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Thoughtful reflections from students
| February 01, 2017


BRIDGEPORT—This year, National Catholic Schools week runs from January 29-February 4. Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has been the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.

Click here for Bishop Caggiano's Statement on seeking creative ways to preserve Catholic Education

Arabella Day, grade one

“I like Catholic school because the teachers are nice. I make
new friends and I learn to read. We also learn about Jesus.”

Cate Bell, grade three

“I love attending Catholic school because I learn about Jesus
and my faith. I receive an excellent education. I love subjects like
math, reading, and writing. The teachers are kind and supportive
and help me get ready to go on the road of life-long learning.”

Avery Simoneau, grade eight

“My Catholic education is one of the most important parts of
my life. It is a way to learn about God, his works and miracles.
I am able to express myself and my faith at my Catholic school,
which I have attended for nine years. When we go to the Adoration
Chapel, I sit in God’s presence and feel relaxed and peaceful.
Every year when I come back after a long summer, unlike many kids,
I do not dread the return, but celebrate it. My relationship with God
has become strong through my Catholic schooling. Next year when
I go to high school, I will be prepared knowing that I have a strong
relationship with God.”

Julia Carrozza, grade seven

“My Catholic school gives me opportunities to grow in faith.
At school we say the Rosary every morning. With a scheduled
time to pray, we can focus on growing closer to God. Since it is
Advent, my class has been going to the Adoration Chapel every
day, where we read a section of our prayer books with a Scripture
passage and instructions to become closer to God through prayer.
In the presence of Jesus, the silence makes it easy to relax and
open our hearts to our forgiving Lord, present in the Eucharist.
On “Gospel Friday” we read and elaborate on the Scripture readings
for Sunday Mass. When the priest reads the Gospel, I can connect
my reflections to the Scripture passage. In my school, we have
support from everyone in our caring community. Our motto, ‘Work
hard, be kind, and smile,’ inspires all of the pupils at my school to
be our best selves, and to work to the best of our abilities.”

Lyla Wolf, grade one

“I like Catholic school because we do religion in school and learn
about God and Jesus, not like public school where you need to go
after school to learn religion.”

Alana Davis, grade four

“Going to a Catholic school means so much to me. I am so lucky
to have the freedom to pray to God. I also love my Catholic school
because the children respect the teachers and the teachers
respect the children. We are a community, like a family. With all the
respect and love, we make my Catholic school . . . AMAZING! We
develop independence and responsibility to have a good foundation
for high school and college. We have fun learning experiences. I had
so much fun making a magnet in my STEM class. I love my Catholic

Manuel Santos, grade eight  

“Catholic school can provide a safer environment for children,
an awesome learning community with teachers that truly care,
or a fun place for children to learn life and social skills. All of
these factors are why parents send their kids to Catholic school.
The staff cares about their students and takes the job of keeping
them safe seriously. In Catholic school you don’t see people
treating one another badly; you see people getting along and
learning as a community. You also find teachers that don’t see
their work as a job, but as a passion. They want students to learn
and be successful, not just in school but in life. The amazing
teachers want the student to reach and surpass their limits, so that
eventually the student succeeds in college and in life. This wonderful
determination that a teacher has to teach any student is also a
big reason Catholic schools offer an amazing learning environment
and a fun environment for the students, which makes the school
a place the student is excited to come to everyday.”

Angelina Gonzalez, grade seven

“I feel safe, loved, and successful at my Catholic school.
The faculty and students care and help everyone up when they’re
down, make me feel loved and better if I’m having a bad day,
and my amazing friends make me feel included. My school
makes you work hard for good grades. The work can be
challenging at times but my teachers make sure we understand
what we are doing. I feel I will be successful with all of my hard
work, the amazing teachers, and my principal’s leadership.
My school teaches us to be independent and strong individuals.
Thank you to my Catholic school for teaching me to go down
the right path.”

Savannah Salicrup, grade eight

“You may think that Catholic schools aren’t worth the money
or that Catholic schools are just the same as public schools,
but let me tell you, those are not true! I have been in a Catholic
school since kindergarten and I am now in the eighth grade.
I have made some of the best memories and friends at my
Catholic school. I am sad to be leaving but plan to attend
a Catholic high school. My Catholic school has taught me to love
myself, others, and God! We not only have religion class to learn
about God, but we also go to church every Friday to experience
God’s presence. I am thankful that I can express my faith with
my classmates.”

Annie Stook, grade seven

“My Catholic school represents a boat that guides me along
the path of Christ. Without a life of prayer I would be lost.
My school promotes a sturdy foundation of Christ’s forgiveness
that I can carry throughout adulthood and pass along confidently
to others. My school demonstrates how everyone is equal in God’s
eyes and that everyone should be treated with love, respect, and
dignity. I could never picture going to school where faith is not the
first priority. My school helps me recognize the talents God has
given me. I am thankful attend a school where I can become closer
to God. Saint Catherine of Siena once said, ‘’Be who God meant
you to be and you can set the world on fire.’ That quote is truly what
my Catholic school means to me.”

Madison Moore, grade six

“A Catholic school is a safe, holy, and happy place. But my school
is more than that. I want to go to school. I’m lucky that my parents
work and spend the money on Catholic school. My school helps me
improve and encourages me. Not all schools have teachers like mine.
I will remember them even after I graduate. I make more wonderful
memories daily.”

Anna Tutek, grade eight

“For many, school is a place of anguish. But my Catholic school
has given me peace of mind. My faith has blossomed under
careful guidance and my education is at its peak due to the smaller
class size. During difficult times, I find myself flooded with the comfort
of my school and the positivity of teachers and classmates. Indeed
one may find good people anywhere, but where can a whole
community of good people be found? Our faith always binds us.
With Mass, hall prayer, and adoration my faith has soared. The
darkest moments in life are lit up with Jesus’ light. I intend to bring
the love taught to me wherever I go in life.”

The theme for 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our Church, our communities and our nation. Catholic schools offer academic excellence and faith-filled education for students nationwide. National test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance and other data show that Catholic schools frequently outperform schools in both the public and private sectors. While some Catholic schools are challenged by declining enrollments and school closures, the good news is that there is a strong demand and enthusiasm for Catholic schools. Nearly thirty percent of Catholic schools have waiting lists for admission and new schools are opening across the country.