Eight years ago, Island Catholic Schools spearheaded an initiative that has strengthened homes, schools and parishes across British Columbia.
The British Columbia Catholic Schools Week was ignited in 2004 to educate the public regarding Catholic education’s value as well as a way to build both community and school spirit.
Today, the Catholic Schools Week sees dozens of schools across BC take the time to reflect on the good things that come from Catholic education opportunities.
Island Catholic Schools Superintendent Joe Colistro told CCSTA when they first pitched the idea, the support for a Catholic Schools Week was unanimous.
“The vision for a common week to celebrate our Catholic schools was supported by each Diocese and became a reality,” he says. “During the months that followed, the development of a Marketing and Liturgy Guide to be used as a resource for schools in preparation for Catholic Schools Week was completed.”
Since that time, Catholic Schools Week has remained a provincial celebration for Catholic schools across the province, as they highlight the many great things happening in Catholic education. This year Catholic Schools Week was held from Feb. 5-11, and the theme was Catholic Schools: iLearn, iBelieve, iPray.
This year’s theme is at the heart of why our schools exist,” explains Mr. Colistro. “The theme which views our schools as Catholic faith learning communities focused on each student’s faith and learning journey, a journey supported by teachers, support staff, parents and the faith community.”
iLearn activities included those that foster learning, such as open houses, science fairs, hoops for hearts as well as writing and journal activities.
iPray activities help to center students, parent and staff on being in God’s presence and included school-wide prayer, school participation at Sunday mass, and Catholic Schools Week liturgies.
iBelieve was fostered through thank you assemblies, appreciation days, speakers at Sunday mass.
From Victoria to Port Albemi, the seven Island Catholic Schools took the time to celebrate themselves in a variety of ways.
Numerous other activities included within parish and school community included pancake breakfasts, Folkfest talent shows and teacher-student competitions.
Mr. Colistro says that overall, it was another successful celebration.
“It was a time to be thankful for the gift of Catholic education, to reflect on our Catholic schools and to focus on this year’s theme iLearn, iBelieve, iPray.”