder and Karl Terhaar) along with very qualified and committed teachers who believe in our mission of Catholic education. Thank you!
Each year our own All Saints Academy (ASA) selects one parish (either St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Michael, or St. Joe) and invites some of our grade-school students, teachers, and parents to participate in a big way at one of our weekend Mass. This year, St. Peter has been selected for the January 27th at the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Some of our students will be doing the readings, providing music, bringing up gifts, and other roles in ministry. Paula Leider, one of our principals, will also giving a very short talk. This is really the first day of Catholic Schools week. During the rest of the week our children will be participating in special activities and events within our schools as well as celebrating a large Catholic Community Schools Mass at the Cathedral High School with Bishop Kettler this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. As in years past, it is always great to see the CHS gymnasium full of grades K-12 students from all the schools in our area. There is a special spirit of joy and solidarity at this Mass!
In this day and age, Catholic School education is so important for our children. In a world of confusing messages and so many mixed values, our schools give our children a strong foundation on which to build their future in this challenging time. Parents who are part of us feel connected with their school and teachers and are always invited to participate and help. It’s also wonderful to see our teachers and children interact when I come visit their classrooms on occasion and to know that our children are learning in a safe and loving environment. So, I encourage every parent, grandparent, and friend of Catholic Education to either send your children (or grandchildren) to our school and support us financially in any way possible. Running a quality school does take lots and lots of fundraising dollars and monies.
Finally, at the conclusion of our Catholic Schools week we are hosting our annual “All Saints Academy Extravaganza” to be held on Saturday, February 2nd starting at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul Church gym/campus. This is immediately following our Saturday, 4:30 pm. Mass. Absolutely everyone is invited who believes in Catholic Education, so please come! This is an important fundraiser for our ASA School. All proceeds help fund our own ASA budget. For a small entry fee there will be large social gathering complete with a cash bar, elegant and heavy Hors D’oeuvres, desert tables, great silent and open auction items, along with live entertainment beginning at about 8:30 pm. It should be a great event for all and a great way to conclude our celebration of Catholic Schools week. Our goal is to raise (clear) $70,000 at this event. It is a tall order, but in the past we have been able to arrive very close to that goal. If you can’t make it to our gathering, consider simply giving a nice donation at our greeting desk or sending a generous financial contribution to Paula Lieder at our main office here at St. Paul. Every bit helps! So, cheers to Catholic Schools and to ASA this week! My hope is that we see you at our event!