PORTLAND---Catholic schools across Maine will celebrate their students, families, faculty, and alumni during New England Catholic Schools Week (November 4-11), an event designed to honor the past, shine a light on the present, and look forward to a promising future for Catholic education.
The theme of the week is “Celebrating the Beauty of Every Child” with daily themes focused on leadership, academics, service, friendship, confidence, and alumni.
Here is a summary of what is planned for the week at Maine Catholic schools:
All Saints Catholic School, Bangor
All Saints Catholic School will hold its first annual alumni reception for All Saints and all of its predecessor schools on Saturday, November 3, at 5 p.m. The reception, a celebration of 153 years of Catholic education in Bangor, will follow the 4 p.m. Mass at St. John Church. On Monday, November 5, a curriculum fair featuring the school’s academic program is set for the school’s St. Mary’s Campus on Ohio Street (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and St. John’s Campus on State Street (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.). An evening Harvest Fair is planned for Wednesday, November 7, and parents will dine with their students on Thursday, November 8. On Friday, November 9, a staff luncheon will be held in the St. Mary’s Church hall. Throughout the week, the school will also hold a food drive for the Bangor Ecumenical Food Cupboard, an organization that has been serving the hungry in the city since 1975. For information on how to help with the food drive, call the school at (207) 947-7063.
Holy Cross School, South Portland
Holy Cross School will kick off its week of activities by welcoming Bishop Robert P. Deeley on Sunday, November 4. The bishop will celebrate a special Mass at Holy Cross Church at 9:30 a.m. A pancake breakfast will follow the Mass in the cafeteria of the school. All are welcome. Grandparents and Special Persons Day will be held on Thursday, November 8. The event will include a prayer service and a cider and doughnut social. Throughout the week, the school will be collecting donations for the South Portland Food Cupboard, which provides food to people in need in South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, and surrounding communities. The organization is a regular recipient of the kindness of the Holy Cross community, and even draws assistance directly from students who serve as “personal shoppers” for people in need at the cupboard. To help out with a donation to the collection, call the school at (207) 799-6661.
St. Brigid School, Portland
Students from St. Brigid will participate in various roles at weekend Masses at both St. Pius X Church and St. Joseph Church in Portland. A schoolwide Mass will be held at 8 a.m. at St. Joseph on Monday, November 5, at 8 a.m. The week will feature a number of special activities, including dress up days, Catholic-themed games and competitions, an Election Day event where students will be invited to vote on different school issues, a staff appreciation day, and clothing theme days. Throughout the week, the students in each class will participate in a penny collection competition with the students deciding which charity will benefit on Election Day. In addition, student donations will be gathered on Tuesday, November 6, to provide and create care packages for Operation Shoebox, an organization that delivers care packages to troops deployed overseas and those returning home. The students will also make personal thank you cards for family and community members who currently serve or who are veterans. To learn how you can donate to the care packages, call the school at (207) 797-7073.
Saint Dominic Academy, Auburn/Lewiston
Over 1,500 people are expected to attend Saint Dominic Academy’s 13th annual Holiday Festival at the school’s Auburn campus on Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event boasts over 75 vendors and crafters selling a variety of handmade and commercial items such as wooden crafts, clothes, art, toys, jewelry, home décor, and personal care items. There will also be a raffle area, food and refreshments, games, face painting, a visit from Santa, and more. All are welcome. Many of the students will be engaged in a research project on the saints next week, including the interviews of people in their lives that they consider saints. At the school’s Lewiston campus, the theme of “Catholic Schools are Enchanting” is on full display as the art classes have built an enchanted forest. Other highlights include a weeklong book fair, a grandparents’ day, and a visit from Bishop Deeley on Wednesday, November 7, at 9 a.m. The academy will also host service projects, including a coin race to support St. Martin de Porres homeless shelter. Led by Brother Irénée Richard, O.P., St. Martin de Porres Residence in Lewiston assists local men and women by providing a safe and clean place to stay while residents transition to new housing, employment, and direction. For more information about the week at Saint Dominic Academy, call the school at (207) 792-6911.
St. James School, Biddeford
St. James School will host the Trot for Catholic Education 5K and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, November 3. The 5K run/walk will begin at 9 a.m. with the Kids’ Fun Run (ages 10 and under) at 10 a.m. Proceeds will keep tuition costs at the school affordable for families who wish to send their children to St. James. On Monday, November 5, the school will welcome Bishop Deeley for a special visit that will include a “town hall” question and answer session, a prayer service, stops in each classroom, and a luncheon with staff. The school will host an Open House on Tuesday, November 6. On Friday, November 9, St. James will host a “Casual for a Cause” food collection for Good Shepherd Parish in Saco to assist the parish in assembling Thanksgiving baskets for individuals and families in need. In the “Casual for a Cause” initiative, the student council chooses a worthy charity to which to donate each month. If a student donates to the cause, they are allowed to dress casually on the second Friday of each month. To donate to the “Casual for a Cause” Thanksgiving collection, call the school at (207) 282-4084.
St. John’s Catholic School, Brunswick
St. John’s has planned a career day (November 6) for the students to dress as their “future career” and hear from a variety of community leaders and representatives from different occupations, a vocations day featuring trivia with the priests (November 7), a family day to celebrate the wonderful, tight-knit school community (November 9), and other special activities. Perhaps the most inspiriting will come on Monday, November 5, when Christy Gardner will speak at a schoolwide assembly in the St. John the Baptist Church hall at 8:30 a.m. The Lewiston native, who was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Police, suffered an injury in 2006 that led to a skull fracture and the amputation of both legs. She overcame numerous challenges to become a member of the U.S. women’s national sled hockey team. In addition, the school will host a non-perishable food collection competition to benefit the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP), which offers nine different programs to help feed those in need in the Brunswick area. To make a donation to the food collection, call the school at (207) 725-5507. The MCHPP is in particular need of pasta, peanut butter, canned goods, healthy cereal, rice, baked beans, and personal hygiene products.
St. John Regional Catholic School, Winslow
St. John Regional Catholic School will host a variety of fun activities like a movie day, alumni visits, clothing theme days, a schoolwide dinner for St. John families, and a staff appreciation day. The school will also offer tours to prospective families. In addition, each day will have a daily “prayer theme” including prayers for the community, the staff, vocations, the students, the nation, and families. Throughout the week, the school will also take part in service activities, collecting canned goods for the local food pantry and socks for a local homeless shelter. On Monday, November 5, the students will create personalized cards for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Waterville to show their appreciation for their many contributions to the area.
St. Michael School, Augusta
Students at St. Michael will celebrate America on Election Day (Tuesday, November 6) by wearing patriotic gear and any combination of red, white, and blue. First through fifth graders will go on a bowling field trip this day, with the sixth to eighth graders going bowling on Thursday, November 8. On November 9, the pre-k and kindergartners will take a special trip to the Children’s Discovery Museum. The Christmas Craft Fair will be held at the school on Saturday, November 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature children’s crafts, vendors, gifts, treats, raffles, and more. St. Michael students also participated in the United Way’s Day of Caring last week. The school plans to do most of its in-house activities during the National Catholic Schools Week on January 27-February 1, 2019.
St. Thomas School, Sanford
St. Thomas School will host a community breakfast at St. Ignatius Gym on Sunday, November 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. On Monday, November 5, a prayer service will be held at the school at 9:30 a.m. Following the prayer service, the students will work on their projects for the St. Thomas yearly theme: “Walking with Jesus, Telling Our Stories.” The week will also feature a health fair, a geography bee, a science experience day, a fun run, and a family Thanksgiving meal. Throughout the week, the students at St. Thomas will also be making cards for veterans at the Veterans’ Home in Scarborough and for veterans living at local nursing homes in the Sanford/Springvale area.