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From the Interim Superintendent

“Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service” is the theme for Catholic Schools Week 2015 (January 25 – January 31), the annual celebration of the high quality, faith-based education the nation’s Catholic schools provide.  As part of celebrating Catholic Schools Week, many Archdiocese of Washington Catholic elementary schools have participated in a service project to collect coats for those who are in need.  Please read the enclosed article to learn more about this service project and how you can help us achieve our goal to collect 6,000 coats by 2015 Catholic Schools Week.

Each year the Archdiocese of Washington sponsors an essay contest about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest theme is “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” a quote taken from Dr. King’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  The winning essay for 2015, written by Will Harless of Little Flower School in Great Mills, is featured in this edition of The Messenger.  Congratulations to Will and each of the essay contest winners. 

Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese will participate in the National March for Life which will be held on the National Mall on January 22, 2015.  Each year, on the morning of the National March for Life, youth from around the nation attend the Youth Rally and Mass for Life hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington. Please read on to learn more about this gathering of young Catholics who come together to celebrate the gift of life and pray for an end to abortion.

Finally, in the coming weeks our schools will open their doors to provide an opportunity for parents and new students to experience a glimpse of the benefits of a Catholic education.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you for any part you may play in welcoming a new family into your school community.

May God continue to bless you and your loved ones this New Year.

Faithfully in Christ Jesus,

January 2015 Vol. 3 No. 6

Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service - Celebrating Catholic Schools Week
By Wendi M. Williams
Director for School Marketing and Advancement

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 2015 is January 25 - 31. Schools typically observe National Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open house 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. A complete list of Open Houses can be found at adw.org.

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Youth to Celebrate Life on January 22
By Christa Lopiccolo, Executive Director of the Department of Life Issues

Each year, thousands of young people travel from all over the United States to participate in the national March for Life and the Archdiocese of Washington’s Youth Rally & Mass for Life on January 22nd, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in this nation.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Youth Rally & Mass for Life – an event which has grown from a small gathering at the Cathedral of St. Matthew starting in 1995 to over 28,000 participants filling both the Verizon Center and the 25-31, 20154DC Amory.  Many participants over the years have commented that the Youth Rally & Mass for Life is the highlight of their trip to DC, saying it was a transformative faith experience for them, and for some, included the initial stirrings of a calling to the priesthood and/or religious life.

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Taking Action to Change our World
2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

Each year, the Archdiocese of Washington Office of Black Catholics sponsors an essay contest, which is open to eighth grade students who are either Catholic or attend a Catholic school, about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The theme for the 2015 essay contest is “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” a quote taken from Dr. King’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  Students from throughout the archdiocese were invited to submit a personal reflection about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work, to include evidence that supports his or her claims on how Dr. King’s mission reflects our call to be people who seek peace by working for justice.

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Important Dates