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Catholic Schools Week features celebrations

January 30, 2013
MIKE HUGHES - News Editor , Times Leader

BELLAIRE Parochial schools continue to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, both locally and across the nation as their faith-based education is highlighted and celebrated as part of an annual event that began in 1974.

At St. John Central Grade School in Bellaire, Tuesday was one of two dress down days for the students that week.

It was also Lunch Buddies day, where older and younger students got together during lunchtime to socialize and work on activities together.

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St. John Central grade school students in grades eight, seven and four ate lunch and performed activities together during day three of Catholic Schools Week on Tuesday in Bellaire. Tuesday was a dress down day and Lunch Buddies for students at SJC. The national, week-long celebration continues both locally and throughout the country all week and is a celebration of faith-based education provided by parochial schools.

This is a common practice at Catholic schools throughout the valley, pairing older students with younger students to give them an older mentor of sorts to look up to.

The students also received a few snacks in their respective homerooms and movies were shown.

Monday, the first and second graders from SJC visited the Bellaire Senior Center for a square-dance with center members.

Today, SJC students will be participating in Red, White and Blue dress down day while honoring Mary, the patroness of the nation. They will be making cards for veterans and to recognize the families of veterans.

Thursday is an all-school mass while Bishop Jeffery Montforton from the Diocese of Steubenville will also visit the school.

At the end mass each school day, one student will read a prayer that is reflective of the theme designated that day.

All students have been asked to send new toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap to be placed into decorative bags and sent to a local nursing home.

Other area Catholic schools, among their week-long list of activities, are collecting canned foods and monetary donations to give to Catholic Charities.

On Friday during the Wheeling Nailers' 7 p.m. game at WesBanco Arena against the Reading Royals, the Nailers are offering a special fundraiser through the game for all parochial schools. The ticket cost is $10, with $5 of that going back to the student's home parochial school.

The Catholic school that sells the most tickets (based on the ratio of students to tickets sold) will win a $250 prize for the school.

Catholic Schools Week began in 1974 as a joint project between the NCEA and the United States Catholic Conference. It annually begins the last Sunday and January and runs all week. It began being promoted nationally in 1992.

Hughes may be reached at



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