Maine Catholic Schools Week 2017 (January 29-February 4) celebrates the mission of Catholic Schools: to evangelize students by nourishing faith and encouraging academic excellence while accentuating the importance of community and service in a nurturing environment. During the week, each school holds a variety of fun activities, family gatherings, and service projects. To learn more about the events taking place at Catholic schools in Maine for this year's celebration, scroll through the list below.
St. Michael School, Augusta
Students at St. Michael School in Augusta are engaged in a new hobby in advance of Catholic Schools Week: hunting for aluminum can tabs to assist Ronald McDonald Houses located in Bangor and Portland. Students will pull off aluminum tabs from soda cans, tennis ball containers, and food cans and place them in containers around the school. Maine Metal Recycling in Auburn will weigh the tabs, pay the current rate for aluminum, and send the money to the program. Ronald McDonald Houses provide housing for families who have a child being treated at a local hospital. Since 1983, the Ronald McDonald Houses in Maine have comforted and cared for over 12,000 sick children and their families. In addition to the service projects, exciting schoolwide events are planned for St. Michael during Catholic Schools Week, including a kickoff celebration Mass at St. Mary Church in Augusta on Sunday, January 29, at 9:30 a.m.; clothing theme days like “Dream Job Day” when students will dress as their dream job; grandparents’ day on Tuesday, January 31; an appreciation breakfast for teachers and staff on Friday, February 3; and many other fun activities for the students.
All Saints School, Bangor
Last year, after discovering how a little effort could make a big difference for children in Zimbabwe, students at All Saints School in Bangor decided Catholic Schools Week would be the perfect time to contribute even more. Students at the school will participate in "Dollars for Desks" to raise money for desks and school supplies at the Ngamo Primary School in Zimbabwe. In addition to the service project, many special events highlight the Catholic Schools Week schedule at All Saints, including a joint Mass for both campuses of the school on Wednesday, February 1; an academic fair on Thursday, February 2; a “Games Day” on Friday, February 3; and students at the school will make cards throughout the week to distribute to area senior citizens. Students will also compete in a unique competition for a Kindle Fire.
St. James School, Biddeford
As part of Catholic Schools Week, students at St. James School in Biddeford will complete a service project that fittingly displays gratitude and respect for some of the heroes that have served our nation. On Tuesday, January 31, the school community will show its patriotism by wearing red, white, and blue clothing and, more importantly, bring in donations of t-shirts, boxer shorts, sweatpants, body wash, deodorant, and Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics sports apparel. All of the items collected will be delivered to the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. St. James will kick off their celebration with a Mass and turkey supper at St. Joseph Church in Biddeford on Saturday, January 28, at 4 p.m., and on Monday, January 30, the school will welcome Bishop Robert P. Deeley for a prayer service and "town hall" before he visits students in their classrooms.
St. John's School, Brunswick
During Catholic Schools Week, St. John's "Community of Service" will offer hope to those who seek assistance at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP) in Brunswick. The MCHPP provides food for hundreds of local families through a food bank, food pantry, and soup kitchen. St. John’s students will fill large donation boxes, each labeled with a specific grade, as part of a weeklong competition that will produce two groups of winners: the grade with the largest amount of donations and the recipients of the food collected. In addition to the service project for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, other special events scheduled for St. John’s during Catholic Schools Week include making Valentine’s cards for nursing homes, homebound parishioners at All Saints Parish, and many others.
Saint Dominic Academy, Lewiston/Auburn
All are welcome to join the Saint Dominic Academy community as it kicks off Catholic Schools Week with the school’s first-ever Winter Carnival on Sunday, January 29. The carnival will run from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the academy’s Auburn Campus, located on 121 Gracelawn Road, and will feature exciting indoor and outdoor events like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, an obstacle course, music, campus tours, athletic demonstrations, games, and an indoor movie. The event will also include an ice hockey clinic and free skate at Norway Savings Bank Arena, located on 985 Turner Street in Auburn, from 4:40 p.m. to 6 p.m. The carnival is just the start of a packed schedule at the academy, including a special service project in which students will assemble a variety of items for several community organizations.
St. Brigid School, Portland
Faculty and staff at St. Brigid School in Portland regularly organize schoolwide service projects in the hope that they will become springboards for students to recognize the importance of showing kindness and compassion to those less fortunate. During Catholic Schools Week, the school will take that mission to another level, holding three service projects during a packed schedule of fun activities and special events. Students at St. Brigid will assemble care packages for children who need to be removed from unsafe living situations by the Portland Police Department; prepare snack packs for the Locker Project, a Maine-based organization that aims to ensure food security for all Maine children; and visit area seiniors at a long-term care facility.
Holy Savior School, Rumford
On Friday, February 3, Bishop Deeley will join the Holy Savior students for a day of skiing at Black Mountain Ski Resort in Rumford starting at 9 a.m., providing an opportunity for the bishop to share in one of his favorite winter hobbies with the school community. The students will also collect pet food, pet toys, and money to help animals at McKennel’s Animal Shelter, an organization in Rumford that matches orphaned animals with loving new families. During the week, the students will also participate in a number of fun events, including clothing theme days; a parish breakfast on Sunday, January 29; a waffle breakfast, made and served by the staff for the students, on Tuesday, January 31; card making for veterans on Wednesday, February 1; and a Vocations Day featuring presentations from those in religious life on Thursday, February 2.
St. Thomas School, Sanford
Students at St. Thomas School in Sanford will collect money and school supplies for refugee families being served by Catholic Charities Maine's Refugee and Immigration Services. In addition, the school will collect packages of socks and underwear for all ages to be donated to the York County Shelter Program. The students will also collect food and monetary donations for the Sanford Food Pantry through February 15. Bishop Robert P. Deeley will help kick off the celebration with a special Mass at Holy Family Church, located on 66 North Avenue in Sanford, on Sunday, January 29, at 9 a.m. A reception at St. Thomas School will follow the Mass. A community breakfast and art show at St. Ignatius Gym is set for Sunday, February 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Holy Cross School, South Portland
As part of its celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Holy Cross School will continue its contributions to assist the Ngamo Primary and Secondary Schools in Zimbabwe as Holy Cross students square off in “Penny Wars.” For a week, students in each classroom will place pennies in their classroom jar. Students can then go to other classrooms and deposit silver change and dollar bills which will be subtracted from the total of the other classroom. All proceeds will benefit students in need at Ngamo. Students will also collect donations for the South Portland Boys and Girls Club, Animal Refuge League, and several other community organizations. In addition to the service projects, many special events are scheduled at Holy Cross, including a Mass at Holy Cross Church on Sunday, January 29, at 9:30 a.m.; a visit from a magician; gym games between grades; a student vs. faculty volleyball game; a roller skating field trip; and a trivia competition.
Mount Merici Academy, Waterville
On Wednesday, February 1, Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a schoolwide Mass in the gym at 9:30 a.m. Following the Mass, the bishop will visit each class at the academy to spend time with students and staff. The bishop’s visit is just one of many special events planned for Mount Merici during Catholic Schools Week. The academy will compete with St. Michael School in Augusta in the “Together, We Can” Penny War. Students will collect as many pennies as they can to benefit the Ngamo Primary School in Zimbabwe. An Italian supper in celebration of the Feast Day of Saint Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursuline Order, will be held at the academy on Saturday, January 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
St. John Regional Catholic School, Winslow
During Catholic Schools Week, the students will organize a drive for items in need at the Humane Society in Waterville, an organization that shelters animals until they find permanent homes, educates the community about responsible pet ownership, and advocates for the humane treatment of animals. Students will be collecting food, animal toys, and other items to benefit the shelter. Donations can also be dropped off by community members throughout the week at the school, located on 15 South Garand Street in Winslow. Several special activities are also planned for the week, including the construction of a tree featuring pictures of the students’ family members, symbolizing the many people who support the growth of Catholic education.