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Clinton Township, Mount Clemens

Catholic Schools Week takes students outside normal week

February 5, 2013

» click to enlarge «
The De La Salle show choir, comprising both De La Salle Collegiate High School and Regina High School members, performs for an audience of about 400 St. Thecla students during a Catholic Schools Week assembly.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP/ MOUNT CLEMENS — Local Catholic Schools celebrated Catholic Schools Week last week, wearing wacky outfits and donating hundreds upon hundreds of nonperishable items for people in need.

National Catholic Schools Week begins every year on the last Sunday in January. This year, it fell Jan. 27-Feb. 2.

At Catholic schools in Clinton Township and Mount Clemens, students had opportunities to play games, watch movies and dress up in costumes, mismatched clothes and purposely wacky attire.

“We have a strict uniform policy. Any time they get a chance to dress a little bit wacky, they take advantage of it,” said St. Thecla Assistant Principal Lynn Fennell. “They’re very creative.”

But the local Catholic schools administrators say the week marks not only a break from routine, but also a chance to showcase and reinforce religious ideals, like prayer and giving to the poor, for their students.

After a snow day on Jan. 28, St. Thecla’s students came in the next day, bringing hundreds of nonperishables for the needy. Located near Groesbeck and Metropolitan Parkway, the school enrolls nearly 450 students in preschool through eighth grade.

Most of the canned goods went to the food pantry of the neighboring St. Thecla church; all of the sack lunches went to the Liberties Drop In Center in Clinton Township.

“We always have so much outpouring of support for the poor,” Fennell added. “We try to bring those ideals every day, but especially through Catholic Schools Week.”

Students did the same at nearby St. Mary Catholic School, giving nonperishable foods to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. St. Mary, affiliated with St. Peter Catholic Church, has a campus for preschoolers and first-graders in Clinton Township and another campus for second- through eighth-graders in Mount Clemens.

At St. Thecla, programs also emphasized performing acts of kindness over bullying.

The week served to celebrate Catholic schools, especially those throughout southeast Michigan, said St. Thecla eighth grade teacher Cindy Pryor, a member of the Catholic Schools Week organizing committee.

And, at St. Mary, students made about 500 placemats for local hospitals and nursing homes, said school Principal Maureen Miscavish.

Miscavish said Catholic schools integrate faith into every aspect of students’ lives, including their academic and athletic experiences. For instance, sports teams pray before games.

“Going to Catholic school reaches into every aspect,” she said. “(Catholic Schools Week is) an opportunity to celebrate that and come together as a community to celebrate who we are.”

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