This week staff and more than 18,000 students from 55 Catholic schools in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will join more than 261,000 students from across NSW and the ACT to celebrate 'Every Child Counts', the theme of Catholic Schools Week 2013 (10 - 16 March).
Parents, grandparents, parishioners and those interested in enrolling their child in a Catholic school for 2014 are invited to join students and teachers and participate in a variety of activities and educational initiatives at their local Catholic school. Schools will offer everything from open classrooms and liturgies to musical performances and picnics.
Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, says Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is a wonderful initiative that raises awareness of the vital role Catholic schools have in our local communities and the unique education they provide.
"Our schools, as well as being places that encourage an understanding and love of English, Maths and Science, have the added responsibility to foster in our students an understanding and love of our faith, knowing that in deepening our relationship with Jesus we are developing the qualities that make our country one that reaches out to all through the building of a just, caring and loving community," Mr Collins said.
614 Catholic schools across NSW and the ACT will participate in CSW this year and the 2013 theme is 'Every Child Counts'. 'Every Child Counts' reminds people that every child in Australia deserves a quality education. In Catholic schools the emphasis on social justice reminds students that children around the world also deserve a good education.
Mr Collins said the theme was especially relevant given that CSW falls so close to Easter this year.
"Lent and Easter focus our attention on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' (Mark 10: 13-16) The uniqueness of each and every child in our Catholic schools is to be celebrated," Mr Collins said.
Each of the diocese's 55 schools will send student and staff representatives to the Catholic Schools Week Mass on Tuesday 12 March at 11.00am at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The CSW Mass is a special occasion with the Cathedral always filled to capacity.
For more information about how the Catholic school in your local area is celebrating or to enrol for 2014, please contact the school directly. Contact details for all schools can be found at www.mn.catholic.edu.au
For more information about Catholic Schools Week visit www.catholicschools.nsw.edu.au