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, began Jan. 31 and ends Feb. 6. 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, Charlotte, will kick off the week with a book fair. Other events will include: second-grade and alumni basketball games, a '60s dancing day, a career day where students dress up in their future career wear, open houses for new and current families, Grandparents Day that includes a morning Mass, and a Sweetheart Dance.
* St. John Neumann School, Rochester, will start its celebration with a 9:15 a.m. Mass on Feb. 2. It also will have a book fair from Feb.2-4, an open house at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 and will close with a bowling field trip on Feb. 5.
* St. Joseph School, Penfield, will kick off the week with a book fair. During the week, there also will be inside out day, blue and gold day, mismatched sock day, an ice cream social, a science fair/social studies expo and open house. The week ends with First Friday Mass at 10 a.m. Feb. 5.
* St. Kateri School, Irondequoit, will have a fundraiser at Bill Gray's Sea Breeze location from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 and it also will be St. Kateri Day at Barnes & Noble at Greece Ridge Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb 6. The school also will be taking a trip to Horizon Fun F/X for roller skating Feb 4. Other events include crazy sock day, groundhog day, spirit day, crazy hat day, dress down day, donuts with dad and "Soup-er Bowl" Friday.
* St. Lawrence School, Greece, will have its students serve at three community locations: Shorewinds Nursing Home, the Cottages at Unity and InterVol. Additionally, there will be: roller skating day; a family night with science fair, artist show and book fair; dress like your favorite scientist or artist; crazy hair day; and dress up day where students will "stop, drop and dance."
* St. Louis School, Pittsford, fourth-graders will travel back to colonial times as they celebrate Colonial Day Feb. 5. In addition, the school will have crazy hat day, color day, bus driver appreciation day, an ice cream social and a "Souper Bowl" dress down event. Students will be collecting cans of soup all week for the Pittsford Food Cupboard.
* St. Pius Tenth School, Chili, will once again challenge its students to do acts of kindness as part of the Great Kindness Challenge. They also will be collecting supplies to donate to Catholic Charities. Also, during the week, the school will have kickoff and wrap-up assemblies; a Mass at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 2; mismatch/buddy game day; all tied up in kindness day; and an ice cream social and open house at 7 p.m. Feb. 4. The students also will be participating in Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart to raise money for the American Heart Association on Feb. 5.
* St. Rita School, Webster, will collect canned soup for Foodlink for its Soup-er Bowl on Feb. 5. It also will have a closing prayer service at 8:10 a.m. Feb. 5; slipper day; school spirit day; bowling; buddy class activities; and wacky outfit day. Tours of the school also will be offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 3.
* Seton Catholic School, Brighton, will have its students make "Homebound Happiness gifts" for parishioners from Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Additionally, there will be: Wacky Wednesday silly dress down day; a "Sundae Fun Day," a visit from storyteller Almeta Whitis, Souper Bowl with students dressing up in their favorite team's jerseys and donating canned goods to the Brighton Food Pantry, and a Winter Carnival and closing Mass with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano.
* Siena Catholic Academy, Brighton, will begin and end their week with a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood. This past weekend, students distributed bags throughout the neighborhood with lists of needed items for three charities: Daystar, Mary's Place and Open Door Mission. The students will return to the neighborhood Feb. 6 to pick up the filled bags. Other events include a Living Rosary, bowling night at AMF Lanes in Webster and an eighth-grade students vs. faculty volleyball game.
* St. Francis-St. Stephen School, Geneva, kicked off the week on Jan. 30 with Mass followed by a Family Fun Night complete with games and inflatable bounce houses. Later in the week students will wear silly hats and tie-dyed shirts, read with their buddies and invite their family members and special adults to an ice cream social at the school. Seventh- and eighth-graders will travel to Rochester Feb. 3 for a Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano and students from other Catholic schools, and later in the week students will collect canned goods for the food pantry and hold Olympic-style team competitions.
* St. Joseph School, Auburn, students will be inviting special people in their lives to visit them at school throughout the week, and on Feb. 3 students in the third and fourth grades will welcome guest speakers for Career Day, while students in the fifth through eighth grades will read with their buddies. The next day students in kindergarten through second grade will make cards for local clergy.
* St. Mary School, Canandaigua, also will send its students to Rochester Feb. 3 for Mass with Bishop Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The next day some students will go ice skating, while others watch a movie in the parish hall, and later that evening students' projects will be on display in a science fair. On Feb. 5 students will bring in canned goods for the local food cupboard and dress in the colors of their favorite NFL teams, and that afternoon seventh- and eighth-graders will compete in the school's annual volleyball game.
* St. Michael School, Penn Yan, celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 25-29. They sported funny hats and crazy hairstyles on Jan. 25, followed by crazy socks and slippers the next day. On Jan. 27 they wore clothing representative of their favorite sports teams. The next day they went bowling in the morning and had a beach party in the afternoon, and on Jan. 29 they celebrated Grandparents Day and attended a school Mass.
* All Saints Academy, Corning, is featuring a staff retreat day; "Western Day"; family breakfast and photo booth; thank-you letters to parents; ice cream sundaes; Mass with Bishop Salvatore Matano in Rochester (this event also includes the other Tier schools); service project; International Dinner; "Sports Day"; School Story Time; Teacher Appreciation Lunch; pep rally and cheer contest; "Beach Day"; prayer service; religion bee; Picnic with Friends; and Saint Fest.
* Holy Family School, Elmira, is holding a teacher retreat day; a special Mass that also is open to the public (at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, at St. Mary Southside Church); "Wacky Wednesday" featuring Crazy Sock and Hair Day; Corny Clothes Day; an all-school Read-A-Thon also involving writing activities; ice cream sundaes sponsored by the school's Parent Association; Class Color Day with each grade level wearing a different color; and an all-school photo.
* Immaculate Conception School, Ithaca, is conducting weekend Catholic Schools Week Masses at area churches; pasta dinner; morning prayer gathering for families; open houses; Community Thank You Day; Moving Up Day with students visiting their next grade-level classroom; Throwback Thursday and Remember When, with attire featuring styles of the past; 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, fine arts and cultural enrichment program featuring a Dady Brothers concert open to all (the concert is Monday, Feb. 1 at 12:45 p.m. in St. Agnes Church); Pajama Day; roller skating in the school gymnasium with pizza lunch to follow; potluck dinner in the gym and talent show; and no school on Friday with a sledding party at Mendon Ponds Park and bowling event at Miller Lanes in Honeoye Falls instead.
* St. Mary Our Mother School, Horseheads, has lined up a book fair highlighted by the school's Show Choir and some of its instrumentalists; Birthday-in-a-Bag project by which birthday food items are collected and then donated to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier; open house Feb. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; First Friday Mass with presentation of the Living Rosary to follow; and Trike-A-Thon for prekindergartners to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.