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Catholic Schools Week begins Jan. 28

Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated this year in The Roman Catholic Archdio­cese of Washington from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3. This is the 50th anniversary of the yearly celebration of Catholic schools in the United States.

Beginning each year on the last Sunday in January and running all week, the annual event is traditionally marked Masses, open houses, assemblies and special activities.

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has been the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States, sponsored by the NCEA and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Catholic Education. The week is set aside to focus on the good work being accom­plished in Catholic schools nationwide and in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

The theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is “Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community.” The theme was chosen in 2023, and will continue to be the Catholic Schools Week theme until 2026. 

“Catholic schools have an irreplaceable role in the Church’s evangelizing mission. Building on the central goal of Catholic schools to form saints, Catholic schools teach and embrace the whole person, body, mind and spirit,” the NCEA said in a statement explaining why the theme was chosen. The fact that all members of a Catholic school community share the Christian vision of faith that Christ is the foundation of Catholic education is what unites the school as a faith-filled community.”

The NCEA statement stressed that “Catholic school communities expand beyond the walls of school buildings to envelop the family as an integral part of the school community. Together teachers, administrators, staff, students and parents fuel the light of faith by integrating culture with faith and faith with living.”

The CSW logo symbolizes the united community of Catholic schools – not a building or an institution, but people of faith serving God and others. No Catholic school can fulfill its educational role alone. As a community, Catholic schools are nourished and stimulated by the centrality of the word of Christ expressed through knowledge, service, scripture and sacramental tradition.

Catholics in every parish in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington help support Catholic schools and make a Catholic education more affordable and accessible for families. 

Since 2009, the archdiocese has followed a strategy that has strengthened and sustained Catholic schools with the establishment of regional schools involving several sponsoring parishes. 

 The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has 90 schools, preschool through high school, and is the largest non-public school system in the area, with more than 24,000 students in all.

Schools are located throughout the District of Columbia and five counties in Maryland: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s. Of Catholic high school students in the archdiocese, 99 percent graduate and 97 percent of graduates go on to college.

Each school has its own unique qualities, but all share similar attributes of strong academics, a deep sense of community, and a focus on faith, family and lifelong learning.