Catholic Schools Week 2009

Today marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools Celebrate Service.” The story of Catholic schools in America begins in 1640, when a layman named Roger Crouch founded the first in Maryland. Over the next 150 years growth was slow, because of the anti-Catholic legislation in many colonies. New York City’s first Catholic School was founded in 1800, at St. Peter’s on Barclay Street. In 1823 Brooklyn got its first Catholic school, St. James. School building picked up dramatically in the 1840′s, due to a growing Catholic immigration and an increase in religious teaching communities. For over a century, Catholic schools were concentrated in the nation’s major urban centers. Today the Catholic school population has undegone some major demographic shifts, but this doesn’t mean that Catholic schools have suddenly become irrelevant. Today in many parts of the country, schools are being built where they never existed before. In the areas where they existed for many years, they continue to make a difference, and that difference is service. That’s why we take this week to celebrate the contributions Catholic schools continue to make in Church and nation.

About Pat McNamara
  • nick65

    As Catholic Schools Week comes to an end for ’09, we should be reminded to support Catholic education. In our increasingly secularized nation, its consoling to know that our children can receive a quality education with Catholic values intertwined within the curriculum. I’m proud to say that the sacrifices my parents made to provide me with a Catholic education laid the foundation for the person I am today. I hope my kids, and their kids will continue to have such an opportunity. Keep up the great work Patrick!