Faith, knowledge, service emphasized during Catholic Schools Week
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Editor's note: All weekend events reported were scheduled as of presstime Saturday morning.
Events ranging from the celebration of a former headmaster's life to volunteer work at Duquesne's Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will mark Catholic Schools Week in the Mon-Yough area.
For Serra Catholic High School, five local elementary schools and others across the nation, Catholic Schools Week will focus on “Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
The celebration is organized by the National Catholic Educational Association and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Some events are scheduled beginning this weekend through Feb. 3.
Many of the service events will raise funds for the Pittsburgh diocesan mission in Chimbote, Peru, but on Tuesday seventh- and eighth-graders from St. Agnes School in West Mifflin will bring donations sorted and packed by their classmates to the Duquesne food bank.
The week begins with worship and fellowship:
• Doughnut socials follow weekend Masses at St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall.
Students will participate in all weekend Masses at St. Agnes and serve a pancake breakfast sponsored by the West Mifflin school's parents on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
Mon Yough Catholic School in White Oak will have a special liturgy on Sunday at 11 a.m. in the adjacent St. Angela Merici Church, followed by a coffee and doughnut reception in the school cafeteria.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pleasant Hills celebrates at noon Mass on Sunday, followed by open house from 1-3.
Students and their families will celebrate the opening of Catholic Schools Week at Masses in the parishes that support Queen of Angels School in North Huntingdon Township — Immaculate Conception in Irwin, St. Barbara in Harrison City and St. Agnes and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in North Huntingdon.
The school will host a community Mass to be celebrated on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Queen of Angels auditorium. New family registration and guided tours will follow.
• On Monday at 10 a.m. a Mass in the Serra gymnasium will celebrate Catholic Schools Week and recall the life of the Rev. Kieran Monahan, who served as Serra's headmaster from 1977 to 1985.
The Rev. Kevin Dominick, a 1980 graduate of the Haler Heights high school, will celebrate the Mass in memory of Monahan, 76, who died on Jan. 11 in Boston.
“We welcome all alumni and friends of Serra to join us for this special Mass,” school administrative assistant Sandra Barbieri posted on the Serra website.
Other plans for the week at the high school include a Student Appreciation Day on Tuesday, a “Serra's Got Talent” show on Thursday at 1 p.m. and a dress-down “Serra Spirit Day” on Friday.
Queen of Angels students will participate in special prayer events on Monday. Pre-kindergarten students and their parents will take part in candlelight prayer services at 8:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. in the school chapel, while older students will have a Catholic Schools Week-opening prayer service at 1:30 p.m., after which volunteers will be recognized.
St. Agnes in West Mifflin has a special dress code for each day, including wacky but appropriate clothes on Monday, red, white and blue on Tuesday, sportswear on Wednesday, pajamas and slippers on Thursday and dress-up clothing on Friday.
On Monday, St. Agnes highlights include lunch in the “restaurante octavo grado” and 10-cent carnival games will be offered to raise money for Chimbote.
Mon Yough Catholic students will be in uniform on Monday and Wednesday, jeans on Tuesday and Thursday and school spirit attire and jeans on Friday.
Monday's agenda at the White Oak school includes an assembly with exotic birds at 9 a.m., and the children will bring in items to be taken to in-patient youngsters at Children's Hospital.
St. Elizabeth students will lend a “Helping Hand” on Monday by collecting gloves and mittens for the Cloverleaf Food Pantry. “Crazy socks” can be worn with uniforms and a Scholastic Book Fair will be previewed.
A science fair is set for 6:30 p.m., with visitors welcome to come at 7:45.
St. Therese has spelling bees on Monday at 12:15 and 6 p.m., followed by an art show, science fair and classroom visits from 7-8 p.m.
Tickets will be sold at St. Therese for a “Principal for a Day” raffle through Wednesday, at 25 cents each, five for a dollar and 35 for $5, with proceeds to go to Chimbote.
• On Tuesday at St. Therese it's Junior Achievement day, including presentations by Serra students and volunteers.
St. Elizabeth has Spirit Day, when students can dress down in school blue and gold colors and won't have homework. It's shopping day for Scholastic Book Fair and a Civic Light Opera presentation is slated at 2 p.m.
Queen of Angels has dress rehearsal for its “museum of famous people” and bus drivers will be celebrated. Fourth-graders will present the “museum” on Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.
Queen of Angels pre-K students are inviting their parents to join them for a “Zoom Express Parent Play Date.”
Mon Yough Catholic has homeroom parent craft activities from 1-2 p.m. and a sundae bar. Students will work on crafts for patients at the McKeesport Kane center and Children's Hospital, as well as shut-ins in the eight parishes served by the school.
St. Agnes has a prayer service for all schools and “40 ways we benefit from a Catholic education” displayed on classroom doors.
• Wednesday service projects include the St. Agnes effort at the food bank and donations at Mon Yough Catholic for the White Oak Animal Safe Haven. Mon Yough Catholic will have an appreciation lunch for teachers and pastors of the consortium of churches supporting Mon Yough Catholic at 11:30 a.m.
Queen of Angels has open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., with science projects by those in grades 6-8 displayed in second- and third-floor science labs. A “beach blanket bingo” is slated from 1:45-2:45 p.m.
St. Therese draws a “principal for a day” winner and students can “mix and match” for “clash day” with clothes that are the students' choice as long as they don't match. They still do have to be appropriate for a Catholic school setting.
St. Elizabeth kindergarten through third-grade students are off on Wednesday for parent-teacher conferences.
The Pleasant Hills school's dress code for the day (and for Thursday) is red, white and blue tops with uniform bottoms. A flag-raising ceremony follows the ringing of the church bells at 9 a.m.
Fifth-graders will have a poetry slam and the intermediate department will show a movie. Students in grades 4-8 will make valentines for patients in the Veterans Affairs hospitals.
• Thursday is parent-teacher conference day at St. Elizabeth for parents of fourth- through eighth-graders so it's an off day for them. Pre-school through third-graders have a “special persons lunch” (reservations required) and Scholastic Book Fair. Primary grades will have a movie and students will make thank-you posters for religious orders and the seminary.
It's pajama day at St. Agnes, a board game marathon is slated, and students will write letters to retired priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
At Mon Yough Catholic on Thursday there is bowling during the day at Lokay Lanes for students and faculty and a science fair in the evening.
Queen of Angels has a teacher luncheon in the library provided by homeroom parents and a pajama party from 1-2:30 p.m. Eighth-graders will have a “Zoom/Express Grade 8 Playdate” with the pre-K kids.
St. Therese will mark Grandparents Day with an 8:15 a.m. reception in the cafeteria, classroom visits and a 9:30 a.m. Mass.
• On Friday, Mon Yough Catholic caps its week with a 1:30 p.m. pep rally as well as kickball and dodge ball tournaments. Donations will be taken for heifer.org, in hopes of raising $250 to buy a goat for a Third World family.
St. Therese will celebrate the heritage of its students and have a VIP faculty lunch.
St. Agnes has 8:15 a.m. Mass, teacher appreciation and movies. It's a special guest day and the Mallory Oross Scholarship will be presented.
St. Elizabeth has 9:15 a.m. Mass, a pizza party for kindergartners, winter bingo for intermediates and board games for the middle grades.
Queen of Angels has Student Jeopardy at 12:30 p.m. and a volleyball game between eighth-graders and teachers at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium. It's movie day for 4PK classes.
• On Feb. 1 at St. Agnes the seventh- and eighth-grade play will be performed at 7 p.m.
• On Feb. 3 Civic Light Opera will present “Edison” at Queen of Angels.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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