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From the Interim Superintendent

Each Catholic school in the archdiocese has its own unique and special traditions as it prepares for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.  Students will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as part of their Lenten journey.  The archdiocese makes receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation that much easier during Lent by offering more opportunities to families and individuals to benefit from the sacrament.  The enclosed article, The Light is On for You, offers information and advice on how to help make reconciliation a part of ordinary family life.

Catholic school educators in the Archdiocese of Washington are required to complete at least 65 hours of professional development each school year.  As part of our commitment to Academic Excellence, the Catholic Schools Office provides a number of opportunities throughout the school year for teachers to receive quality professional development which is focused on improving curriculum delivery in the classroom.  The enclosed article, Creating Life-Long Learners, shares information on how Catholic school educators engage students in the classroom, creating a vibrant and successful learning environment.

May God continue to bless you and your family during this Lenten season.  Please know how grateful I am to you for your continued support of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Sincerely in Christ,

March 2015 Vol. 3 No. 8

The Light is On for You
By Dr. Susan Timoney, Assistant Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns

A Jewish psychiatrist once remarked that he was mystified by some Catholic’s hang-ups about Confession. He said, people pay him hundreds of dollars in hopes that he can do what (people of faith believe) only God can do—forgive them their sins! His comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the truth is that un-reconciled issues stay with us and sometimes keep up from being the person we want to be. Though we teach our kids that seeking forgiveness and being forgiven are a regular part of life, as adults it seems to be so much harder and more complicated.

Indeed, our sins are probably bigger and more complicated.  We may even feel that some sins are beyond God’s forgiveness. That is really selling God short! That kind of reasoning comes from thinking that God is more like us than like God! A couple weeks ago Pope Francis tweeted: “There is no sin that God cannot pardon. All we need to do is ask for forgiveness.”

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Creating Life Long Learners
By Laura Roland, Director for Curriculum

Imagine the scene – a room full of students eagerly anticipating a lesson that has been prepared especially for them.  In walks the teacher with their arms loaded with eye-catching items – markers, chart paper, crayons, Legos, popcorn, beads, string, colored pencils, IPADs – everything students love to use to help them engage in their learning. 

Sounds like a dream come true for students, parents and principals right?  In this case yes but not for the reasons you might think.  In this case students, parents and principals are excited because it is the classroom teacher who is participating in the lesson, not giving the lesson.  

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Spring is in The Air – Attend a High School Fair
By Wendi Williams, Director for Marketing and Advancement

Choosing a Catholic high school is one of the most important decisions in a young person’s life.  The Archdiocese of Washington includes twenty excellent Catholic high schools that emphasize strong academics, faith, values and service while enriching students through athletics, art, music and cultural activities.  The Catholic High School Fairs offer an opportunity for students and their parents to find the Catholic high school that is just the right fit.

Especially designed for rising 7th and 8th grade students, each spring, the Archdiocese of Washington hosts High School Fairs which feature exhibits from all twenty Catholic high schools.  These informative events will help future high school students learn more about high school options and the admissions process.

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