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Originally posted on www.anchornews.org

FALL RIVER — Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States, which is now in its 50th anniversary year. This year’s theme of, “Catholic Schools United in Faith and Community,” will be front and center during the week of January 28 — February 3, 2024. The Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools will join thousands of Catholic schools across the country by inviting their local communities to experience the richness of  Catholic education through open houses, school Masses, tours,  myriad of other traditions reserved for this time of year.

While the topic of education remains prominent in the media and online, Catholic school enrollment. The Catholic schools of the Diocese of Fall River continue to welcome many new families who are committed to providing their children with an educational environment where they are known, valued and loved as a children of God. Today’s students are bombarded with messages that can have a huge impact on them. Catholic schools are in the unique position to tend to students’ social-emotional health by introducing faith in their quest for personal identity, the meaning of life and other questions related to how they fit into their community.

Haley Rogers, principal of St. Francis Xavier School in Acushnet, indicated, “It is such a blessing to lead a Catholic school because you get to walk with families in times of great joy and in times of great difficulty. Our Catholic schools are not premier private schools; rather, we are faith-based schools which means we put Jesus Christ and His teachings first and foremost before anything we do. We are not here just for academic development or social interactions; we are here because we want the entire child to thrive.”

”Catholic Schools Week is the perfect time for families to learn more about Catholic education and its unsurpassable value to our country for more than 200 years,” indicates Daniel S. Roy, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Fall River. “Our Catholic school leaders, educators, and staff members embrace a mission that endures with a new relevance in our time. Parents are the primary educators of their children. Our schools take seriously the responsibility of partnering with families in the overall formation of their child. I welcome every family to consider contacting one or more of our Catholic schools to truly experience the difference of Catholic education.”

Moreover, the mission of Catholic schools is to naturally foster each child’s God-given talent; thus, the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Schools
Office has made it a priority to ensure Catholic schools can accept students with an array of learning differences. Many families find that their local public school system does not align with the values they prioritize, or they believe their children would benefit from a smaller environment that naturally integrates morality and character development. This is what makes a Catholic education unique and completely different than public and charter educational systems.

Finally, affordability is always a concern for many new families. Christina Duggan, Vice President of Operations for the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, indicated, “Each of our elementary schools encourage families to apply to the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) which helps reduce the cost of tuition by providing scholarships. For this school year, more than 1000 students have received a needs-based award, which in many cases has reduced tuition by more than 30 percent, and for many schools, this can result in a monthly tuition payment of $300 or less. Awards are determined by a family’s financial circumstances at the time of application. FACE scholarships help reduce the tuition cost and, in the end, families realize that a Catholic
education is well worth the investment. Families are encouraged to complete their applications via FACTS by the deadline of March 29, 2024 for the best chance of receiving an award as funds are limited.”

Catholic schools are still valued and necessary in today’s educational landscape. Whether a family’s interest in Catholic education is for the virtue taught daily, or the academic preparation and study skills, the Diocese of Fall River Catholic schools are in a unique position to provide an education where students can, in accordance with the motto for the Diocese’s Catholic schools, ‘flourish with faith, family and fundamentals.’

For more information about the Fall River Catholic Schools or to view principal videos, please go to www.catholicschoolsalliance.org/catholic-schools-week-2024.

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