Catholic-school students around the Diocese of Rochester are celebrating Catholic education during a special week dedicated to Catholic schools.
The national Catholic Schools Week event, which is celebrated annually by the National Catholic Educational Association, begins Jan. 29 and ends Feb. 4. This year's theme is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service."
Schools around the 12-county Diocese of Rochester are marking the event with such special activities as book fairs, dances, ice cream socials, bowling, family fun nights and service projects.
Here are the ways local Catholic schools are celebrating Catholic Schools Week:
* Holy Cross School, Rochester, will kick off the week with a book fair. Other events will include second-grade and alumni basketball games, a career day where students dress up in their future career wear, Grandparents Day that includes a morning Mass, and a Sweetheart Dance.
* St. John Neumann School, Rochester, will start its celebration with a book fair. It will an open house at 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 31, a field trip to the Strong Museum on Feb. 1, a school Mass and a visit from the Rochester Amerks moose on Feb. 2 and will close with a fencing demonstration by Olympian Iris Zimmerman on Feb. 3.
* St. Joseph School, Penfield, will kick off the week with a book fair. During the week, there will be a class color themed day, a "Souper" Bowl Day, a bowling event, a science fair and open house. The week ends with First Friday Mass at 10 a.m. Feb. 3.
* St. Kateri School, Irondequoit, will have a fundraiser at Bill Gray's Sea Breeze location from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan 31 and it also will be St. Kateri Day at Barnes & Noble at Greece Ridge Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 4. The school will also have spirit day, dress down day, donuts with dad and "Soup-er Bowl" Friday.
* St. Lawrence School, Greece, will have its students volunteer at local nursing homes, community centers and humanitarian aid facilities during the week. Additionally, there will be crazy hair day, family night open house, artist show, science fair and book fair.
* St. Louis School, Pittsford, will kick off the week with Mass at 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 30. In addition, the school will have crazy hat day, mismatched day, color day, an ice cream social and a "Souper Bowl" dress down event. Students will be collecting canned food all week for the Pittsford Food Cupboard. Students will also deliver homemade baked goods to bus drivers for bus driver appreciation day Feb. 2.
* St. Pius Tenth School, Chili, will kick off the week with a grandparent and special older friend sing-a-long Jan. 30. They also will have buddy game day; an open house/ice cream social on Feb. 2; schoolwide relay races and assembly Feb. 3.
* St. Rita School, Webster, will kick off the week with a prayer service at 8:10 a.m. on Jan. 30. In addition, the school will have slipper day, wacky outfit day and buddy class activities. The school will collect canned soup for Webster Food Cupboard for its Soup-er Bowl on Feb. 3.
* Seton Catholic School, Brighton, will begin the week by making valentines for the homebound. In addition, the school will have Wacky Wednesday Feb 1. with a morning dance party with radio station 98 PXY's Debbins and open house for children and families; a science fair, teacher swap, ice cream sundaes Feb. 2 and "Seton Cinema" on Feb. 3. The school will conclude the week with Winter Carnival Feb. 4.
* Siena Catholic Academy, Brighton, will have a bowling night at AMF Lanes in Webster Feb. 2 and First Friday Mass on Feb. 3.
* St. Francis-St. Stephen School, Geneva, will kick off the week on Jan. 28 with Mass followed by a Family Fun Night - Jump for Joy event complete with games and inflatable bounce houses. Later in the week, students will dress up as their favorite book character and invite their family members and special adults to an ice cream social at the school. Eighth-grade students will get to be teacher for a day Jan. 31 and third- and fourth-graders will travel to Rochester Feb. 1 for a Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano and students from other Catholic schools. Students will also have "Souper" Bowl Day and Movie Day and will conclude the week with Mass, followed by bingo.
* St. Joseph School, Auburn, will kick off Catholic Schools Week by bringing donations of items to the Pregnancy Care Center Jan. 30. Students will also be inviting special people in their lives to visit them as school throughout the week. On Feb. 1, students will be writing letters to men and women in military service. A Catholic Schools Week Mass with Tyburn Academy will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at St. Alphonsus Church. St. Joseph School will hold its annual fundraiser “Flavors of the Fingerlakes” from 6 - 10 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Polish Falcons.
* St. Mary School, Canandaigua, will open Catholic Schools Week with a prayer service Jan. 30 and open house Jan. 31. The school also will send its students to Rochester Feb. 1 for Mass with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The next day some students will go ice skating, while others watch a match in the parish hall. On Feb. 4 seventh- and eighth-graders will compete in the school's annual volleyball game.
* St. Michael School, Penn Yan, will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with funny hats and crazy hairstyles on Jan. 30, followed by crazy socks and slippers the next day. On Feb. 1, they will have a beach party and the next day, they will wear clothing representative of their favorite sports team, as well as go bowling in the morning. On Feb. 3, they will celebrate Grandparents Day and attend a school Mass.
* All Saints Academy, Corning, is featuring a staff retreat day on Jan. 30, meaning no school for students. The school will continue Catholic School Week festivities with pancakes for parents and school Mass Jan. 31 and International Dinner Feb. 1.
* Holy Family School, Elmira, is also having a staff retreat day on Jan. 30, meaning no school for students. The school will start Catholic Schools Week with a special Mass that is also open to the public (at 9 a.m. Tyesday, Jan. 31 at St. Mary Southside Church); Disney Day and Movie Character Day; Hawaiian/Beach Day and Class Color Day. Fifth- and sixth-grade students will visit Notre Dame High School Feb. 2 for a special musical performance by the Jazz Band, Symphonic Band and Chorus. Sixth grade students will also travel to Rochester Feb. 1 for Mass with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
* Immaculate Conception School, Ithaca, is conducting weekend Catholic School Week Masses at area churches, a pasta dinner Saturday, Jan. 28; school Mass Jan 30.; Moving Up Day with students visiting their next grade-level classroom; Schoolwide Fun Day, with favorite sports-team gear worn; and a roller-skating party for all ages.
* St. Agnes School, Avon, is conducting a prayer service, Pajama Day, roller skating in the school gymnasium; potluck dinner in the gym and talent show; and no school on Friday with a skiing and snowboarding at Swain Ski Resort and bowling event at Miller Lanes in Honeoye Falls instead.
* St. Mary Our Mother School, Horseheads, will kick off the week with students wearing their uniforms and distributing prayer cards to parishioners after weekend Masses. Additional activities include Birthday-in-a-Bag project which birthday food items are collected and then donated to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier; spaghetti luncheon and school-wide movie; open house and art show Feb. 1; First Friday Mass Feb. 3; muffins for mom and donuts for dad; and Trike-A-Thon for prekindergartners to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.