National Catholic Schools Week will be held Jan. 26-Feb. 1., starting the last Sunday in January and running all week. Schools typically observe the week with Masses, assemblies and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members to celebrate and congratulate. Mark CSW your own and share your ideas with other schools using #CSW1920. To learn more about Catholic Schools Week, please visit ncea.org.
Letter from Archdiocese
…Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) Recognizing parents as the first teachers of their children, the Office of Catholic Schools is grateful for the opportunity to serve over 22,000 young people in Catholic schools across central and southern Indiana. It is through this ministry of education and formation that our outstanding school leaders, teachers and staff members help students come to know, love and serve God more fully.
In today’s world, success is defined in various ways. Some base success on annual gross income; others on overall material wealth; and still others on job title or ranking within an organization. Rather, as Catholics, we know that God will not measure our success on worldly treasures. What ultimately matters is the extent to which we love and serve God by loving and serving others.
Our Catholic schools prepare students through rigorous academics, diverse experiences, prayerful discernment and service opportunities so that they are ready not only for post-secondary learning and healthy career paths, but also for heaven. Catholic schools serve young people and families through holistic, engaging and academically excellent programming that integrates faith, culture and life.
Whether you are entering one of our nationally recognized Blue Ribbon Schools, admiring the incredible service performed by our youth, or noting the impressive ways in which young people use their gifts of art, music, intellect, or athleticism, you are sure to find children and teens living their faith in ways that honor and glorify God. To learn more about the Catholic schools in your area, please visit oce.archindy.org or set up an appointment to tour a school near you!
Ours will be an archdiocese where every Catholic school community flourishes by having the professional and spiritual leadership it needs to advance the mission of the church and where every professional is supported, every family is engaged and every child, regardless of race, culture, socio-economic condition, or learning need, is nurtured in mind, body and spirit.
With open doors, open arms and open hearts, the Office of Catholic Schools supports the formation of young people through holistic, engaging and academically excellent programming that integrates faith, culture and life as modeled by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our shared values
- We believe that Catholic schools serve as a vital ministry of the greater church.
- We believe that Catholic schools should be accessible and affordable.
- We believe that the viability and vitality of Catholic schools are the responsibility of all the faithful.
- We believe in shared leadership with pastors, school leaders and commissions/boards under the direction of the archbishop and guidance of church teachings.
- We believe in fostering positive relationships that exemplify the love of God.
- We believe that Catholic school communities are enriched by the unique image and likeness of God that is present in each individual.
- We believe that formation best occurs within faith-filled cultures of learning that are inclusive.
- We believe that parents are the primary educators of each young person and that it is the
responsibility of Catholic schools to support the domestic church.
- We believe that Catholic schools are part of the evangelizing mission of the church, forming disciples through the intentional integration of faith, culture and life.
- We believe that “excellence” is defined by and achieved through the growth and holistic development – spiritual, intellectual/academic, social, emotional and physical – of the individual within the context of community.
- We believe that professional educators in Catholic schools are valued ministers of the faith who strive to live the universal call to holiness.
Gina Kuntz Fleming
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Central Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
Hello from Central Catholic!
As our school year began, the Central Catholic teachers and staff rallied around our 2019-2020 theme of “Time,” and I am amazed in reflecting on all we have built over the past six months. Truly, everywhere you look at Central Catholic, there are signs of tremendous growth, including academic growth and achievement by our students, an increase in student enrollment, growing opportunities and percentages of participation in extracurricular activities and partnerships with the University of Indianapolis and RightFit, our aftercare partnership. The RightFit program is a three-day-a-week program that provides a nutritious dinner for students and physical fitness stations led by local law enforcement and other community leaders.
Students have a variety of opportunities to be involved in extracurriculars, including chess club, Spell Bowl, youth choir, band, Quest for Excellence, service learning, Mass servers and intramural basketball and soccer. We also offer CYO sports, including cross country, football, kickball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball, wrestling, soccer and track and field. This year we have trained over 50 students to be altar servers for their local churches and more than 90 students are involved in at least one extracurricular activity. Our middle school students have already completed more than 200 hours of community service.
Due to the generosity of our alumni association and community members, we were able to erect a new scoreboard last spring and dedicate our athletic fields to Dr. Jack and Bernie Price. Price Field hosts both fall football and spring soccer matches. This spring, in cooperation with the Bean Creek Neighborhood Association and South Indy Quality of Life plan, we will be breaking ground on a community garden here on campus.
At Central Catholic, we believe there is strength in unity, and we are grateful for the support of our parents, alumni and friends of Central Catholic. Our students are on the path to college and heaven, and we are truly standing on the shoulders of giants! We are proud to serve the parishes of Good Shepherd, Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart and St. Patrick, and are happy to offer an affordable Catholic education that is open to all students from four years old to the eighth grade.
Enrollment for new families begins on Monday, Jan. 27. Spaces fill up fast, so come on in and see for yourself why Central Catholic is the “Star of the Southside,” and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for all things Central Catholic!
Central Catholic School
What do you like about school? There are a lot of things to like about your school. What I like about my school is that in my classroom there are these fluffy carpets and pillows that are soft. We can get on them when we read or are on Chromebooks.
What I also like about school is that you get to see your friends; if you have any relatives at school you could see them. School is a great way to meet new people. We interact with someone in class when there are projects or when we work together on something we are assigned to do. Doing projects with others helps build your confidence. We go to church every Wednesday.
Here at CCS we have ELA, math, social studies, art, religion, science, music and P.E. You could also play an instrument here at CCS.
Some of the best meals here are chicken and waffles, chicken and mashed potatoes, ravioli, hamburger with fries and more.
What is your favorite sport? Mine is kickball. Here at Central Catholic School you can play sports such as kickball, volleyball, basketball, football, track and much more. We go against other schools such as St. Jude, St. Roch, St. Mark, Little Flower and a lot more. Come see what sport you are good at.
In the end, Central Catholic is the best thing in my life and has taught me many things.
What I love about my Catholic school is going to P.E. and going to my church.
What I love about my Catholic school is going to P.E. I like to run in P.E. I like going to art. I like to play with my friends. I like learning about Jesus.
Holy Name Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
Make Christ Present in the World – that is our theme for the 2019-2020 school year. Each and every day the staff and students of Holy Name Catholic School strive to show Christ’s presence within our school. We are lucky enough to attend all-school Mass twice a week and Eucharistic Adoration each Thursday. We offer many opportunities for students to engage in prayer and deepen their relationship with Christ. A couple of examples are rosary and Theology Club, which are both huge favorites for our students. Every day, we recite our school pledge together, which truly drives all that we do at HNCS – “Using Christ as our model, we strive daily to enhance the growth of each person. In His way, we develop life-long learners who are committed to knowing, loving and serving God.”
We have a phenomenal staff of truly dedicated teachers who love and support each student as if they were their own. We care deeply about the wellbeing and growth of each individual student and will work with them to accommodate their individual needs. We have worked very diligently over the last year to enhance the rigor of our academics, and we have seen tremendous growth in our students’ ability to think critically and problem solve. We are thrilled to have recently created a brand-new STEM lab, added TVs to each classroom and have significantly increased the amount of student Chromebooks within our building.
When you ask a member of our school family what they love most about Holy Name, you will almost always get the same answer – the small community and family feel. The comment has often been made that there is an immediate feeling of faith-filled love when you walk through our door. If you are looking for a Catholic education that will nurture your family’s faith and provide a rigorous curriculum in an atmosphere with a true sense of family, I have no doubt Holy Name is the right place for you. We would love to show you more about what it means to be a Holy Name Giant. Please contact us to learn more!
Holy Name Catholic School
I have only been at Holy Name for about six months, but they have been the best six months ever. Here is why everyone at Holy Name is very welcoming and friendly: I remember walking into the Holy Name doors thinking it was going to be hard to make friends. I was wrong about that because by the time we were heading to church, I had already made a friend.
The teachers are very friendly as well. If I am ever having a hard time with anything, I know that my friends will always be there as well as my teachers. The highlight of my day, though, is going to religion class and seeing Sister Nicolette and learning about our savior Jesus Christ. Sister teaches us so much about him and every time I walk into her room, I have a big smile on my face. It’s like she has a contagious smile because no matter who you are, if you are ever lucky enough to meet Sister Nicolette, she will put the biggest smile on your face.
It is shockingly easy to make friends at Holy Name because not only will Sister Nicolette put a smile on your face, all of the students there will too, because Holy Name is such a holy place to be. If I could stay there longer after school just to talk to the amazing teachers that are at Holy Name I definitely would. Lastly, I would like to say how much I have loved going to church and seeing Father Bob; he is just the sweetest guy you will ever meet. I am looking forward to staying at Holy Name until I graduate and have to leave all the wonderful people I have met there.
What I love about Holy Name is the opportunity to grow not only mentally and physically but also spiritually. Holy Name has such a wide variety of students that help make activities that help everyone find an outlet of creativity that they love. Every Tuesday and Thursday we are blessed with the opportunity to go to Mass, at most to all Masses the Holy Name School Choir will sing. Holy Name is a very caring community; with all the chaos of life it’s nice to know that you can escape it by going to school and having people there who care about you.
We have a great system that helps us get our buildup of energy out. Every day but Thursday we have a morning break. Which is just around 10 to 15 minutes of either playing in the gym or going outside. We don’t have it on Thursdays because we have a class called AIM which helps each individual get help on math; they put us into groups of people who have similar needs and we do math. It is actually very helpful to me and other students. Then we have recess; even as an eighth-grader I’m given the opportunity to go run around and stretch, which is still unbelievable to me.
Our school takes the time to make sure we are mentally ready enough to do our work. We have a counselor that our school brings in every few days for us to go see and talk to. We also have recently gone through a tragedy, and our school wanted to make sure we were stable enough and prepared enough to continue with our schoolwork. This is why I love Holy Name.
Nativity Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
“Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” is the theme of our annual National Catholic Schools Week celebration. The events we’ve planned demonstrate how we at Nativity are striving for high standards and what our students are learning as a result.
High standards are nothing new for Nativity, which has long been known for our emphasis on academic excellence, faith development and commitment to service. Nonetheless, our theme is timely because it highlights our dedication to developing the leader in each and every child and to ensure consistent high academic standards.
The National Catholic Schools Week theme establishes a set of defining characteristics for all Catholic schools, including excellence, commitment to educating the whole child —characteristics you will find at our school together with the incredible Leader In Me program.
We invite you to visit the school on Monday, Feb. 10 from 9-10 a.m. or 6-7:30 p.m. You will be treated to a tour guided by a student ambassador and a current Nativity parent. Teachers and administrators will be available to answer any questions you might have. We look forward to meeting you!
Nativity Catholic School
Do you go to a Catholic school? If you do go to a Catholic school, you know that it is very fun and awesome. If you do not go to a Catholic School, then I will tell you about it.
First of all, at my Catholic school, we get great opportunities like clubs. We also get to do the spring and Christmas concerts. If you want to you can join choir, band or recorder choir. I am only in choir. These privileges are so fun.
Second, we get to share our faith. For example, we get to have religion class. We also have Mass every Thursday unless there is a holy day that we celebrate in that week. We also celebrate any saints that have passed away. You can also go to Mass on Sundays or Saturdays.
Lastly, the student body is fantastic! Students help each other out. We also donate things to the poor. We all do something to help our school out. Not only are the students amazing, but the staff is too.
In conclusion, our school is amazing! Our teachers are awesome. If you are looking for a Catholic school, and you live in Indiana, you should definitely go to Nativity. I love my school!
Nativity Catholic School means a lot to me. We get to do fun activities. We also have great teachers.
To begin with, we have many activities, such as clubs and choir. We also have field trips. In October, we usually have Walkathon and in May we have Field Day. We can also participate in the variety show. Nativity has spring and winter concerts which are led by Mrs. Hamm.
Secondly, we have great teachers. Mrs. Swift, for example, has a way of making learning fun. They also help us understand subjects more easily. I am a lazy person, so during summer break, I was wishing I didn’t have to go to school. Now, I want to go to school every day.
Also, we have DEAL Day. We have buddies who we help learn about the 7 Habits. We do activities that have to do with the 7 Habits. We get to be leaders. We do DEAL once a month.
Lastly, we have sports. The sports include volleyball, soccer, archery, basketball, softball, kickball and football. The sports that I have done so far at Nativity are archery and basketball. Last year, archery made it to state, national and world. I am glad Nativity has sports.
To conclude, Nativity is great! I am lucky to be here. I love Nativity. What does Nativity mean to you?
Do you love your school? My school is fun and engaging. You should come and check it out. I am sure you will like what we do here.
Almost every day we have religion class. Religion class is really fun because you get to learn about God. We also get to go to Mass every Thursday. We also get to do reconciliation, once in Lent and once during Advent. Sometimes, we also get to pray the rosary with the whole school.
We get to have many great experiences. We do a musical every year and middle school gets to try out for it. We also get chances to show off our talent at the variety show that happens every fall. We get to do DEAL days with someone younger or older. During DEAL we get to do many fun things with our buddies. In fourth grade you also get to go to Camp Tecumseh. Camp Tecumseh is fun because you get to stay overnight.
The kids and staff at this school are amazing. The teachers are very encouraging. They encourage you to do your best and stand up for yourself. The teachers here are also very caring. They care for you always. The kids here are also very nice. The kids here never leave anyone out and always try to help their teacher or their friends. The kids here are amazing, just like the staff.
Nativity Catholic School is an amazing place to go to. You learn about God every day. You get to have fun and learn. I am so glad that my parents send me to Nativity Catholic School.
Nativity Catholic School is the best school ever! Catholic Schools Week is so fun because you get to show how much Nativity means to you. Here are a couple of reasons why.
The first reason is we get to learn about God. We get to have religion class, go to Mass and pray the rosary. I think this is a great way to get closer to God. Everyone encourages us to become closer to God and I think Nativity is doing great with that.
The last reason is we do really fun things as a whole school. One of my favorites we do is Catholic Schools Week. We do all these fun things like bingo and competitions. We also do rallies to get the school pumped up for a really big game. The last thing we do is Field Day. We go outside and play games.
Above all, this school is awesome! Even if someone offered me $1,000,000 to leave the school, I would not. I am so glad I go here!
Do you love the school you go to? I do. I love Nativity Catholic School. It means a lot to me. I enjoy many things at my school.
One thing I like about Nativity is that we get to learn about our faith and religion. For example, we have Mass every week. We also have religion class almost every day. Another thing we do to help build our faith is service projects to help people like the poor. I think that my time at Nativity has strengthened my faith in God a lot throughout the years I have been here.
Another thing I enjoy about Nativity is the people. The people here are great. As an example, the teachers are very kind and really good at teaching. The students here are also very great to be around. They are very helpful, and they can be very good friends. Some other good people are the staff and principal. They are always willing to help you in any way they can, and they are very good examples to all of us.
In addition, Nativity Catholic School has many great experiences. My favorite of all of them are the field trips. We have been on many field trips so far, but my favorite was when all of the fourth grade had an overnight trip at Camp Tecumseh. Another great experience at school is the specials we have. Every week we have one of each of these special classes – library, music, art, technology, Spanish and PE. The last experience that means a lot to me is DEAL Day. DEAL means Drop Everything And Lead. During DEAL Day, we go to our buddies and do activities about the 7 Habits.
Nativity Catholic School is a very good school. I have learned a lot and I love this school. I also like all of the people. I hope that Nativity keeps teaching students all of the things I have learned for many more years!
Our Lady of Greenwood
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
For nearly 60 years, Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School has been a vital part of the Southside. From its beginnings with the Sisters of Providence to being named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U. S. Department of Education, our students continue to develop the tenets of faith, knowledge and service.
Students attend a weekly all-school Mass. The school fosters spiritual growth through preparation for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation. Daily prayer, religion classes, along with participation in the Mass, Sacrament, and special liturgical celebrations provide an environment where students can live their faith every day.
We invite you and your family to experience the difference and begin the journey with Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School at our Catholic Schools Week Open House Thursday, Jan. 30 from 6-7 p.m. Tours will be available or may be scheduled daily at your convenience. We hope to meet you soon.
Our Lady of Greenwood
My name is Brianna Fletter. I am an eighth-grader at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School. My family and I moved here when I was in first grade, and from day one, everyone at OLG made us feel so welcome.
When I feel down, I can feel God. I can feel him in everything as he helps me through my day. Through words, friends, or little actions, God is always there. Another benefit to going to a Catholic school is being able to have religion class every day; plus, we get to go to Mass once a week and spend an hour with God. I learn something new about him every time I sit inside the church. I use that information to teach others about God.
I recently got confirmed in the Catholic faith. Not only does my confirmation make me a full practicing member of my church, but I am also going to keep spreading God’s good news to younger parishioners. As it is said in Deuteronomy 32:2, “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Being the second oldest to (almost) eight siblings, I have multiple opportunities to teach them about God and remind them that he is always there and watching over us.
At OLG we have many activities that the whole school participates in, and it causes all of us to bond more as a school. We take part in service opportunities such as our Catholic Schools Week collections, having a used book drive and our Faith Filled Fridays, where we donate either an item or money to a good cause. A favorite schoolwide activity is our Family Fridays. Once a month, students from younger grades unite with students from the upper grades and do activities. The eighth-graders get to be the leaders of their families. I love that!
Catholic schools have taught me to be who I really am and that I am a unique creation of God’s image.
For the past eight years, I have been attending Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School. I can still remember back to my first days at OLG. I remember telling my friends, “Even though I’ve only been here for days, it feels like years.” From the very beginning, I’ve felt so welcome in this school environment.
I love that religion class is more of a conversation than a teacher just talking at a class. We do so many activities to help students better understand their faith. One specific example was one of our first religion classes in sixth grade. My teacher was telling us about one of her trips. She started drawing different aspects of her trip like fish, seaweed, mountains and just different things that she saw. When the white board was flipped sideways, it was an image of Jesus. I remember just being absolutely amazed, along with the entire class.
I am a current altar server for OLG Parish and I love to serve at school Mass as well as on weekends. For me, this is a great experience that brings me closer to God.
I truly believe that my Catholic education has had a major impact on my life and I’m so grateful for my years at OLG.
Disregarded. Worthless. Manipulated. These are the feelings that I felt four years ago at my last school. The year was 2017. I was in fifth grade, about to jump schools. It took no genius to know that I needed a transfer in my middle school years. But the question was, where? Somehow, I ended up at Our Lady of the Greenwood. My shadow day went amazing and all of the paperwork was signed. The transfer was complete. How did my middle school years go? Awesome.
My name is Henry Pippenger. I have autism. It just makes me different. Sometimes in good ways, but other times in bad ways. Some people not used to me have trouble adapting to my behaviors. Another thing about me is that I am Christian. Protestant to be exact. Not Catholic. These were the two main things going into a Catholic private school.
When I first arrived, I was still fitting in. The Wednesday Mass, religion class and higher expectations were still new to me. It took a ton of time to understand these concepts. However, once I got those concepts down, OLG felt more like a home to me.
Things only got better in the seventh and eighth grades. I was exploring my religion a lot more in depth. My behaviors were better as well! It still isn’t perfect, but far better than my fifth-grade year. Comparing myself four different years ago, it was like I was a different person.
As I mentioned, I’m in eighth grade. This year will be my last year at OLG. But I am so glad I got this experience. OLG was that one extra experience I needed. Without them, I might have never found my way back to a much calmer nature. To my former classmates I say that I want to get in touch sometime. Just to meet up and see where you are at now. I really hope I can get in touch with some of you. My name is Henry Pippenger and a Catholic school helped me get back on my feet again.
Roncalli High School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
Roncalli High School continues to offer young people and their families a faith-filled, life-changing experience that propels them forward on a path for success in life!
Guided by our Catholic faith and bolstered by a tradition of academic and extracurricular excellence, Roncalli is not so much an academic institution as much as it is a transformational institution. We truly believe that the experience that awaits all students at our school is transformational! When you allow the Holy Spirit to be a vibrant part of your daily life, one cannot help but to be transformed. We have worked very hard to attract and retain some of the state’s finest, most passionate, faith-filled educators! They are the ones that work daily with students, in and out of the classroom, helping them in their efforts to discern, develop and share their talents with the world. When done well, we are making the world a little better place while building up God’s kingdom here on earth.
The following comments shared by some Roncalli teachers gives one a glimpse as to what they cherish most about the opportunity they have to teach in a dynamic, faith-filled environment:
- I love and value the family atmosphere that exists among the students, faculty and staff.
- I cherish that it’s a place where I can openly talk about science and faith and how those two interact and aren’t mutually exclusive. Most of all, I appreciate that I can be myself and that my students are free and open to be themselves as well in a safe and loving environment.
- There is a strong sense of teamwork and partnership with parents in support of our students. Parents actively support what I do in the classroom, and I support the values and lessons instilled at home. It truly is a winning combination!
- Academics are important, and we work very hard in the classroom, but when I am able to be a witness to or play a role in my students’ faith lives, there is nothing more meaningful. Whether it be at an all-school Mass, a retreat, or a short conversation after class, I count myself immensely blessed to be a part of their lives in such a deep, powerful way.
- I have administrative and parental support when holding high expectations for my students. I find students are prepared to meet these expectations because they know they are loved, supported and encouraged not only by me as their teacher but all in our staff at Roncalli.
- I feel blessed to be a part of something bigger than me and my own career/vocation.
- It was clear to me when I was a student at Roncalli that my teachers were here for the right reasons – to be a positive influence, role model and help foster my love of learning. Now back at Roncalli as a teacher, it’s my pleasure to have the same effect on my students – Roncalli is proud to offer the most comprehensive academic programming for any faith-based school in our state.
Roncalli offers a rigorous, challenging curriculum that meets the needs of students of all academic levels, including students with special needs as well as those seeking training for post-secondary vocational opportunities. It truly lives out its mission to be a Life Prep school!
Students find joy, fulfillment and life-impacting experiences through a dynamic performing arts program, a highly respected and successful athletic program as well as a plethora of wide-ranging clubs!
To assist in their understanding of the Biblical message that it is better to give than to receive, all students complete a minimum of community service hours by the time they graduate. The majority of these hours are spent serving those less fortunate in and around central Indiana. The overwhelming majority of our graduates far exceed the required number of 144 hours.
Here are some comments from students as to what they most cherish about their Roncalli experience:
- I appreciate the teachers as they are genuinely nice people who care about me and all of the students!
- I love the strong family feel to the school!
- It is very clear that everyone is here for each other; especially in hard times.
- There are so many different ways to get involved and meet new people and we are encouraged to do this.
- My teachers and coaches care for me more than just how am I doing in school. They care about me as a whole person!
- I love my Catholic faith, so I really love that we are challenged daily to grow closer to God.
- I have had great teachers in my four years. I am very confident as I prepare to move on to college!
Roncalli has been renowned for decades as a welcoming community! Our overarching mission is to help each person in our school and school family (students, faculty, staff, parents, etc.) in their daily walk with Christ. All parents are encouraged to consider Roncalli as they explore high school options for their child!
Roncalli High School
My name’s Janeth Iman, and I’m a Roncalli High School senior. For the majority of my life, I’ve gone to a public school. While studying at public school, I was never able to truly have a connection with God. In fear of offending others, I didn’t ever publicly practice my faith. Along with that, I remember other students making fun of those that were Catholic. Even though my parents would teach me and my siblings about our religion, teachings and traditions, I felt like I didn’t truly know Him.
Switching over to a Catholic school my seventh-grade year was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I was able to learn about God, practice my faith and become more immersed with my faith. Being able to connect with others that understand and practice the same religion as I do was really refreshing. Meeting them was amazing because I knew that when someone said, “I’ll pray for you” they genuinely meant it.
Coming over to a Catholic school showed me how much people put into their faith. People with Catholic education tend to not worry about the future as much since they believe God will be by their side no matter what they do, which I admire greatly. It took some time but by my sophomore year, I began to just leave my worries and struggles with the future at the foot of the cross. Letting God deal with my struggles and not letting myself get too stressed with all my struggles has allowed me to grow in multiple ways. Overall, my faith has grown to the point that I no longer stress about what I cannot control, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I had never been enrolled in a Catholic institution.
Looking back on my life, I could not imagine not going to a Catholic school. All my life, I have been surrounded by people who cared for me and encouraged me to be who God was calling me to be. Having the ability to go to school not just for the education but to expand my faith has had an immense impact on my life.
My Catholic education has given me the opportunity to strengthen my values and practice my faith in action. I have learned the importance of honesty, compassion and many other values and why we should hold these values close to our hearts. These values have helped me to flourish into a thoughtful person and helped me to constantly become better each day. I have learned to continuously strive to become closer to God and follow his will. Even greater than these values, I can now communicate why I love my faith and what it means to me. My Catholic education has allowed me to come to understand God on a deeper level and has given me the ability to incorporate my faith into every aspect of my life. I am definitely blessed and thankful for the opportunity of a Catholic education, an education filled with rigorous study but also filled with experiences I will never forget. I have felt the infinite love God offers us through my education and thus, have been awakened to how beautiful life actually is.
Above all, through Catholic education, I have strengthened my faith and now strive to live life to the fullest. I look forward to going to school every day and feel a greater presence of God in my life. I have hope for tomorrow and feel a specific purpose to carry out God’s will going forward.
Saint Barnabas Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
St. Barnabas Catholic School has been committed to excellence since its beginning in 1965. Through our Catholic faith, our mission of helping children to “GROW IN MIND, HEART AND SPIRIT TO BECOME LEADERS IN THE WORLD” flows from this commitment and guides what we do each day.
St. Barnabas Catholic School currently serves 519 students in pre-k through eighth grade. Served by the administration and faculty of 36 and a staff of 14, St. Barnabas continues to enrich the lives of its students through hospitality, prayer, formation and service.
Our mission is to grow servant leaders from the inside out while maximizing the potential in every child. Our students learn to have a growth mindset by setting goals, tracking their progress and celebrating their achievements both inside and outside the classroom. At St. Barnabas Catholic School, we celebrate the vital role that we play in preparing our children and young people to become successful scholars, responsible citizens and faith-filled Catholics who will have a lifelong relationship with God.
We are very proud of our programs and the opportunities we offer to our children and their families as they begin their educational journey in this loving, Catholic community. We pride ourselves on offering comprehensive programs in school and after school for children ranging from preschool through eighth grade.
St. Barnabas’ excellence in education is a result of its solid commitment to exemplary teaching and cooperative partnership with our parish families. Students understand the importance of being prepared for the next level and work diligently to achieve success. Involvement in service to others is integral in their development daily, with our Catholic faith as the foundation for all actions. Students are supported by families and teachers, are challenged to become good stewards of their intellectual gifts and to share their worldly talents and treasures with the school, the community and the world. Through school-wide service projects, the students are learning the lessons of reaching out to others. Through their efforts in an academically rigorous program, they are being prepared for the future, one grade at a time.
Through strong curriculum awareness, progressive instructional practices and the spirit of a shared mission, our students are nurtured and challenged. As a result, they exhibit outstanding success academically and spiritually. St. Barnabas Catholic School is truly a school of excellence.
Saint Barnabas Catholic School
“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God, also in
Christ, forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 32.) At St. Barnabas, my classmates and I were taught this
as young children. We learn to worship Christ through everything we do. Through CYO sports,
Mass and service projects, we grow closer as a school. Our teachers taught us to love Jesus in
mind, heart and spirit.
One thing I love about St. Barnabas is going to Mass as a school. At Mass, I sing in the
choir and am a server. Also, during Lent, we have the Living Stations of the Cross, where the eighth-graders act out Jesus’ journey to the cross. We also hold prayer services. Similarly, we help
others through our service projects.
Another thing that I enjoy at St. Barnabas is our service projects. Some projects are the
canned food drive, Day of Service and service hours. Last year, for our Day of Service, my grade
made cookies for the imprisoned. Also, for my service hours, I helped at a food pantry.
Through CYO sports, we also grow closer to God.
During CYO sports, we pray together before and after the games. Even though we are
opponents on the court, we still are united as one in Christ. I play volleyball, basketball, track
and field and cross country. Each time we pray, one of the players leads prayer. There are so
many benefits of going to a Catholic school.
I love St. Barnabas because of the service projects, Mass, CYO sports and so much
more. At St. Barnabas, I am excited for the following day because there are so many amazing
opportunities. The teachers, my classmates and the staff grow are united as a community
Students at St. Barnabas are taught not to try and make yourself outshine anyone or to prove that you are better than anyone. Instead, we are taught to help and encourage others to show courage, express our faith and to show what we are capable of.
Even in our time of trouble, St. Barnabas staff and students come together to help people in need. We remain faithful to God by always trying to be the best that we can be. St. Barnabas eighth-grade students have prayer partners. This is when every eighth-grade student becomes partners with someone that they may not talk to very much, and listen to them, help them in any way they can if their partner needs help or is struggling with anything and prays for them. We also have prayer angels. This is where eighth-graders get paired up with a kindergartener and gets to know them and helps teach them about their faith.
We have a statue of Mary in our courtyard to show that if Mary could say “yes” to God, so can we. She also encourages us to move forward, and to stick with God, to know that He knows what is best for us and to know that he carries us through the bad times. We also have a statue of an angel in the courtyard to show that we are never alone, even though it may seem like it sometimes, to remind us that there is always someone looking out for us and to show that even in a time of doubt, God is always there in some way looking out for us and taking care of us.
St. Barnabas gives students a chance to grow and find out their talents and what they are capable of. In fourth-grade students are allowed to try the chimes in the upper room of our school to see if they want to be part of the chimes choir. Then in sixth grade chimes players move to bells and become part of the bell choir. St. Barnabas also has STEM days, where we are handed a problem and assigned to come up with a solution. For example, there was an oil spill in the ocean, and we needed to find a way to clean water the best we could by using coffee filters, a large cup, a small cup, four drops of dish soap in a cup and a small tub filled with water and motor oil. STEM day gives us a chance to solve problems, work together and gain a perspective on the real world.
St. Barnabas gives students a chance to help others and serve God. From sixth grade and up, students complete service hours. The student goes out into the community to help others and to show God’s love. Some things that I have done for service hours include volunteering at a nursing home, helping with Bible schools, singing in choir and doing work at the Christmas gift store.
In conclusion, St. Barnabas School reflects the actions of St. Barnabas the apostle. Being at St. Barnabas has helped me grow closer to God and has helped me learn about my faith.
Saint Jude Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
The 2019-2020 school year has been a great year for St. Jude School so far. Our students, parents and staff, PreK-8, have really latched on to our theme for the year: “God’s Work, Our Hands.” Although our school has much to offer in terms of academics, technology and creative experiences, we pride ourselves the most on our faith and service. Each class has taken on its own special service project to find ways to use our hands to do God’s work. Teachers and students have been involved in service opportunities such as assisting at Gleaners Food Bank, coordinating a coat drive, reverse trick-or-treating and organizing a post-Christmas toy drive through Project Play. We are so proud to be working hard to bring the best out of our students and others.
If you are interested in enrolling your child to be a part of St. Jude School, please contact the office at (317) 784-6828 or visit the website at sjsindy.org.
Saint Jude Catholic School
All my life I have heard the word “faith” but never fully understood what it meant. Through my journey at St. Jude, my understanding of the word “faith,” grew tremendously. My faith is not just a simple belief, it is my life. At St. Jude, we have many opportunities to practice and express our faith. One of the greatest opportunities we get as students is going to Mass every Wednesday. We are very lucky to get the privilege to celebrate Mass as a school. One of my favorite parts of school Mass is the music. I love the way everyone participates. Together, the students, cantors and choir create a joyful Mass. When everyone sings alone, the whole church lights up.
I not only enjoy celebrating Mass every Wednesday, but I love our safe and faith-filled environment. I love going to St. Jude because of all the wonderful people in the parish and school. I really enjoy having lots of people around me who share the same interests and beliefs as me. We may not realize it, because most of us have grown up around all Catholics, but it is very special to share the same religion with almost everyone around you. Having the same beliefs as someone else could strengthen the bond between you. I feel through my years at St. Jude, my family in faith has grown as one in God.
“Drive your own train!” “It doesn’t matter if you are the first one done; all that matters is that you try your best!” “In a world where you can choose to by anything, choose kindness!” “Always be the best version of yourself!” All of these quotes have inspired me to be the best person I can be, and I hear them a lot from my teachers. These quotes that they say are one of the main reasons I love coming to St. Jude School. My teachers always encourage me to use the gifts God gave me to be the person God wants me to be.
I know my teachers at St. Jude use the gifts, too, to help me and all the students be the best people we can be and also make school fun! They do this by inspiring us, helping us learn, encouraging us and guiding us on the right path. They also make learning fun! For example, my math teacher took a boring assignment and turned it into a fun contest! An additional example is my E.L.A. teacher lets us write about things we are passionate about instead of making us write about things that aren’t especially fun. Also, my social studies teacher turns study time into a game that we all can enjoy! Lastly, my science teacher sometimes allows us to choose our project or assignment.
Being the best person I can be in God’s eyes is my ultimate goal. I know I can reach this goal with the help of those who teach me.
Friendships have really changed how my three years at St. Jude have been for the better. Ever since I came to St. Jude at the beginning of sixth grade, my friends have shaped how I live my life. I couldn’t have come this far without them. The eighth-grade boys are a good group of boys that help each other. What more do you need in a friend?
The friendships here are like a family. Everyone looks out for each other when someone is negatively impacted. That’s what I like about my friends here. They help, and that’s what positively impacts me, whether it be on homework, other friendships, whatever you can think of. They are always there for you and that’s why I think I am very successful here at St . Jude is because friends help you no matter when or what.
Saint Mark Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
For over 71 years St. Mark Catholic Schools have been a leader in Catholic education on the Southside of Indianapolis. Our school continues to build in each student the foundation of academics, service to others in our community and faith in God. Located at 541 East Edgewood Ave., St. Mark Catholic School first opened its doors in September of 1948 and continues to provide a small school setting, taught by teachers that love their students, parents that partner with our school and students that grow closer to God with prayer and acts of kindness toward others.
For the last five years, St. Mark Catholic School is one of the fastest-growing schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, We offer a full day pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds that prepares them academically, socially and spiritually for kindergarten. Our students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade increase their knowledge of academics by teachers that individualize their teaching to the level of each student.
As one of the most diverse schools on the Southside, our students come from many different cultures, countries and speak many different languages. We have two full-time ESL instructors and two special needs instructors along with a strong support staff that assists the teachers in the everyday education of our students. The needs of each student are met by partnering with parents, by the meticulous planning of each lesson and by the building of rapport with our students by our teachers and staff.
Our students, staff and parents have many opportunities to grow in their faith. Our new priest, Fr. Tim Wyciskalla is very involved with the school and brings a renewed sense of faith to our church and school. We not only begin each day in prayer but throughout the day there are many opportunities for prayer. Each class begins with prayer, religion is taught each day, saying the Rosary, attending Eucharistic Adoration and participating in service projects such as our food drive, collecting toys for underprivileged children in our community and writing letters to military personnel. Students do not have to be Catholic to enroll at St. Mark Catholic School; they just have to embrace Christ and his teachings as a part of their normal school day.
St. Mark Catholic School utilizes technology for every student. Students in grades pre-kindergarten through first utilize our computer lab and tablets in their classroom to indoctrinate themselves to technology. All of our students in grades 2 through 8 have access to their own Chromebook and use it throughout the day to learn complete assignments and take assessments. Every classroom has a video projection system and internet capabilities for our teachers to utilize the most up-to-date materials.
As a parent, you have many choices for your child’s education on the Southside of Indianapolis. But at St. Mark Catholic School you will get an education based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. You will expose your child to a diverse setting that will allow them to know, accept and love children of different colors and languages. The family setting will welcome you in, the teachers and administration will communicate fully and the foundation of academics and faith in God will be strongly built for your child.
We have tuition assistance available from several sources based on the size of the family and the income from the previous year.
So, come out to our open house on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 5-7 p.m. and see for yourself why many families make the change to St. Mark Catholic Schools. We look forward to meeting you and sharing our story as a school that welcomes all while teaching with Christ at the center.
Saint Mark Catholic School
As a student at St. Mark Catholic School, I can honestly say that this is a diverse, welcoming, faith-filled school. I have been going to St. Mark for eight years, and every time I walk through the main doors, I’m greeted by Mrs. Leszcynski’s warm smile and a high five from Mr. Albertson.
Everywhere you look you can find Jesus. Whether you see the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue, the crucifixes in every classroom or simply in our students and staff, he is everywhere. Our principal, Mr. Albertson, is very helpful in guiding us to Jesus. He makes sure that we can get to Mass at least two days a week, and that we can partake in adoration and reconciliation. Every morning during announcements he always informs us on the saint of the day and starts the day off with scripture. Fr. Tim, Mr. Albertson and our wonderful staff are all amazing teachers of faith.
At St. Mark everyone values our education. The staff and your peers all want the best for you. While learning in our classrooms we are also growing our faith by treating everyone as Jesus would. I always feel welcomed at St. Mark. I have developed a lot of close friends here.
I think it is very special that we get to go to church every Wednesday and Friday. I also love when we have adoration in our church. In adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in our gorgeous monstrance. We then put kneelers in front of the altar and one by one we get to pray to Jesus quietly and peacefully. At Mass everyone is very reverent; we treat the church as God’s house.
I am so privileged that I get to go to St. Mark Catholic School and grow in my faith. I have not only got an excellent education, but I have grown friendships with my peers, our staff and God.
St. Mark might look like an ordinary school on the outside, but on the inside, we are so much more. St. Mark is a very special school. Everyone here is kind and supportive. If you are feeling down, you know you can count on anyone to cheer you up or give you an encouraging smile. All the teachers are amazing, fun and creative. They can tell when you are struggling in a subject and are quick to help you understand. All the students at St. Mark are unique and diverse. I love this school!
I remember when I was little, I would love going to church to see everyone singing and praising God. I still really enjoy that, and even more now, because I can really experience Mass and understand what is going on. I also love participating in Mass and expressing my faith; now that I am older, I can serve at Mass, sing in the choir or play drums. Serving is a great way to practice your faith because you get to experience the Mass up close and take a part in it. During adoration we all use the prayerful time to listen to what God is telling us and pray to Him. I also enjoy singing at Mass because I get to really express my love for God.
In school we always incorporate our faith into our classes and not just in religion class, but in every class. Before every class we start with a prayer lead by a student. We all take our prayer seriously here and we always know the right thing to pray for. We don’t only say prayers in class and then forget about it. We always talk about the Mass that day or our teachers give us a reflection based on the Mass. St. Mark has really increased my love for God.
Everyone here accepts others as if they were their own family and at St. Mark we are like a big family. Everyone is so open to new students. We all immediately befriend them, and each class is so close. Most of us have known each other since kindergarten, so we all care for each other, but it’s the same for the newer students. We all are a very tightly knit group here and it’s an absolutely amazing school. St. Mark is a place where we, as students, can learn, grow in our faith, and share our unique gifts with each other. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Saint Roch Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
Every day that I get to spend at St. Roch Catholic School is a day that I feel blessed. I am so proud to be the principal of such a wonderful institution. It is very easy to write about why I am proud to be the principal. I could go on and on, but instead, I will give you my top five.
- Our great students make me proud each day. They are the heartbeat of our school. Our building is alive with love and laughter. They work hard and are kind to each other. I am proud of all of our students.
- We are blessed with supportive parents. Our parents sacrifice each day to send their children to our school, and we appreciate them very much. They show their support through their kind words, volunteering for the various programs we need help with and helping our students grow in faith and love by their example.
- The teachers and support staff are out of this world. They come early and stay late. Learning at St. Roch Catholic School is fun and engaging because our teachers put so much time and energy into their lessons. Most importantly, our staff love our students, and that means more than the curriculum they teach them every day. Our teachers and support staff work hard every day to make our students feel loved and appreciated so that they can learn and grow.
- We put our faith first in all that we do. Our school motto is Trust God, Work Hard and Work Together. Each day the students and staff live this motto. Our faith in God is what drives our decisions. It is such a proud feeling to be able to work in a place that allows you to share your faith freely.
- We are blessed with an overwhelming amount of support from our parish and our community. They are very generous, and we always feel their love and support, whether it be monetary or through service and prayer.
As we continue to celebrate our school, we will continue to follow our motto: Trust God, Work Hard and Work Together.
Saint Roch Catholic School
I appreciate St. Roch because of all the loving teachers and staff. We have great teachers that know all about us because they care, and they do everything in their power to keep us safe.
Everyone at St. Roch attends Mass twice a week and because we are a Catholic school, we can freely practice our religion anywhere. Everyone who goes to St. Roch is open to an amazing education with classes and subjects, but also life lessons that live with you forever. We learn social skills and how to be polite and even just respect, like saying “Good Morning” to a teacher.
What also comes with St. Roch is the opportunity with specials like Spanish to learn a second language or physical activity in P.E.
Another big part is legacy. Our 100th year is coming up and our Spell Bowl team has broken records, but I think St. Roch is the best school because of the environment that we have from teachers and staff to sports, academics and the amazing opportunity that comes with that. All things aside, I love to represent Saint Roch Catholic School!
There are so many reasons that I love Catholic schools and St. Roch. One of the many reasons and probably the most important reason is that we get to celebrate Mass! It is awesome that we get to celebrate Mass every week and get to pray together every day. There are so many opportunities that we get to participate in. We have sports, academics, clubs of all sorts. Before every game, match and tournament, we pray and thank God for these opportunities.
We have so many fun traditions and activities that we do! Here are a few examples: teachers vs. eighth-grade kickball games, Rochathon, pep rallies, talent show, Mayfest and so many more! I mean, come on; at most schools you usually don’t see your principal in a lion costume on the roof!
Every morning when I don’t want to get out of bed and don’t want to go to school, I think of Mrs. Wilson and Mr. Rush opening my car door smiling and dancing to music, and I feel much better. There are so many awesome things about Catholic schools and St. Roch that make it an awesome place to go to school!
Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School
LETTER from our PRINCIPAL
This year we are encouraging families to “Discover Catholic Schools” during Catholic Schools Week. We are hosting an open house Jan. 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. All visitors that are new to our school that are interested in enrolling will receive a door prize for attending.
Our school commission and the administration are inviting every family to have small-group, face-to-face conversations about our school this year. These small meetings are intended to foster continued involvement of our parents, leverage our strengths and address questions or concerns parents have.
Families that currently attend our school are witness to the factors that make our school a fantastic place to attend. They believe that the size of the school brings a strong community connection that makes us a family. They are confident that we are building great character and a strong moral compass in their children’s lives.
New family registration will op Feb. 16 and the form can be found at ss-fc.org under the school tab. Don’t miss the chance to “Discover” a great opportunity for your child to be a student in a school that fosters the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally. Tours can also be set up at any time by calling (317) 859-4673.
Happy Catholic Schools Week!
Mrs. Betty Popp
Saints Francis & Clare
Do you like Catholic schools? I do! I have been going to Catholic school for five years now, preschool through fourth grade! Overall, Catholic schools have been a great experience. My favorite things about Catholic schools is that we can talk about our faith without being judged, they take a lot of time preparing for Mass and the fun Catholic activities. First, let’s discuss the time they give.
One thing they prepare for us is Mass, which takes a long time. Another thing they have to prepare is poster boards in the hallway, and they’re amazing. They also stay up late to grade students’ work for a long time. Now, let’s discuss the fun Catholic events.
My school does something called faith and action. That’s when we do a fun act of kindness. Those kinds of activities are hard work, but they do it for us. Now, let’s talk about being able to talk about our faith without being judged.
Believe it or not, some places do not believe in God. Some of those places will judge people who do. Here, there is no judgement because we all do believe in God. This is my favorite thing about Catholic schools.
I really hope this is your favorite church. I mean, because it is my favorite. I really, really, really love this Catholic church/school. I also love my teachers. I’ve only had two homeroom teachers: Mrs. Towne and Mrs. Ducote. They both let us do really fun stuff.
They let us watch Brother Francis. In Brother Francis, first there is a theme song, then they talk to you of a certain lesson. Next, there is a mini lesson. Then there is a little faith challenge.
We also do fun math games such as Moby Max, Reflex and Kahoot. Oh, you want me to tell you a little about all of them? Fine! Let’s start with Kahoot. Kahoot is when there are at least two players and a big projector. It is technically a race, but that is not what it is fully about. It is to have fun learning. Next, let’s do Reflex. Reflex is a math game and there are several games to unlock. There is a sign next to two games to unlock. Last, but not least: Moby Max! It has math, reading, social studies, science and spelling, but my favorite part is math. Right now, I am multiplying a 2-digit by 3-digit. That is why being Catholic is really awesome!