Catholic schools to be celebrated

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NATCHEZ — On Monday morning, Cathedral School’s students filled the pews of St. Mary Basilica to celebrate a special Mass with Bishop Joseph Latino.

The Mass was the local manifestation of the beginning of Catholic Schools Week.

And this week, as Cathedral and Holy Family celebrate, they’ll be doing so in conjunction with Catholic schools across the country.

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The Rev. David O’Connor, pastor of St. Mary, said the theme of this year’s week-long celebration is a simple one — service.

O’Connor said he felt teaching students to serve their community was as important as the education the students receive.

“We want them to know the importance of service,” O’Connor said. “We want them to get more than just an education.”

And in their ongoing practice of service Cathedral’s students can be seen working across the city, O’Connor said.

O’Connor said the school has played critical rolls in hosting food drives, working at the Stewpot and even playing a part in weekly Masses.

And the area’s other Catholic school, Holy Family, isn’t wasting any time educating its students on the importance of community service either.

Sister Bernadette McNamara, director of Holy Family, said teachers at the school are educating the 2 -through 5-year-olds on the need for their service.

“We want them to be able to contribute too,” she said.

McNamara was quick to point out that the service isn’t just something that the area’s Catholic school students should be doing.

McNamara said most of Holy Family’s students are not Catholic and that students around the city should have a focus on community service.

But the week-long celebration isn’t all about work.

While Cathedral’s students were at Mass, Holy Family students went on a parade around town — and that’s only the beginning of the week.

Both schools will continue to celebrate the week with special activities.

Students at Holy Family will have parents’ day and a reading day later in the week.

And at Cathedral, students will have an opportunity to hear from speakers at the school’s harmony day.