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Events celebrate Catholic schools

Local Catholic schools will join parochial school supporters nationwide Sunday through Jan. 31 as they commemorate Catholic Schools Week.

Established by the National Catholic Education Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the annual event highlights the contributions of Catholic education in the United States. This year's theme is "A Faith-Filled Future."

On the national level, Catholic school students, teachers and parents will meet with key congressional leaders and deliver letters from Catholic school superintendents to every senatorial and congressional office.

Locally, the Diocese of St. Petersburg encourages schools to participate, but each is free to plan its own activities, said Pam Ferguson, a teacher at Holy Family Catholic School.

"Most schools have an open house where the public is invited to observe what goes on in a Catholic school," she said. "Each one usually celebrates a liturgy based on the theme, and some have a parent appreciation day."

Holy Family has traditionally chosen a graduate to receive a distinguished alumni award during Catholic Schools Week, Ferguson said. The school also has a spirit day and an academic bowl.

Transfiguration School's activities will include a schoolwide talent show and a faculty-student volleyball game. At St. Petersburg Catholic High School, students will dress in school colors for spirit day and celebrate a schoolwide liturgy.

Past Catholic Schools Week themes have included "In God We Trust and Teach" and "Catholic Schools Touch the Future."