St. Joe’s marks Catholic Schools Week with a knowledge challenge

Students at St. Joseph School started Catholic Schools Week a little late this year.

Because there was no school locally Monday and Tuesday, Catholic Schools Week – Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 – falls in a shortened week.

In honor of the event, the Mayor of the City of Warren read a proclamation to students and staff at St. Joseph following student Mass on Wednesday.

“Every year, the City of Warren honors our school and our church by issuing a proclamation,” the Rev. Fr. Richard Toohey said. “We are honored by their doing so.”

Mayor Maurice Cashman read that proclamation which recognized “the important role that Catholic elementary and secondary schools… play in providing an education for America’s young people… children are our greatest and most important asset… and this is a time to honor those who strive to provide a strong future for our children…”

Fifth graders Ian Darling and Kennedy Ford opened the Catholic Schools Week banner with Cashman and Principal Dr. Howard Ferguson.

Ferguson said the school calendar put some constraints on the week’s events.

“We would have preferred to have a full week,” he said. “We still feel that we’ll be able to a thorough job of stressing community and service and faith.”

“The children look forward to Catholic Schools Week,” Ferguson said. “We always have events associated with it.”

Some of those events are strictly fun.

The students celebrated Thursday with crazy sock day and an “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” contest among Ferguson, Toohey, and the Rev. Fr. James Gutting of Holy Redeemer.

“The kids really enjoy generating the questions,” Ferguson said.

On Friday, students are encouraged to bring soup for donation as an entry to win a pizza lunch with Ferguson and Toohey. Also, they may join in Jump Rope for Heart, an American Heart Association fund-raiser. Students and staff will celebrate with a party with EJ the DJ to end the week.

“While we try to do things the children really enjoy, we are also very interested in maintaining the underlying theme,” Ferguson said.

The theme of the week is “communities of faith, knowledge and service.”

Ferguson defined community for the students as a group of “like-minded” people “trying to move in the same direction and committed to one another.”

The students were encouraged to be kind, just, and merciful.

“Let the seed of God’s word grow in our hearts,” Toohey said.