Being thankful for a Catholic education

Gina Capellazzi/Catholic Courier    |    01.28.2020
Category: Our Two Cents


Five-year-old Gina Capellazzi is pictured in a March 29, 1990, photo published in the Catholic Courier in 1990. The photo was taken during an event at St. Helen School in Gates.

It’s a big week for the diocese’s Catholic schools. It’s Catholic Schools Week, a celebration of Catholic education throughout the U.S. The schools in our diocese have a bunch of activities planned, from roller skating and mini-golf, to service projects, to school Masses and prayer services.

As I prepare to cover the diocesan Catholic Schools Week Mass with Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, I can’t help but think about Catholic Schools Week when I was a student at the former St. Helen School in Gates. While I don’t remember the specific days of the week, like crazy hat day or pajama day, I do remember celebrating Mass as a school, the ice cream socials and open houses. It was just a week of fun with my school community.

I didn’t know then just how important Catholic Schools Week was. Today, people are moving away from Catholic education and are seeking other educational systems, such as homeschooling, public schools, charter schools, etc. At one point in its history, the Diocese of Rochester had close to 100 schools. Today, there are only 18. It is sad to hear about Catholic schools closing, and I didn’t think that less than 10 years after I graduated sixth grade that mine, too, would close.

My Catholic education was important in my life. It is not only where I began my faith journey, but my Catholic education also shaped me into the person I am today. So while this is a week for the kids to have some fun (and dress out of their school uniforms, always a highlight!), this week is a chance to give thanks for the opportunity to receive a quality education rooted in the teachings of the church. I know I’m thankful for my Catholic education.

Capellazzi is new media coordinator for the Catholic Courier.

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