Happy Catholic Schools Week. This year’s theme is “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” Our week started on Sunday with our choir singing at St. Pat’s 9 AM Mass and with students sharing reflections at Masses throughout our Deanery. This morning, the Knights of Columbus cooked us a fantastic pancake breakfast followed by a rather loud and energetic morning assembly. Nothing starts a week like syrup-soaked pancakes and 350 screaming kids!
I want to take this opportunity to share a moment from last week with you all. I was in Mrs. Christnacht’s pre-K room where the children were already at four different stations. I sat at a table where the kids were starting to play Bingo to help them learn about shapes. My role was to flip cards, and if the shape on the card was on the kids’ bingo card, they put a marker on it until a line was made, at which point, one of them yelled, “Bingo.” Pretty simple.
As in any game of chance, the cards turned up randomly, which unfortunately, meant that one child kept winning, and the others weren’t too happy. I decided to have them close their eyes and “deal” the cards to better control the outcome. One of the kids yelled, “This is magic. Everyone is winning now.” Another kid called me “the magician” as I called out “blue rectangle” or “orange triangle” right before they opened their eyes.
What became magical for me was how that one experience in the morning helped open my eyes for the rest of the day. I saw a “sleight of hand,” where a part-time librarian helped a struggling Kindergarten student trace the letter Z, and later saw that same student write his letters perfectly. It was a rabbit-out-of-the-hat experience when I walked down what can be a rather dismal stairway to see how an art teacher had turned it into an art gallery. I saw Mrs. Graves make tears disappear in her “Get-Better-Quick Room.” I also saw a smile appear as if it had come out of a sleeve when the 8th grade teachers announced to one student that her essay had been chosen to be delivered at Mass.
With God’s help there is always the potential for something great to happen. Everyday. That’s the magic of faith, and the legacy of Catholic schools.
A Teacher Reflection
Celebrating 125 years of Catholic Education
As we are in the midst of our 125th year and preparing to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the Dominican Sisters who established St. Pats and were the first teachers here. Their order was inspired by Saint Dominic who lived during the 13th century. St. Dominic heard God’s call that he should bring the light of truth to people. He eventually established a religious order to educate people in their faith and the world around them.
The Dominican Sisters who founded Saint Patrick Catholic School followed St. Dominic’s example. They were prayerful women who led by example. They lived simply. They believed that people come to the truth of Christian faith through prayer and education. They humbly served the families and students of our parish and school for over one hundred years.
In their example, we see a clear model of what Catholic education means in 2019. We strive to assist the young in seeking knowledge through education and by encouraging curiosity. We work to guide them in making Christ’s love and compassion present to the world through humble service. With them, we honor God through prayer and participation in the sacraments. In following the tradition of the Dominican Sisters who came before, Saint Patrick Cathoic School continues to build upon their rich history of teaching young people.
Please join us next week as we celebrate the long story of Catholic education at Saint Patrick Catholic School. Be with us as we celebrate the parents and students who ensure that our school continues along its path of seeking knowledge through education, a better world through humble service, and honoring God through prayer. Join us as we celebrate our school community by sharing a breakfast meal, attending our class awards assembly, rooting on our staff and 8th grade in a friendly game or skating an evening away with friends. Be with us as we break bread and thank our Lord for the many blessings he has provided our school over the last 125 years.
It’s clear that we have much to be grateful for. Let’s start with a prayer of thanksgiving for the Dominican women who gave St. Pats its start. Without them, we would not have the legacy of Catholic education that we are able to share in today.
Eighth Grade Teacher
Catholic Schools Week Committee
Schedule of Events & Recaps
Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2019 is January 27 – February 2.
Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.
The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2019 is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.
Monday: ASB Pep Assembly
After a delicious pancake breakfast hosted by the Knights of Columbus Tacoma Council 809 in the Skip Butler Gym, students and faculty gathered for an ASB Assembly featuring Minute-To-Win-It competitions. A student representative from each homeroom was chosen to compete in the game paired with their Assembly Shamrock buddy!
- 8th Grade with PK
- 7th Grade with 2nd & 4th Grades
- 6th Grade with 1st & 3rd Grades
- 5th Grade with Kindergarten
Additionally, there will be trivia games in the mornings during Catholic Schools Week.
Tuesday: Celebrating Families
Families, be sure to stop by the playground in the morning for a warm welcome from our school community!
Wednesday: Academic & Class Awards Assembly
Jody DeGroot and Jennifer O’Loughlin are sisters and they are the guest speakers at the Academic & Class Awards Assembly on Wednesday during the celebration of Catholic Schools Week at Saint Partrick Catholic School. Their children are all Shamrock alums. Mrs. DeGroot and Mrs. O’Loughlin are fruits of Catholic education too. They graduated from Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy and Bellarmine Preparatory School—a Catholic college preparatory school in the Jesuit tradition. They have both taught in Catholic schools and now serve as directors and administrators of Catholic education.
Mrs. DeGroot is the Vice Principal of Formation and Professional Development at Bellarmine Prep— her alma mater and her sister Mrs. O’Loughlin is faculty in the English department and has recently won the National Yearbook Program of Excellence awards along with fellow Yearbook Advisors at Bellarmine. She is the Co-Director of the Junior Encounter and also serves are the Assistant Director of the Learning Resource Center.
Friday: Your Favorite College
Join us for the Staff/8th Grade Volleyball Game in the Skip Butler Gym and wear your favorite college apparel or colors to raise awareness for higher education. Then roll into the evening at Skate Night sponsored by the Saint Patrick Parent Association. Shamrocks skate free. It is a wonderful opportunity to share a glimpse into our warm and compassion school community with friends and family.
Join us in celebrating Catholic Schools Week at Saint Patrick Catholic School!