Events planned at St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Both St. Elizabeth and St. Joseph's Catholic Schools are celebrating national Catholic Schools Week this week.

Their observance is part of the annual nationwide celebration of Catholic schools and their contribution to their communities and their country.

Selina Garcia, St. Elizabeth Catholic School's principal, said her campus has several activities planned for this week.

"National Catholic School Week is the time each year that we honor our school's excellence and highlight its mission and traditions," she said. "We take this time to reflect on the high-quality, faith-focused, values-added education that we offer and to remind our entire community of the vital contribution we make to education."

A multicultural food fair, a Muffins with Mom morning and a Donuts with Dad morning are among some of the activities St. Elizabeth School plans for its celebration of Catholic Schools week.

The multicultural food fair will take place starting at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Muffins with Mom will be at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, with Donuts with Dad beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m.

This year's theme is "Catholic Schools: Good News in Education." The logo for the week features an open book, symbolizing both the Bible and knowledge. School officials say it is a reminder that Catholic schools not only teach academics, they also provide students with a Christ-centered, religious foundation.

With each class at St. Elizabeth's presenting a different food, representing the people and culture of a particular country, the students have spent several weeks not only learning about food and cultures in preparation of the three-day fair, they have also learned the importance of respecting others, an important life lesson.

Students at St. Joseph Catholic School will participate in a Jump Rope for Heart at the school's basketball court on Wednesday, along with a musical recital that evening starting at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, the students will hold a Rosary Relay, to pray for vocations and they will write thank-you notes to all the teachers who have helped them in their educational and spiritual formation. On Friday, a Mass will be held for St. Joseph staff and students, blessing the candles in the church and an appreciation breakfast will be hosted by the PTO as part of Teacher Appreciation Day at the school. There will also be a teacher's lunch, compliments of Rushing and Gonzalez Pharmacy, followed by a staff retreat for the teachers.

The students sent their day Monday making cards for nursing home residents and soldiers.

"Many of you, like us at St. Joseph Catholic School, see the wonderful reality of Catholic education every day at our school. It's in the integrity of our teachers, staff, administrators, advisory members, PTO and everyone else involved in running St. Joseph's Catholic School," St. Joseph principal Mary Sandoval said. "It's evident in the hard work and accomplishment of our students who, day by day, are learning and growing in the Lord and gaining a value-filled education. It is in the commitment of our parents, guardians and volunteers who give selflessly of their time and talents to help make our school excellent."