Columbia celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Monday, January 26, 2009 | 5:22 p.m. CST; updated 5:28 p.m. CST, Monday, January 26, 2009

COLUMBIA — Parent volunteers, faculty and students at Columbia Catholic School are uniting under a theme of service to celebrate Catholic Schools Week this week.

The school wasted little time in putting the week's theme to work on Monday by having parents and eighth-grade student volunteers deliver meals to elderly residents in Columbia through the Meals on Wheels program.

Schedule highlights

Tuesday: Alumni talks from 9 to 10:40 a.m.

Wednesday: Former U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof will speak to students from 9 to 11 a.m.

Thursday: Breakfast with priests at 7:40 a.m. and an international luncheon at 11 a.m.

Friday: Staff breakfast/brunch at 7:15 a.m.; all-school liturgy at 8:30 a.m.; teacher luncheon at 1:45 p.m.

“I am an eighth-grade student, and we will be going around just delivering it with parent volunteers and friends and anyone else that wants to help,” said Jacque Arnold, who was helping to deliver meals Monday morning. “I think it’s really important to help people who need help, and we should do it willingly.”

John Wiggans, assistant principal of Columbia Catholic School, said that there are 606 students at the school, and that many will also be participating in national Catholic Schools Week by helping with Mass and leading prayer services.

Wiggans explained that a different theme is developed for Catholic Schools Week each year, and that the theme is put into practice in the community in different ways each day of the week. Monday's focus, for example, was service in the community. And Thursday's is service in the nation.

The National Catholic Educational Association determines the theme and then passes it to dioceses across the country, who then disseminate the theme to the local Catholic schools.

Catholic Schools Week started Sunday and will end Friday. For a detailed schedule of events at the school, go to

Wiggans also said that Catholic Schools Week is “open to everybody,” and that visitors are welcome at the school throughout the week.

Several visitors and parent volunteers were at Columbia Catholic School’s open house on Monday morning, scattered among tables of complimentary coffee, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe and orange juice once the morning crowd of students receded into classrooms.

Roberta Lockwood, a Catholic Schools Week coordinator at the open house, expressed her hopes for the week.

“We just want the community to know that we’re a great school, and there’s a lot of really great kids and families here,” Lockwood said. “Anytime we can get out our information, our message, is great.”

Lockwood also said that she thinks the school is a communal environment that involves both parents and students.

“There’s a lot of siblings here, so the parents get involved because it’s their entire family,” Lockwood said. “For example, I have three kids here, kindergarten, second and fourth grade, so it’s not just drop them off and I’m going to go do my day. But I’m going to drop them off, and I’m going to help enrich their day, enrich their school because I care so much about their Catholic education.”

U.S. Rep. Kenny Holshof, a Catholic, is scheduled to speak from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the school's Flanagan Hall. He will be talking about national service, according to the Columbia Catholic School Web site.


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