Catholic Schools Week sends strong message

Pope Benedict XVI has shown how the Catholic Church is approaching the future by maintaining the excellence of its traditions.

Catholic School education is the bulwark of Catholicism in America. The education of Catholic children all over the nation is benefiting from the church looking forward instead of back and from Catholic parents everywhere, who continue to show a great deal of interest in providing their children with a Catholic education.

Catholic education hasn’t just changed – it has changed for the better.

Here in Chelsea, the St. Rose School is led by its amazing principal, Mrs. Maryanne Babineau.

She has become the literal heart and soul of a school whose connection with this community goes back more than 100 years.

According to Mrs. Babineau, the St. Rose School is all about family as well as strong curriculum and structure.

“We have strong academics. This is a very structured and disciplined school,” she said. “The key is that we are all about family here. Everyone knows everyone else and we’re all on a first name basis. There is a good feeling here and family is at its essence,” she said.

Mrs. Babineau said that the faith based part of the education at St. Rose is its pillar.

There are 250 children from all walks of life at the school, which welcomes one and all to come inside and to take a look.

In East Boston, officials of the East Boston Central Catholic (EBCC) School are experiencing a great year.

They pointed to the fact that EBCC is perhaps the most diverse Catholic school in the area, and that the American Dream is alive and well there.

“We have a wonderful group of children from all walks of life who take a great interest in their Catholic heritage,” said the officials.


EBCC recently held their open house and registration in conjunction with Catholic School Week.

The motto at EBCC is “Where faith and knowledge meet.”

The school serves Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8.

In Revere, at the Immaculate Conception School headed by Josephine Felice, there is an abundance of good feeling about the year and about the future, as well.

“Catholic School students get involved. We are a family. Everyone knows your name. We’re small enough so no one falls through the cracks but we’re large enough to make sure they get the academic preparation they need to do well in high school. We’re grounding them in their faith and in the values and beliefs that allow them to make moral decisions when they are adults,” she said

There are currently 240 girls and boys enrolled.

“We reflect Revere more and more. We are totally diverse,” she added.

Her comments were echoed in neighboring Everett.

According to St. Anthony’s Principal Maria Giggi, Catholic school education is getting better all the time.

“Catholic School education is more diverse than ever before. There is more integration. More diversity. In our case, being the only Catholic elementary school in Everett, we are in the forefront and we are attractive to parents and children from the 19 communities we serve.”

“We have 301 students. We’re on the cusp of everything that needs to be done to give these children a good education,” she added.

She said she loves what the school does for its students.

“We maintain and endorse Catholic identity and values in a safer environment. We know everyone on a first name basis. We have the opportunity to do a lot of good – such as raising money for the Haitian people. We are about reaching out. Our students are learning. They don’t have to worry. Everyone here knows they are safe and in a solid learning environment,” she said.

At Pope John there is also great enthusiasm for a Catholic education.

“When you walk through the doors and you come inside here you find an atmosphere of community and family – it is a tremendous place,” said Sylvia Hampton, the director of advancement at Pope John.

“Pope John has a great community feel and it carries on to the school. We have a wonderful faculty. We give individual instruction and care to the kids. I’ve been around in my career. Believe me, this is a fabulous place,” she added.

During this week of celebration, when a critical eye is placed on the various Catholic schools, parents should make plans to explore and measure exactly where their children will be attending school during the 2010-2011 school year.

The vision of Catholic school experience is creating an environment where all students receive a rigorous academic experience in keeping with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

At all schools, teachers and administrators instill the ambition to form leaders who love God, work hard and are compassionate toward others; thus enabling students to develop their intellectual, moral and physical talents to acquire a more perfect sense of individual responsibility, a correct use of freedom and a capacity for productive participation in society.

The core values, simply stated are: preserving a strong Catholic identity by providing a faith based education aiding students to see themselves as stewards of the life they live and promoting the values of community and service.

And the opportunities are abundant.

There are distinguished Catholic Schools in Brighton – Mount St. Joseph Academy, in Boston’s North End-St. John School, in Everett – St. Anthony School and Pope John and in Chelsea – the St. Rose School. In addition, East Boston has a wonderful school – Central Catholic School. In Lynn, there is St. Mary’s and St. Pius.

From January 31 – February 6, it is Catholic School Week.

Explore and enlighten yourself if you are a parent seeking a Catholic School education for your children.

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